February 14, 2011

The Inkjet Timeline

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:21 pm

Following the Short Revisionist History, I got really interested in the bigger picture, how this technology developed and where it came from.  A huge shoutout to Luminous Landscape on helping with much info to put this timeline together… thanks to all!

I figure this is a work in progress, check back for updates!

Year Device/Company Comments
1970s: On-Demand (DoD) Technology: Pressure generated by voltage pulse applied to piezo element
1976 Inkjet technology developed IBM 4640 ink-jet printer introduced as a word processing hardcopy-output peripheral application.
1977 Seimens PT-80 uses drop-on-demand inkjet technology
1978 Piezoelectric inkjet printer (citation needed)
1979 Canon invents bubble-jet (BJ) technology Pressure built up by expanding vapor bubble above small heat
~1979: Hewlett-Packard (Independently) develops on-demand impulse method
1984 ThinkJet by Hewlett Packard First mass produced (b/w) thermal inkjet printer
First disposable inkjet cartridge
1987 First Color inkjet printer – HP Paintjet Code named “Squirt”, required special paper, its print cartridges required “priming and wiping” (with a pump and brush supplied with the product), its paper advance mechanism required a special size paper, limited operating humidity range (+20% to +50% RH), fast with good print quality (180dpi).
Late 1980s: IJ-technology replaces dot-matrix pin printers to conquer low-cost market of rapidly expanding PC industry
1988 HP DeskJet
1989 Epson patents MicroPiezo Technology
Iris Graphics 3047 First Large-format inkjet photo printer
1991 Encad Novajet Wide-format inkjet printer, first of its type on the market, low price and high-quality printing, not able to render photographic images with precision
1993 NovaJet II 2nd gen. version offered a distinct improvement in photo reproduction, with 300 by 300 dot-per-inch (dpi) resolution and streak-free printouts of photographs
HP DesignJet 650C HP’s first large-format color inkjet printer
1994 EPSON Stylus® COLOR, EPSON Stylus® Color 600, EPSON Stylus® Color 800 Six-color photo quality printer, Desktop color ink jet printer with 720 dpi resolution
1997 EPSON Stylus® Color Photo Six-color photo quality printer, Desktop color ink jet printers with 1440 dpi resolution
1998 EPSON Stylus Color 740 Color ink jet printer with built-in USB connectivity
HP DJ 2500/3500 600 dpi Photo-quality
1999 EPSON Stylus Color 900 World’s fastest color ink jet printer in its class
iMac printer (EPSON Stylus Color 740i)
ColorSpan Giclee Printmaker drum-based printer, used 8 inks
2000 Mutoh (Agfa, Kodak), Mimaki (Stork) and Roland,
Epson Stylus Photo 870/1270, P2000, 7500, 9500
2002 Epson 4000, 7600, 9600, P2200 World’s first 2 picoliter ink drop in an ink jet printer, first seven-color archival desktop photo printer
2004 HP DJ130
Canon i9900, IP8500
Epson R800, R1800
2005 Epson 3800, 4800, 7800, 9800, R2400
2006 Canon Pro9500, PROGRAF IPF5000, IPF9000

Credits, links:

Wilhelm’s 15-year overview of ink permanence in inkjet printing (pdf download).

Jeff Dwoskin’s Timeline of Printers.

Printhead911- Progress and Trends in Inkjet Printing Technology.

Jens Ducrée and Roland Zengerie: Ink-Jet Technology (pdf download).

The HP Computer Museum.

My own Brief History of Inkjet Printing.

-Ted Dillard

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