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How Big Are Inkjet Printer Ink Drops

Pete Hellmann

Blog #100 of 137




April 2nd, 2010 - 01:01 PM

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How Big Are Inkjet Printer Ink Drops

This just came in the latest Red River Paper newsletter. I thought the size comparison was interesting.

Inkjet Drop Volume - Inkjet droplets are measured in picoliters (A trillionth of a liter). Most inkjet printers use variable drop size technology. A typical Epson photo inkjet printer fires drops between 2 and 4 picoliters in volume. The difference between 2 and 4 picoliters is equivalent to the difference between a softball and a ping pong ball!

To give some more reference, a 2 picoliter drop of blood holds about 200 red blood cells.

Inkjet Drop Size

An inkjet ink droplet is about 100 microns wide, slightly larger than the diameter of a human hair.

As a reference, a red blood cell about 5 microns wide.

Something to Think About

So next time your printer prints out an amazing image on Red River paper, think about this. While moving left and right, the print head fires ink droplets that would hold 200 red blood cells 6000 times per second! These 6000 drops every second hit their mark perfectly to create bold color and sharp detail to rival a photo lab.

Pete Hellmann Photography


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