Image analysis of surface elements reproduction quality in 3D ink-jet printing
Walters, P., Stanic, M. and Lozo, B. (2009) Image analysis of surface elements reproduction quality in 3D ink-jet printing. Louisville, Kentucky, USA: NIP25: International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies and Digital Fabrication. ISBN 978-0-89208-287-2 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/7835
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Three-dimensional ink-jet printing described here is powder-based rapid prototyping (RP) technique. It is based on conventional ink jet printing technology, with basic build materials being powders and binders (inks). Designed or captured 3D object is virtually sliced in layers and later printed by joining consecutive layers (cross-sections), which are solidified by reaction between basic materials. The process is capable of printing in “full” color as it uses colored binders as well. Due to this, text and other graphic elements can be reproduced on surfaces of 3D objects. Image analysis is a computer-aided technique often used, among other areas, in printing technology, for monitoring and evaluation of substrate-ink interactions and print quality. In the described work, image analysis technique is used for evaluation of reproduction quality and material interaction in 3D ink jet printing by analyzing the surface reproduction of some basic geometric and text elements. A test target, consisting of a number of print elements, is placed on surface of the constructed 3D object. The 3D test plates are then placed and printed in different positions in xyz space, as well as printed with different combination of printing preferences. The image analysis is done on optical microscope captures of 3D prints surfaces which are assessed using custom-made routines in Image software.