WO2019203832A1 - Fluid ejection detection - Google Patents

Fluid ejection detection Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2019203832A1
WO2019203832A1 PCT/US2018/028313 US2018028313W WO2019203832A1 WO 2019203832 A1 WO2019203832 A1 WO 2019203832A1 US 2018028313 W US2018028313 W US 2018028313W WO 2019203832 A1 WO2019203832 A1 WO 2019203832A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
fluid
dispensing device
device
fluid dispensing
fluid ejection
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2018/028313
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Eric Martin
James R. Przybyla
Daryl E. Anderson
Original Assignee
Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. filed Critical Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Priority to PCT/US2018/028313 priority Critical patent/WO2019203832A1/en
Publication of WO2019203832A1 publication Critical patent/WO2019203832A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J29/00Details of, or accessories for, typewriters or selective printing mechanisms not otherwise provided for
    • B41J29/38Drives, motors, controls or automatic cut-off devices for the entire printing mechanism
    • B41J29/393Devices for controlling or analysing the entire machine ; Controlling or analysing mechanical parameters involving printing of test patterns

Abstract

An offline fluid ejection detection device may include a chassis separate from a printing device to secure a fluid dispensing device, driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis, and an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.

Description

FLUID EJECTION DETECTION

BACKGROUND

[0001] Printing devices may include at least one fluid ejection device formed within a firing chamber of a fluidic die. The fluid ejection device may be a resistive heater positioned within the chamber to evaporate a small amount of fluid within the firing chamber. In some examples, one component of the fluid may be water. The resistive heater evaporates the water during firing of the resistive heater. The evaporated fluid component or components expand to form a drive bubble within the firing chamber. This expansion may exceed a restraining force so as to expel a single droplet out of an orifice formed within the fluidic die. After the release of a droplet of fluid, the pressure in the firing chamber drops below the strength of the restraining force within the firing chamber and the remainder of the fluid is retained within the firing chamber. Meanwhile, the drive bubble collapses and fluid from a fluid reservoir may be allowed to flow into the fluid chamber replenishing the lost fluid volume from the droplet release. This process may be repeated each time the fluidic die is instructed to fire. The deposition of fluid using these devices and processes may be applied in desktop, page-wide, and industrial printing devices and scenarios. Further, in additive manufacturing processes such as those that use a three-dimensional (3D) printing device, the fluidic die may eject build materials, adhesives, and other fluids that may be used to build a 3D object using these types of devices and methods. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] The accompanying drawings illustrate various examples of the principles described herein and are part of the specification. The illustrated examples are given merely for illustration, and do not limit the scope of the claims.

[0003] Fig. 1 is a block diagram of an offline fluid ejection detection device, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[0004] Fig. 2 is a block diagram of a system for fluid ejection detection, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[000S] Fig. 3 is a block diagram of an offline fluid ejection detection device, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[0006] Fig. 4 is a block diagram of a system for fluid ejection detection, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[0007] Fig. 5 is a flowchart showing a method of fluid ejection detection, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[0008] Fig. 8 is a flowchart showing a method of fluid ejection detection, according to an example of the principles described herein.

[0009] Throughout the drawings, identical reference numbers designate similar, but not necessarily identical, elements. The figures are not necessarily to scale, and the size of some parts may be exaggerated to more clearly illustrate the example shown. Moreover, the drawings provide examples and/or implementations consistent with the description; however, the description is not limited to the examples and/or implementations provided in the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] As mentioned herein, a drive bubble may be formed by a resistive heater placed within a firing chamber of a fluidic die. Certain characteristics of this drive bubble, the fluid used to form the drive bubble, or a combination thereof may be detected using, for example, an electrical impedance sensors or electrodes. The electrical impedance sensor may detect, in an example, the impedance of the fluid at, at least one moment during the formation of the drive bubble in some examples, the electrical impedance sensor may detect the impedance of the fluid and/or air at least two different moments in the formation of the drive bubble, and, in some examples, for any number of measurements at before, during, and after the formation of the drive bubble. A fluid present in the firing chamber may have a different electrically conductive characteristic than air or other gasses present in the drive bubble in some examples, the fluid may contain partly aqueous vehicle mobile ions or other ion solutions. In such examples, when a portion of a surface of the electrical impedance sensor is in contact with the fluid and when a current pulse or voltage pulse is applied to the electrical impedance sensor, the electrical impedance sensor’s detected impedance is relatively lower than it would otherwise be without the contact of the fluid.

[0011] The electrical impedance sensor may, therefore, be used to make a number of measurements of impedances in order to detect certain

characteristics of the drive bubble and/or fluid. The values of the impedances defected provide indications of the state of the fluid within the fluidic die. For example, the detection of these impedance values may indicate to the printing device implementing the fluidic die that a particle has been lodged within the orifice or firing chamber, pigments within the fluid have been separated, that certain components of the fluid have lodged themselves within the particle tolerant architecture of the fluidic die, bubbles are present within the architecture of the fluidic die, a film has formed on top of the resistive heater, and puddling of fluid on an outside surface of the orifice of the fluidic die, among other operating defects associated with the fluidic die.

[0012] In some examples, fluid ejection devices and systems such as, for example, printing devices, bio-printing devices, three-dimensional (3D) printing devices, and other fluid ejection device may not include hardware and software used to activate the electrodes used to detect the electrical impedance of the fluid and/or air and that exist within the fluidic die of, of example, a printhead. This may be the case even though the electrodes are present in the fluidic die themselves. Thus, legacy printing devices that do not include the hardware and software used to activate the electrodes may suffer from quality control issues because there would be no method by which the health of the fluidic die may be ascertained using a fluid ejection detection process such as, for example, drive bubble detect (DBD) processes.

[0013] Further, users of legacy printing devices may not have the ability to determine any issues that may arise with the functionality of the fluidic die installed within the printing devices. Thus, once a printhead begins to demonstrate some level of malfunction resulting in a decrease in print quality, the user may, instead of seeking to correct the malfunction and without a means to determine the reason for the malfunction within the printhead, may simply send the printhead back to the manufacturer as a seeming defective printhead. Further, in cases where the user is seeking to determine which of a plurality of printheads is malfunctioning or otherwise producing an image with a reduced print quality, the user may replace the wrong printhead and not the printhead that is the source of the reduction in print quality. The errant sending of an otherwise healthy printhead or a printhead that may be corrected through remedial measures may increase the costs of manufacturing the printhead as experienced by the manufacturer and passed onto the consumer.

[0014] Remedial measures may include any process, using any device, that corrects the deficiencies of the printhead, and may include, for example, any process or device that renders the fluid homogeneous again as to the concentration of particles therein, a stirring or pumping of the fluid within the printhead, a fluid spitting processes that causes an amount of fluid to be ejected from the printhead, a wiping process wherein an outer surface of the fluidic die of the printhead are wiped, an adjustment of energies applied to the fluid actuators that cause the fluid to be ejected from the printhead, instruction to the user to allow the printhead to remain idle for a period of time to allow air bubbles accumulated within the printhead to dissolve back into the fluid, among other remedial measures

[0015] Further, when users send the printheads back to the manufacturer with a mistakenly perceived malfunction or defect, the manufacturer is not able to determine the exact reason the user sent the printhead back to the manufacturer or the defect that was perceived by the user. This creates the situation where the manufacturer is unable to correct any malfunctions that returned printhead or correct what may be a design issue within the printhead.

[0016] Examples described herein provide an offline fluid ejection detection device, such as, for example, a drive bubble detect (DBD) device.

The fluid ejection detection device may include a chassis separate from a printing device to secure a fluid dispensing device, driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis, and an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.

[0017] The fluid dispensing device may include fluid ejection detection elements including, for example, DBD detection elements within fluidic passageways of the fluid dispensing device. Further, the offline fluid ejection detection device may include a fluid delivery system to supply fluid to the fluid dispensing device, and a spittoon to contain fluid ejected from the fluid dispensing device. Still further, the offline fluid ejection detection device may include memory to store the diagnostic data.

[0018] Examples described herein also provide a system for offline fluid ejection detection. The system may include a fluid dispensing device removably couplabie to a printing device, a chassis separate from the printing device to secure the fluid dispensing device, and driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis. The driver electronics provide instructions to the fluid dispensing device to perform a fluid ejection detection process such as, for example, a drive bubble detect (DBD) process

[0019] Further, the system may include an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results such as DBD functional test results of the fluid dispensing device. A fluid delivery system to supply fluid to the fluid dispensing device and a spittoon to contain fluid ejected from the fluid dispensing device may also be included. The system may further include a graphical user interface to display information to a user regarding the diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results such as, for example, DBD functional test results of the fluid dispensing device. The system may include a data transmission device to transmit data related to detection of the fluid ejection such as drive bubbles within a number of fluid ejection chambers of the fluid dispensing device to a separate data storage device.

[0020] Examples described herein also provide a method of offline fluid ejection detection. The method may use an offline fluid ejection detection device such as, for example, a drive bubble detect (DBD) device, and may include, with driver electronics of the offline fluid ejection detection device, providing instructions to a fluid dispensing device to perform a fluid ejection detection process, the fluid dispensing device being coupled to a chassis separate from a printing device, and storing diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results such as, for example, DBD functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.

[0021] The method may also include, with an input/output (I/O) port of the offline fluid ejection detection device, communicating diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functionality of the fluid dispensing device. Further, the method may include determining if an amount of fluid within the fluid dispensing device is sufficient to perform the fluid ejection detection process, and, in response to a determination that the fluid within the fluid dispensing device is not sufficient to perform the fluid ejection detection process, with a fluid delivery system, providing fluid to the fluid dispensing device. The method may include, with a graphical user interface, displaying information to a user regarding the diagnostic data.

[0022] Turning now to the figures, Fig. 1 is a block diagram of an offline fluid ejection detection device such as, for example, a drive bubble detect (DBD) device (100), according to an example of the principles described herein. The examples described here will be described in connection with the use of a DBD device (100) that utilizes drive bubble detection to determine the functionality of a fluid dispensing device. However, any fluid ejection detection device, system, or method may be used within the offline fluid ejection detection device. The DBD device (100) may include a chassis (101 ) separate from a printing device to secure a fluid dispensing device (102) The chassis (101 ) of the offline DBD device (100) may be any structure that supports a number of elements of the DBD device (100) any may include, for example, a number of sides that form a box-like structure into which the fluid dispensing device (102) may be inserted and secured to other elements of the DBD device (100) The fluid dispensing device (102) may be any device including a printhead, a fluidic die, or other device that ejects or dispenses fluid. The fluid dispensing device (102) may include any mechanical and electrical coupling devices that allow the fluid dispensing device (102) to mechanically couple to the chassis (101 ) and mechanically and electrically couple to other elements of the DBD device (100). The fluid dispensing device (102) is depicted in Fig. 1 and throughout the remainder of the figures in dashed lines so as to indicate that the fluid dispensing device is removably couplable to the chassis (101 ) and removably coup!ab!e to a printing device

[0023] Driver electronics (103) may also be coupled to the chassis (101 ) and positioned with respect to where the fluid dispensing device (102) is coupled to the chassis (101 ) so that the driver electronics (103) can electrically and mechanically couple to the fluid dispensing device (102) as the fluid dispensing device (102) is coupled to the chassis (101 ). This will allow the driver electronics (103) to control the functioning of the fluid dispensing device (102) as it is tested to determine its functionality

[0024] The driver electronics (103) may include processing and memory resources to instruct the fluid dispensing device (102) to actuate a number of actuators to eject fluid from the fluid dispensing device (102) The instructions to the fluid dispensing device (102) may constitute a drive bubble detection (DBD) testing process in which the actuators are instructed to activate to form a drive bubble, and a number of electrodes used to sense the impedance of the fluid and/or air within the fluidic passageways are instructed to activate to detect the impedance. The driver electronics (103) may also obtain information from the fluid dispensing device (102) as a result of the DBD testing process executed, and store data defining the testing results in a memory device located on the fluid dispensing device (102), the DBD device (100), or combinations thereof

[0025] The DBD device (100) may also include an input/output (I/O) port (104) to communicate diagnostic data defining DBD functional test results of the fluid dispensing device (102) The I/O port (104) may be used to send the data defining the testing results to another computing device, the printing device in which the fluid dispensing device (102) is used, a server operated by the manufacturer to provide the manufacturer with access to the data defining the testing results, other computing devices, or combinations thereof

[0026] Fig. 2 is a block diagram of a system (200) for drive bubble detection, according to an example of the principles described herein. The system (200) may include a fluid dispensing device (102) removably coup!ab!e to a printing device. The fluid dispensing device (102) is mechanically coupled to both the printing device in which it is used to print on media as well as the system (200) in which it is functionally tested including drive bubble detection (DBD) testing

[0027] The system (200) also includes a chassis (101 ) separate from the printing device that is used to secure the fluid dispensing device (102). The driver electronics (103) described herein is also coupled to the chassis (101 ) and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device (102) when the fluid dispensing device (102) is secured to the chassis (101 ). The driver electronics (103) provide instructions to the fluid dispensing device (102) to perform a drive bubble detect (DBD) process in order to detect the functionality of the fluid ejection device (102). Details with regard to the system (200) are provided herein.

[0028] Fig. 3 is a block diagram of an offline drive bubble detect (DBD) device (100), according to an example of the principles described herein. The example of the DBD device (100) depicted in Fig. 3 includes several elements that are described above in connection with Fig. 1 , and description of those elements is provided herein in connection with Fig 1 and elsewhere. The DBD device (100) may also include a fluid delivery system (FDS) (301 ). The FDS (301 ) is mechanically coupled to the chassis (101 ) and fiuidicaliy coupled to the fluid dispensing device (301 ). The FDS (301 ) is also eiecfricaliy coupled to the driver electronics (103). The driver electronics (103) may instruct the fluid delivery system to deliver a fluid to the fluid dispensing device (102) to allow the fluid dispensing device (301 ) to dispense the fluid during a DBD testing process. In an example, the fluid dispensing device (102) may include an amount of fluid within its fluidic passageways including, for example, fluidic channels (120) defined within the fluid dispensing device (102). In this example, the DBD testing process may use this amount of fluid present in the fluidic passageways to perform and complete the test. In another example, the amount of fluid contained within the fluid passageways may not be enough to perform or complete the DBD testing process, and, thus, the driver electronics (103) may instruct the fluid delivery system (301 ) to provide the fluid dispensing device (102) with an amount of fluid sufficient to perform and complete the DBD testing process. In one example, the fluid delivery system (301 ) may include a source of fluid, and may utilize this source of fluid to supply the fluid to the fluid dispensing device (102). in one example, in modes where a small quantity of fluid is ejected from the fluid dispensing device (102), an FDS (301 ) is not used, as the fluid within the fluid dispensing device (102) itself may be sufficient for ejection and testing purposes.

[0029] The DBD device (100) may also include a memory device (161 ) incorporated within the fluid dispensing device (102) and a memory device (162) included in the DBD device (100) outside or separate from the fluid dispensing device (102). The memory devices (161 , 162) described herein may be any computer readable medium, a computer readable storage medium, or a non- transifory computer readable medium, among others. For example, the memory devices (161 , 162) described herein may be, but not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, or device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing. More specific examples of the computer readable storage medium may include, for example, the following: an electrical connection having a number of wires, a portable computer diskette, a hard disk, a random-access memory (RAM), a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM or Flash memory), a portable compact disc read-only memory (CD- ROM), an optical storage device, a magnetic storage device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing in the context of this document, a computer readable storage medium may be any tangible medium that can contain, or store computer usable program code for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device in another example, a computer readable storage medium may be any non-transitory medium that can contain or store a program for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device.

[0030] The memory devices (161 , 162) may be controlled by the driver electronics (103) in order to store diagnostic data representing the results of the DBD testing process. Storage of the diagnostic data on the fluid dispensing device (102) allows for the manufacturer to know the results of any and ail DBD tests performed using the DBD device (100) because the diagnostic data from all the DBD testing processes may be stored thereon !f and when the manufacturer obtains the fluid dispensing device (102) through the user sending the fluid dispensing device (102) because of a perceived failure in the fluid dispensing device (102), in order to recycle the fluid dispensing device (102), or for other reasons, the manufacturer may be able to obtain the diagnostic data from the memory device (161 ) to troubleshoot the fluid dispensing device (102), apply a DBD testing process to the fluid dispensing device (102), and determine if any remedial actions may be taken to fix the fluid dispensing device (102).

The memory device (161 ) on the fluid dispensing device (102) may also store other data regarding the use and functioning of the fluid dispensing device (102) such as the number of pages printed using the fluid dispensing device (102), the date of manufacture of the fluid dispensing device (102), whether a correct or appropriate fluid was used within the fluid dispensing device (102), other data, and combinations thereof. The control circuitry (160) within the fluid dispensing device (102) may send instructions to store the diagnostic data to the memory device (161 ). More details regarding the control circuitry (160) of the fluid dispensing device (102) is provided herein. [0031] The memory device (162) included in the DBD device (100) outside or separate from the fluid dispensing device (102) may include the same data that is stored or storable on the memory device (161 ) incorporated within the fluid dispensing device (102). The driver electronics (103) instructions to store the diagnostic data to the memory device (162).

[0032] The memory devices (161 , 162) may also include instructions to perform the DBD testing process, activate the actuators (1 16-1 , 1 16-2, 1 16-n, collectively referred to herein as 1 16) to eject fluid form the nozzles (105-1 , 105- 2, 105-n, collectively referred to herein as 105), activate the electrodes (1 15-1 , 1 15-2, 1 15-n, collectively referred to herein as 1 15) to perform the DBD testing process, communicate diagnostic data to the I/O port (104) to share the diagnostic data with other computing devices, activate the fluid delivery system (301 ), store the diagnostic data on the memory devices (161 , 162), display information represented by the diagnostic data on a graphical user interface (Fig 4, 401 ), perform other functions, and combinations thereof.

[0033] The DBD device (100) may also include a spittoon (302) into which the fluid dispensing device (102) may dispense an amount of fluid during the DBD testing process. The spittoon (302) is placed in a position relative to the nozzles (105) of the fluid dispensing device (102) at which the fluid ejected by the fluid dispensing device (102) may be caught or otherwise contained by the spittoon (302).

[0034] The fluid dispensing device (102) a plurality of fluidic channels (120-1 , 120-2, 120-n, collectively referred to herein as 120). Each fluidic channel (120) may include an electrode (1 15) and an actuator (1 16). The actuators (1 16) may be any device used to eject a volume of the fluid from their corresponding fluid ejection chambers (121-1 , 121-2, 121-n, collectively referred to herein as 121 ), out a nozzle (105), and onto a media, for example. Within Fig. 3 and throughout the remaining description and figures, the designation“n” indicates that any number of that number from one to infinity may exist within the DBD device (100). Throughout the description and figures, the designation “n” indicates that any number of that element from one to infinity may exist within the DBD device (100) and system (200), and the ellipsis in the figures indicates that any number of these elements may be included.

[0035] The actuators (1 18) may be, for example, thermal heating devices used to form a drive bubble of vaporized fluid separated from liquid fluid by a bubble wall. The drive bubble may be used to force the fluid from the fluid ejection chamber (121 ) and out the nozzle (105). Once the drive bubble collapses, additional fluid from a reservoir may flow into the fluid channels (120), and fluid ejection chambers (121 ), replenishing the lost fluid volume from the creation of the drive bubble and the ejection of the fluid. This process may be repeated each time the fluid dispensing device (102) is instructed by the control circuitry (160) to eject fluid.

[0036] In another example, the actuators (1 16) may be piezoelectric actuators to generate a pressure pulse that forces a volume of the fluid (150, 151 ) out of the nozzle (105). In this example, the piezoelectric actuators may Include a piezoelectric material that has a polarization orientation that provides a motion into the fluid ejection chambers (121 ) when and electrical charge is applied to the piezoelectric material.

[0037] In the example of Fig. 3, the electrodes (1 15) and actuators (1 16) are collocated where the actuator (1 16) is underneath the electrode (1 15) with respect to the nozzle (105) as indicated by the dashed lines of the block designating the actuator (1 16). The nozzle (105) is located above the electrode

(1 15) and actuator (1 16) such that the fluid is ejected out of the fluidic channel (120) through the nozzle (105) using the actuator (1 16) and in a direction towards the viewer of Fig. 3. in another example, nozzle (105) may be located off axis with respect to a common alignment axis of the electrode (1 15) and actuator (1 18). Further, In an example, the electrode (1 15) may be located off axis with respect to a common alignment axis of the nozzle (105) and actuator

(1 16) and at another location within the fluidic channel (120).

[0038] In the example of Fig. 3, the DBD device (100) may include a memory device (161 ) used in connection with the control circuitry (180) to control the activation of the electrodes (1 15) and actuators (1 18) within the fluid dispensing device (102). The control circuitry (160) activates the electrodes (1 15) according to the various methods and description provided herein. For example, the control circuitry (160) activates the electrodes (1 15) to measure an impedance of the fluids and the drive bubble within at least one fluidic channel (120) of the fluid dispensing device (102). Further, the control circuitry (160) activates the actuator (1 16) to eject the fluids (150, 151 ) from the fluid dispensing device (102).

[0039] Fig. 4 is a block diagram of a system (200) for drive bubble detection, according to an example of the principles described herein. Those elements identified in Fig. 4 that are also present in Fig. 3 are described herein in connection with Fig. 3 and elsewhere. The example of Fig. 4 also includes a graphical user interface (GUI) (401 ). The GUI (401 ) may be any display device and associated hardware and software that is used to display to a user interactive controls to control the functionality of the system (200) including controls used to instruct the system (200) to perform the DBD testing process, and display information regarding the results of the DBD testing process.

[0040] Fig. 5 is a flowchart showing a method (500) of drive bubble defection, according to an example of the principles described herein. The method (500) may include performing the method with the offline drive bubble detect (DBD) device (100) or the system (200) described herein, and may include, with the driver electronics (103) of the offline DBD device (100), providing (block 501 ) instructions to the fluid dispensing device (102) to perform the DBD testing process. The fluid dispensing device (102) is coupled to the chassis (101 ) separate from a printing device, and, in this manner, may be described as an offline diagnostic device that is used in situations where the associated printing device does not include the hardware and software used to activate the electrodes that are, in turn, used to detect the electrical impedance of the fluid and/or air and that exist within the fluid dispensing device (102).

[0041] The method (500) may also include storing (block 502) the diagnostic data defining DBD functionality of the fluid dispensing device (102) in the memory devices (161 , 162). The storage of this data assists in the determination by the manufacturer or the user as to whether the fluid dispensing device (102) is functioning properly. [0042] Fig. 6 is a flowchart showing a method (800) of drive bubble detection, according to an example of the principles described herein. The method (600) may include performing the method with the offline drive bubble detect (DBD) device (100) or the system (200) described herein, and may include determining (block 601 ) whether the amount of fluid within the fluid dispensing device is sufficient to perform the DBD testing process. The user may remove the fluid dispensing device (102) from the printing device, and couple it to the DBD device (100) or the system (200) described herein the determination at block 601 may then take place, and, in response to a determination (block 601 , determination NO) that there does not exist enough fluid sufficient to perform the DBD testing process, then the driver electronics

(103) may instruct the fluid delivery system (301 ) to provide (block 602) the fluid dispensing device (102) with fluid.

[0043] If, however, there is sufficient fluid in the fluid dispensing device (102) to perform the DBD process (block 601 , determination YES), or after the fluid delivery system (301 ) has provided fluid to the fluid dispensing device (102), the method may include, with the driver electronics (103) of the offline DBD device (100), providing (block 603) instructions to the fluid dispensing device (102) to perform the DBD testing process. The method (600) may also include storing (block 604) the diagnostic data defining DBD functionality of the fluid dispensing device (102) in the memory devices (161 , 162). The storage of this data assists in the determination by the manufacturer or the user as to whether the fluid dispensing device (102) is functioning properly.

[0044] At block 605, the method (600) may include, with an I/O port (104) of the offline DBD device (100), communicating diagnostic data defining the DBD functionality of the fluid dispensing device (102). This diagnostic data may be sent to any other data storage device or computing device. The I/O port

(104) communicates this diagnostic data defining DBD functional test results of the fluid dispensing device (102), and may send the diagnostic data to another computing device, the printing device in which the fluid dispensing device (102) is used, or a server operated by the manufacturer. This will provide the user and the manufacturer with access to the data defining the testing results in order to determine if the fluid dispensing device (102) is or is not defective, or if some remedial measures may be taken to correct any deficiencies in the functioning of the fluid dispensing device (102).

[0045] The method (600) may also include, with a GUI (401 ), displaying (block 606) information to a user regarding the diagnostic data. This assists the user in understanding the reasoning behind the perceived decrease in print quality of the fluid dispensing device (102), and may also provide instructions (block 607) to the user as to what remedial measures may be taken to fix the fluid dispensing device (102). Thus, at block 607, the GUi may present information that instructs the user to take a remedial measure to correct the functioning of the fluid dispensing device such as allowing the fluid dispensing device (102) to sit a while to allow air bubbles to dissolve Into the print fluid, or subject the pen to a form of servicing or maintenance.

[0046] This decreases the likelihood of the user returning the fluid dispensing device (102) to the manufacturer as a defective device resulting in a decrease in loss of time due to the malfunctioning fluid dispensing device (102) and a decrease in costs associated with the returning of the perceived malfunctioning fluid dispensing device (102) and the purchase of a new fluid dispensing device (102). Thus, the user and the manufacturer benefit financially from the use of the DBD device (100) and the system (200) to detect and correct any perceived malfunctions of the fluid dispensing device (102).

[0047] The specification and figures describe an offline fluid ejection detection device such as an offline drive bubble detect (DBD) device. The offline fluid ejection detection device may include a chassis separate from a printing device to secure a fluid dispensing device, driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis, and an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.

[0048] The offline fluid ejection detection devices such as the DBD devices, systems, and methods described herein provide for an increase in quality control for printing devices by allowing a user to detect any malfunctions and take remedial actions to correct the malfunctions. Further, the DBD devices, systems, and methods reduce costs to the user or consumer as well as the manufacturer by reducing the number of fluid dispensing device errantly sent back to the manufacturer with perceived but incorrectly-determined defects. Still further, the DBD devices, systems, and methods provide users of print devices that are incapable of DBD processes to benefit from the DBD processes described herein through utilization of the offline devices and systems. Even still further, the ability to store in memory diagnostic data defining a level of functionality of the fluid dispensing device allows for the acquisition by the manufacturer of data that is helpful in perfecting the fluid dispensing devices and printheads.

[0049] The preceding description has been presented to illustrate and describe examples of the principles described. This description is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit these principles to any precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching.

18

Claims

CLAIMS WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. An offline fluid ejection detection device, comprising:
a chassis separate from a printing device to secure a fluid dispensing device;
driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis; and
an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.
2. The offline fluid ejection detection device of claim 1 , wherein the fluid dispensing device comprises drive bubble defect (DBD) elements.
3. The offline fluid ejection defection device of claim 2, wherein the fluid ejection detection elements comprise drive bubble detect (DBD) elements.
4. The offline fluid ejection detection device of claim 1 , comprising a spittoon to contain fluid ejected from the fluid dispensing device.
5. The offline fluid ejection detection device of claim 1 , comprising memory to store the diagnostic data.
6. A system for offline fluid ejection detection, comprising:
a fluid dispensing device removably couplable to a printing device;
a chassis separate from the printing device to secure the fluid dispensing device; and
driver electronics coupled to the chassis and positioned to electrically interface with the fluid dispensing device when the fluid dispensing device is secured to the chassis, wherein the driver electronics provide instructions to the fluid dispensing device to perform a fluid ejection detection process.
7. The system of claim 6, comprising an input/output (I/O) port to communicate diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.
8. The system of claim 6, comprising a fluid delivery system to supply fluid to the fluid dispensing device.
9. The system of claim 6, comprising a spittoon to contain fluid ejected from the fluid dispensing device.
10. The system of claim 6, comprising a graphical user interface to display information to a user regarding the diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device.
1 1. The system of claim 6, comprising a data transmission device to transmit data related to detection of the fluid ejection within a number of fluid ejection chambers of the fluid dispensing device to a separate data storage device.
12. A method of offline fluid ejection detection, comprising, with an offline fluid ejection detection device:
with driver electronics of the offline fluid ejection detection device, providing instructions to a fluid dispensing device to perform a fluid ejection defection process, the fluid dispensing device being coupled to a chassis separate from a printing device;
storing diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functional test results of the fluid dispensing device. 13 The method of claim 12, comprising, with an input/output (!/O) port of the offline fluid ejection detection device, communicating diagnostic data defining fluid ejection functionality of the fluid dispensing device.
14 The method of claim 12, comprising:
determining if an amount of fluid within the fluid dispensing device is sufficient to perform the fluid ejection detection process; and
in response to a determination that the fluid within the fluid dispensing device is not sufficient to perform the fluid ejection detection process, with a fluid delivery system, providing fluid to the fluid dispensing device.
15 The method of claim 12, comprising, with a graphical user interface, displaying information to a user regarding the diagnostic data.
PCT/US2018/028313 2018-04-19 2018-04-19 Fluid ejection detection WO2019203832A1 (en)

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Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050243138A1 (en) * 1999-12-09 2005-11-03 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printhead assembly with modular detachable printheads
US20070277057A1 (en) * 2003-12-23 2007-11-29 Peter Braun Method And Control Device For Displaying Diagnosis Data Of A Printer Or Copier
US20110025758A1 (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-03 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printing system with spittoon and aerosol collection
US20170043573A1 (en) * 2014-04-25 2017-02-16 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Nozzle condition evaluation

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050243138A1 (en) * 1999-12-09 2005-11-03 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printhead assembly with modular detachable printheads
US20070277057A1 (en) * 2003-12-23 2007-11-29 Peter Braun Method And Control Device For Displaying Diagnosis Data Of A Printer Or Copier
US20110025758A1 (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-03 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printing system with spittoon and aerosol collection
US20170043573A1 (en) * 2014-04-25 2017-02-16 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Nozzle condition evaluation

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