continuous ink-jet

Definition: Type of ink-jet printer in which a stream of droplets of ink are shot out from a reservoir continuously during printing: most drops are sucked back into the reservoir but where ink is needed to print, a pulse of electricity changes the direction of the drops (because they are electrostatically charged) so that they shoot past a shield to fall onto the paper or other medium. * This system allows dots of variable colour, thus greatly improving apparent resolution: it is capable of photographic-quality printing, or better -- but the machinery is costly to manufacture and maintain. * The need to carry an electrostatic charge reduces the range of inks that can be used - in particular, pigment inks would clog up the nozzles.

Related Terms: drop-on-demand

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