WHAT IS AN X900 PIEZOELECTRIC PRINTHEAD
Take a journey through the fascinating undersea world of the Epson Stylus Pro Piezoelectric printhead. You will see great, big, powerful looking things that few among us ever have. Learn the flow of UltraChrome HDR ink as it travels through an X900 head. Understand what a channel is, what a chamber is, what a nozzle is, and so much more. Keep in mind as you explore this great new world, that all of it lives inside a space no thicker than your own fingernail. That’s right, the THICKNESS of your fingernail..
First off, here is an X900 printhead in various stages of autopsy, with key parts named. This printhead is in a variety of stages of disrepair. Starting from left to right, left being the farthest apart, right being completely together:
Take a close look at the above named parts. Image-left shows the cut end of a micro ribbon cable. This electrical cable houses all of the connections from the mother board to each and every individual chamber wall (360 per color) in each and every chamber of the piezoelectric nozzle board. The image just below shows a chamber viewed from below, exposing all of the microscopic wires running to each chamber wall (nozzle).
This next illustration names key parts of the PIEZOELECTRIC BOARD which lives just below the face of the printhead, on the very top of each channel. NOTE: This entire micro machine measures .5mm from floor to ceiling!!!
The following image is an illustration of the top of a piezoboard, as if it’s being seen through the eyes of a microscope. The printhead face is theoretically removed, minus the nozzle openings which are essentially holes drilled in the face of the printhead:
The following images show just how small a chamber actually is. More amazing still, the piezoelectric nozzle board in all of it’s entirety is just the tiny portion which sits on top!
I’d like to take this moment to give Epson some well earned credit. Yes I know you hate Epson right now, but imagine that all of what you are about to experience, and all that has been argued about, criticized, bitched about forever and only rarely complimented for it’s sheer incredible-ness – operates inside something thinner than your finger nail.
The images below show not only a printhead face, with it’s tiny nozzle openings ready to fire – but they show what’s just below those tiny openings.
This is a dreaded “Fatal Error” message head. As you can see once you get a message like this, your head is dead.
Once you get a visual on just how tiny a nozzle chamber is, it becomes rather amazing that they don’t clog every day all day. Remember that a nozzle is fired when the piezoelectric chamber walls flex – squeezing ink out through the nozzle opening in the face of the head. Once ink between the chamber walls starts to dry up it hardens. Once it hardens the walls can’t flex. Once the walls can’t flex they can’t fire ink, and they become vulnerable to overheating.
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