Side Shooting Option Available for Print Station
ImageXpert recently developed a module for printing sideways in “skyscraper mode” on the JetXpert Print Station. This method offers more flexibility than traditional downward printing and is commonly used in applications such as label printing or direct-to-shape. You can now switch printhead orientation on JetXpert Print Station with just a few simple adjustments, allowing you to optimize your jetting and printing for this challenging application.
Dropwatching in Side Shooting Orientation
The printhead mounting is flexible and allows you to quickly switch between printhead orientations by simply rotating the printhead mounting plate. The dropwatching system shown below is custom-built for sideshooting, with a lower baseplate to accommodate the printhead movement as you scan across the row. This adaptation is possible both for new and existing JetXpert Dropwatchers.
To keep the proper drop orientation in the software, the camera must be rotated 90° and calibrated for Side Shooter. Once this is done, the software will look the same for side shooting as it does for downward printing.
Printing in Side Shooting Orientation
Most of the changes needed to convert the Print Station to print in skyscraper mode are mechanical, where the substrate is now mounted vertically. However, getting good printing performance will require you to optimize your jetting for skyscraper mode specifically. Gravity is now acting perpendicular to your drop path, meaning that it will begin redirecting your drops unless they are moving at a high enough velocity to cover the print gap quickly. You may find that higher drop velocities are needed, which may compromise print quality in other ways. You’ll also want to examine how you are feeding ink to the printhead; especially if the printhead is gravity fed. Don’t forget to consider how the downward force of gravity will impact the drops once they hit the substrate!