How the Canon ink cartridge works

Consider the design of an inkjet cartridge with a built-in printhead. Structurally, it looks simple and consists of the following main elements:

  1. Plastic case.
  2. Contact area
  3. Nozzles (print head)
  4. Absorbent material to hold ink.

We can say that the device of an inkjet cartridge resembles a felt-tip pen, only more complex, electronic. Now let’s open such a cartridge and look at these elements (photo below). An inkjet cartridge with a piezoelectric type of printing Canon 51 color was taken to tear to pieces


Separating the top cover from the cartridge:


There are three compartments under the lid for each color. (Unlike black and white, it only has one black ink compartment). The compartments are completely separated from each other by partitions, and superabsorbent material is inserted into each. In compartment 1 – magenta ink, in compartment 2 – cyan, in compartment 3 – yellow. All other colors and shades are formed from them.



The absorbent rollers are in contact with a special receiving pad, which transfers ink to the nozzles through capillaries. In the photo below, this site is clearly visible.


Through the electronic contact pad, the cartridge receives control pulses from the printer control board. And in accordance with their commands, the print nozzles “shoot” ink onto the paper. It is important that the contact area of ​​the cartridge and printer are clean. If the contact is poor, the printer displays a “cartridge error” message.


And this cartridge module is the most complex one. This is the built-in printhead. Nozzles are located on its surface. They are so small that a microscope would be needed to view them. But more on that in another article. Drying of ink in the nozzles is a common cause of poor print quality. Also, in the absence of ink, they burn out from overheating, so do not try to print with an empty cartridge. Each color has its own set of nozzles.



And this is how the procedure for refilling the cartridge looks like if it were not for the case.


The main difference between inkjet cartridges without a built-in printhead is that, as the name implies, they do not have a printhead. And as a rule, there is a separate cartridge for each color – usually there are 4 cartridges in a set (black, cyan, magenta, yellow).

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