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There are many types of inkjet cartridges available in the consumer market. However, very few of companies make it easy to interface with their cartridges. This page will define a "good interface" as one which can integrate with RepRap electronics and software. Below are some notes on cartridges and implementations that may be of use to someone exploring powder printing, or different deposition methods and materials (such as resin or bacteria) .


Xaar 128

See: Getting Started with Xaar 128


See also this page: Scratchbuilt Piezo Printhead.



The HP TIJ is a series of inkjet cartridges available from HP that are designed to be easy to interface with. There is a PDF from HP available here, which describes the two models in depth. Below are some potential use cases and notes on applications to RepRaps.


The 1.0 comes in two sizes, the 51604A, and the C6602x.

The C6602x model can be controlled by the Inkshield. The page for the Inkshield explains a Marlin fork which allows integration with a RepRap.

Amberish Jaipuria created a very through research paper on using the 51604A and 51605B/R. It thoroughly covers the theory of operating the inkjet head and some attempts at integration with RepRap. File:Inkjet.pdf

Note: it would be good to 'uncompact' this
pdf into a proper wiki page.--Sebastien Bailard 07:02, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

We will need to contact Amberish about expanding his research into a wiki page.

The YTec3D Plan B and the BrundleFab powderbed printers both use the C6602x + InkShield as their inkjet pens.


A higher resolution cartridge than the 1.0 capable of faster nozzle firings. As of 2013-10-20 there has not been a documented application within the RepRap, or open hardware, community.

Control Software


Movement planning

Traditional multiple head inkjet printers use a droplet overlap method. For some research there are times when clear boundaries between colors are desired. Both methods are explained below.

CMYK halftone

Examples of typical CMYK halftone screen angles

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) overlap is the traditional method and process of producing color images from an inkjet printer. The droplets are oriented to overlap to give color mixing. In addition halftones are used to create color gradients by altering droplet size. More information about the CMYK process can be found on the Wikipedia page. When applied to additive manufacturing this allows for material mixing and grading.

OpenFab is an open-source implementation of this process for additive manufacturing.

Boundary Preservation

Example of boundary preserving deposition

Boundary preservation is a much simpler implementation of arranging deposition for inkjet printing. It is useful in arrangements where grading is not necessary and accuracy is more valued. Possible applications are circuit fabrication and bacteria deposition.

Image_to_gcode is a Python 2.7 script to take BMP images and generate G-Code paths that preserve the boundary between pixels. Further documentation is available on GitHub at the aforementioned link.

Further reading