Getting Started with Xaar 128

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Getting Started with the Xaar 128


The Xaar 128 is a piezoelectric inkjet printhead used in large format vinyl sign-making. It *might* be useful in 3d printing, conductive ink, or masking applications. This guide is intended to help others experiment with the Xaar 128 and different materials in hopes that they’ll share their results.

Why piezo? TLDR: Most inkjet printheads are “thermal”: They work by superheating a fraction of the ink in a chamber, turning it into gas, which expands to force the remainder of the ink out of a nozzle. Superheating limits the range of materials that can be used in these printheads. Piezoelectric printheads are less common, and since they use a mechanical operation to force fluid out of a nozzle, they don’t have to modify the state of the fluid to operate, and can work with a broader range of materials.

Known Limitations

Xaar approved inks have viscosity around 0-12cps. Higher viscosity fluids are unlikely to work with this printhead.

Parts List


“GLUX” 30 > 21 pin adapter

Provides a 21-pin flat flexible cable (FFC) interface to the Xaar 128 printhead.

Adapter Signal Xaar 128
1 VPPH 3
2 VPPH 3
3 VPPL 4
4 GNDL 5
5 GNDH 2
6 GNDH 2
7 nRESET 7
8 nSS2 1
9 GND 16
10 MOSI* 8
11 VDD 17
12 VDD 17
13 SCK 19
14 GND 16
15 nSS1 20
16 GND 16
17 READY 24
18 PHO 25
19 nFIRE 26
20 MISO 27
21 CLK 28

Operations Guide

Not available from the Xaar website (please add more sources):

Source Code

  • Starter project for Arduino Uno and Mega (GitHub)