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Ink jet in Cambridge (and everywhere else)

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Publicity Officer, IMechE Beds & Cambs area.

Cambridge is one of the few clusters of ink jet technology in the world, although as with most things it came about and has grown as much by accident as design. There are a large number of local companies advancing the use of ink jet for a wide range of disruptive industrial applications.

This talk will illustrate the growth and achievements of ink jet in Cambridge, and also describe how the technology has evolved worldwide. A lot of progress has been achieved by taking advantage of new manufacturing processes – starting from basic designs in the 1970s made in a standard metal workshop to the MEMS fabrication processes used today.

Ink jet is also much more than printing images, and is being used for such diverse applications as printed electronics, displays, sensors, solar panels, smart textiles, a wide range of bio-medical applications and of course the latest much hyped idea: 3D printing.

Mike Willis founded Pivotal Resources (, a consultancy in the digital printing industry, in 1995. He has experience in a wide range of technologies and markets including drop-on-demand and continuous ink jet printing, electro-photographic technology, greyscale and colour reproduction methods and light sensitive materials.

Prior to founding Pivotal Resources, Mike was Director of Electronic Printing at Meta Generics. He was a founder member of Xaar – a spin-off company from Cambridge Consultants where Mike spent ten years working in a number of roles, culminating as Group Leader of Non-Impact Printing. Before that, he spent six years at Gestetner developing photocopiers.

Mike Willis graduated from the Polytechnic of Central London with an honours degree in Photographic Sciences.

Time: Refreshments served from 18.30. Talk starts at 19.00. Ends around 20.30 following questions and discussion.

Venue: Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University, Alan Reece Building, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0FS . Directions to the IfM are at There is ample free parking in the IfM’s carpark beside the building; the carpark entrance is just past the IfM’s service road.

Free to attend. Registration not required. All welcome.

This talk is open to the public and is suitable for students and engineers. You are encouraged to bring with you colleagues, friends and members of your family who are interested in engineering.

This talk is part of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Cambridgeshire Area) series.

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