Stop Your Printer From BlockingLet’s be honest it can be quite annoying when your printer is blocked and you’ve not used your printer for a while. Well thats because your ink cartridge dries and causes the print heads nozzles to block, this can seriously reduce the quality in your work not to mention costing you time and money to get it fixed.

Well some clever boffins from the University of Missouri are here to save the day, they’ve found a way to prevent you printer from clogging...by mimicking the human eye.

I suppose if you think about it the eye and the inkjet nozzle both have the same problem: they must stay lubricated while simultaneously opening. Using biomimicry, which is the imitation of nature to solve human problems, the scientists of Missouri University were able to create a cleaning process that does just that.

Similar to the film of oil that keeps the layer of tears in our eyes from evapourating, the boffins created a film of silicone oil covers the opening of the inkjet nozzle when it’s not in use this keeps the nozzle moist so the ink doesn’t dry therefore doesnt get blocked.

The cleaning process doesn’t end oh no, it also mimicks the way eyelids blink by using electrical fields to move the oil in and out of position when the nozzle isn’t being used.

Currently when an inkjet printer has being idle for some time it will warm up. As the printer warms up it will use ink from your ink cartridge which cycles around your printer making sure there are no clogs, a bit like bleach unblocking your kitchen sink. So in theory this new improved cleaning method will not only save you time but will save you money on purchasing additional ink cartridges.

Another plus is that this new method might give ink cartridges a more realistic page yield, I hardly ever get the stated amount of pages out of my ink cartridges, but the big question is will the printer manufacturers apply it to their printers?

I for one honestly don’t think so, printer manufacturers these days tend to lose money on getting their printers in your home and office as they make their money back with you buying the the consumables such as ink and toner cartridges. I just can’t see them introducing this method as it’ll stop you the buyer purchasing additional ink cartridges more often. Lets hope I am proved wrong.

Other than that it’s a great bit of technology.

Jon Hartley; Product Development Specialist at Toner Giant who supply Brother toner cartridges to consumers and businesses in the UK. In his free time, Jon loves to visit the cinema to keep up with the latest movies (especially the Marvel ones!).