Additive Reality: Solder Mask Patterning at the Edge Between Drops and Bricks

The digital form of inkjet printing technology operates on files containing a rasterized image; these bitmaps, in their simplest form, contain information about the presence (or absence) of drops. Additionally, the resolution brings in the drop’s pitch. This represents a 2D view of a pattern. Such a pattern might, once printed, have a thickness, however, the rasterized image does not carry this information. For pure 3D printing, the solution is to assign a fixed height step to each printed layer. Elegant and simple: each drop approximates a brick of fixed length, width, and height. This works reasonably well when the approximated drop dimensions are far below the tolerance needed for the application.

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