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70 PCB007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2022 Ever since the first inkjet printer appeared from Hewlett-Packard in 1980, engineers have been trying to use it in printed circuit manu- facturing. e first successful application was by HP's PCB engineers in 1983, who created an inkjet printer mechanism to serialize each PCB with a unique S/N for traceability. ey used one of the UV inks HP had developed and that worked well on circuit boards but was not suited for use on paper. Introduction Karl Dietz wrote on this topic when it first began to appear as a method of solder mask application and legend printing to replace screen printing. Some of his columns 1 dis- cussed the methods of inkjet printing, ele- Update on Inkjet Technologies ments of the three types of inks (thermal, ultra- violet, and phase-change), and the printheads used by seven current machines on the market. Today, the applications, head technologies, soware and inks/pastes have been improved significantly. Inkjet is one of the technologies used in printed electronics. Inkjet Printing An industrial inkjet printer has four impor- tant elements, as seen in Figure 1: 1. e printhead(s) 2. e ink or paste 3. e print module-ink preparation or curing 4. System for CAM data preparation and head/substrate positioning Happy's Tech Talk #11 by Happy Holden, I-CONNECT007 Figure 1: Inkjet system breakdown into four elements. (Source: Dow Electronics Materials)

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