Inkjet printing is an attractive method for patterning and fabricating objects directly from design or image files without the need for masks, patterns, or dies. In order to achieve this with metals or ceramics, it is often necessary to print them as highly concentrated suspensions of powders in liquids. Such liquid suspensions must have physical properties appropriate to the inkjet delivery mechanism. These properties are presented using a nondimensional formalism to illustrate the requirements for both drop formation and spreading on impact. Further critical issues relevant to inkjet printing of particulate suspensions are discussed and illustrated with experiments on a model alumina-containing colloidal suspension.
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