HP claims breakthrough in ink jet printer technology

HP has introduced a new ink jet technology that, it claims, will revolutionise the ink jet print market over the coming years. The new print head technology not only provides more accurate printing but also cuts HP’s manufacturing costs by half.

The secret behind the new print technology is in the manufacture of the print head itself. Unlike existing technologies where the parts that make up the print head are welded together after manufacture, all the components that make up the new print head are created together in one unit via a photolithographic process. This not only makes for cheaper production processes, but by building the parts together in a single process, there is a precise alignment of the chamber, nozzles and heating element, which then improves the accuracy of ink drop placement.

HP says the manufacturing accuracy inherent in the new design means that the company can increase density of nozzles. HP says that it is possible to build up to 3,900 nozzles or more on a single print head. More nozzles and more precise dot placement accuracy mean faster, higher quality prints.

Several ranges of printers feature the new technology. The HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer, and HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series, are aimed at home users who want to print out photo quality prints at high speed.

These fast photo printers feature six individual HP Vivera ink cartridges and are said to produce a 4 x 6-inch photos in as little as 14 seconds.

For the more professional user, the Officejet Pro K550 Colour Printer offers, HP claims, twice the print speed and 30 per cent of the price per page of typical colour lasers printers.

No UK prices have been announced at the time of writing although the HP Photosmart 8250 Photo Printer is priced at around $199 in the US and the HP Photosmart 3000 All-in-One series costs between $299 to $399. However, as always with HP and other printer manufacturers, the real price will be in the cost of the replacement ink supplies.

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