Most of today's 3D and Inkjet printers work by simply placing drops of fluid material (consisting of ink, metal, thermoplastics, etc.) onto a surface. To determine the placement of each drop, image files such as TIFF and BITMAP are commonly used. Essentially wherever a pixel is dark a drop of fluid is placed, whilst wherever a pixel is white the drop is omitted.
To achieve the best possible results from 3D and Inkjet printers, advanced imaging techniques should be applied dependent on the drop fluid material used, plus other design related complexities. Here's a list of 4 advanced imaging techniques used for successful final results with your 3D and Inkjet printers:
X/Y Drop Spacing:
Assigns a different X and Y spacing for output images. The default is 1:1 spacing using same image resolution.
Why use Drop Spacing? Each material used for droplets has a different fluid viscosity. Viscosity is basically the "thickness" of the drop fluid material used: for example, syrup has a higher viscosity than water. Typically the lower the viscosity the larger area each droplet may use on the surface, thus drop spacing may be needed. There are other factors that may also require changes in drop spacing.
Why use X-Scale? Depending on the manufacturer, many 3D and Inkjet printers contain very slight inaccuracies compared between the X (horizontal) and Y (vertical) directions. Over a large design area these inaccuracies can become noticeable and effect the overall quality of the final product. Adjusting the X-Scale to compensate for these slight inaccuracies can resolve the problem.
Other factors may also require using X-Scaling such as different materials chosen for either drops and/or substrate, various temperature exposure, etc.
Pixel Edge Compensation:
Reduce or Expand all geometries within an image by # pixels. Negative value reduces, positive value expands. Perfect for applying manufacturing compensations.
Optimize pixels that are partially covered with data, resulting in a more accurate and sharp image (may be time consuming)
Besides outputting to high resolution image files, ACE can also convert a wide range of other file formats that your engineering department may find useful.
FAB 3000 is a professional CAM software package targeted for anyone who would like to have "high-end" CAM software to run advanced DRC/DFM verification, generate component centroids, create SMT Stencil pads, Panelize PCBs, and export high resolution Bitmap and Tiff files. Download Now
Get Numerical Cloud for only $75/month. Includes FAB 3000 (CAM Software), ACE 3000, and EasyGerb. Runs on up to 3 computers. Easily perform all Design Integrity Checks on your Gerber and ODB++ files. No contracts and cancel anytime.