Human eye inspires clog-free ink jet printer


Normal anatomy of the human eye and orbit, ant...

Normal anatomy of the human eye and orbit, anterior view (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

R&D Mag – Clogged printer nozzles waste time and money while reducing print quality. University of Missouri engineers recently invented a clog-preventing nozzle cover by mimicking the human eye.

Kwon’s (Jae Wan Kwon, associate professor in the College of Engineering, University of Missouri) invention uses a droplet of silicone oil to cover the opening of the nozzle when not in use, similar to the film of oil that keeps a thin layer of tears from evaporating off the eye. On the surface of the human eye, eyelids spread the film of oil over the layer of tears. However, at the tiny scale of the ink jet nozzle, mechanical shutters like eyelids would not work, as they would be stuck in place by surface tension. Instead, the droplet of oil for the nozzle is easily moved in and out of place by an electric field. more> http://tinyurl.com/7exjj5y

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