More and more, Large Format and 3D printers include more difficult inks/agents to maintain
them healthy (due to pigment settling, ink aging, etc.) and Ink Delivery Systems have tried to
overcome this challenge with complex recirculation systems that recirculate ink through the
tubes, cartridges, tanks and even through the printhead.
However, such systems are very complex, with a lot of hardware components, complicated
algorithms and overall, too expensive for some printer segments.
Some printers with a high printing usage do not need to recirculate through all the system, and
only ink mixing in the Intermediate Tank would be required, as this is the largest volume of ink
that is stored in the printer.
This new disclosure presents a new Ink Delivery System that includes a method to keep the ink
pigment mixed in the Intermediate Tank. The Intermediate Tank is an internal buffer of ink in
the printer, and it is where most of pigment settling occurs.
The invention relies on having two intermediate tanks per color and moving ink between the two
to mix completely the ink. The solution is based on pressurizing only one intermediate tank
through its air pressure system and swapping between the two by a 3‐way valve.
This system offers several advantages, as the only additional hardware added is in the air side
and does not require any sensors or other valves in contact with the ink.
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INC, HP, "INK DELIVERY SYSTEM WITH INTERMEDIATE TANK INK MIXING FEATURE", Technical Disclosure Commons, (October 04, 2021)