By: Regina Ramazzini

TechConnect interviews the "Inkjet" Symposium Chair, Chris Menzel, a Principal Technologist, at FujiFilm Dimatix. The symposium will take place at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference in May 2017.

  Chris Mensel

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role within your organization.

Chris Menzel of FujiFilm Dimatix, a design and manufacturing company for industrial inkjet applications, is a physicist involved in Sensor/Actuator design for the past 31yrs focusing heavily on MEMS processing. At FujiFilm Dimatix, as a Principal Technologist, he fills the dual role of inkjet design and coordination of technology development within Fujifilm Dimatix.

Chris has been involved with the TechConnect conference in a variety of capacities since its 1st incarnation, almost 20 years ago in Santa Clara CA. For the last 9 years he has also organized an inkjet symposium.

According to Chris, this conference has kept its finger on the pulse of technological innovation: It's been a fascinating experience watching and learning as new realms of science develop into technologies deployed out into the commercial world.

Please tell us about your symposium entitled, "Inkjet Symposium" - what are the areas of greatest interest/excitement in this field, and what type of applications are possible?

The Inkjet Symposium attempts to match concrete achievements with the vision of inkjet as a manufacturing method of the future. This is especially exciting now since there are many examples where inkjet printing technology has transitioned out of the research labs and into either development labs or into the market place. The range of activities is astounding spanning electronics ranging from bio applications.

What can we expect to see from innovation and applications in the next 5-10 years?

The pace of technological development will continue unabated. The biggest change will come for the adoption of inkjet as a “standard” manufacturing process within this time period. In turn, adoption will spur the development of more and different functional fluids to address an ever-expanding list of applications. For example, as the complexity of printed items increases, electrical components will be combined to make circuits. Biology will be integrated with electronics, as well as combing 3-D structural printing with electronics.

Please tell us about the Sensors symposium you chair at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference. What topics are you focusing on, and who are the invited speakers?


Inkjet technology is a well known and highly developed processing technology (printed media) that is widening its application space to include information transfer beyond color and location. In this role, device level information related to 3-dimension position and structure is used to generate functional components. Jetting of many of the basic building blocks for devices systems (conductors, polymers, insulators) has been demonstrated in the years past and now comes the extremely exciting phase where devices & systems can be imagined and fabricated to probe the market value of new capabilities.

Along these lines this year's invited speakers will be discussing various applications. For example, Dr. Lanceros-Méndez from IKERBASQUE, Bilbao, Spain will be presenting on inkjet printing of active polymers on flexible substrates and highlighting the smart devices that can be thus fabricated. In a similar vein, Dr. Pooran Joshi, of Oak Ridge National Labs will be presenting on sensor fabrication technologies and methodologies for flexible substrates using inkjet technology.

Is there anything else you would like to say about your program at the upcoming TechConnect World Innovation Conference?

The attendance of the inkjet symposium has grown steadily over the years commensurate with the progress that has been made in inkjet based processing. When this symposium started 9 years ago, presentations were focused more on the basic tools of inkjet printing (jets, vision system, material systems), whereas now presentations report on the fabrication of complex devices (High dielectric constant capacitors, PVDF) fabricated from multiple materials acting together to provide complex functions.