Redefining how we quantify printer resolution

We often make the mistake of using hardware specs for determining a printer’s quality.  That is, when we refer to a machine’s resolution, what we are really saying is what the manufacturer has told us about the quality of its components.  For a laser-based printer, that would be beam diameter and for a DLP printer, that would be number of pixels in the projector.  Instead, what we should be looking at is the quality of the actual prints that come from any given machine.  Rather than determining a machine’s quality based on product descriptions, we should measure the smallest (positive and negative) features it can print.

We have produced a ‘test artifact’ that consists of arrays of posts and holes in walls.  By running this model through a printer and examining the results, we can see which features the machine is able to successfully print.  Since we know the exact diameters of the posts and holes in the model, identifying the point at which the printer can no longer produce accurate results is fairly straight forward.

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