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Elevating Hummink’s nanoprinting technologies to industrial grade

Hummink, an Ecole Normale Supérieure Physics Laboratory start-up, has developed the HP Cap, the world’s smallest fountain pen capable of depositing any ink on any substrate. This technology targets the printed electronics and semiconductor markets, achieving unrivaled resolutions from 100 nanometers to 50 microns.

Despite its innovative achievements, Hummink has faced significant software challenges that have limited its ability to scale. Seeking to overcome these obstacles, Hummink partnered with Fieldbox to enhance its software for industrial deployment.


The challenge

Hummink’s initial software was rudimentary, and lacked the sophistication needed for industrial-scale applications, which posed several problems:

  • Converter development: Hummink needed a solution to convert vector formats to printer-compatible code, while minimizing pipette lifts, which could damage delicate equipment and risk drying out the ink. Optimizing pipette trajectories was crucial to improving printing efficiency and precision.
  • Automation through computer vision: Manual pipette positioning was labor-intensive and error-prone. Automating this process using computer vision was essential to improve accuracy and operational efficiency and avoid risk of breakage.

Fieldbox Proposition

Fieldbox assembled a specialized team to address these challenges:

  • API-Connected Python Software Development: A multi-skilled team developed a Python-based software connected via API to streamline data integration and enhance functionality, enabling seamless communication between various system components, while focusing on minimizing pipette lifts and travel distance.
  • Computer Vision Integration: Fieldbox’s computer vision expert created a segmentation model to automate pipette positioning, accurately calculating its distance from the substrate.

Results and Benefits

The collaboration between Hummink and Fieldbox resulted in significant advancements:

Enhanced Software Quality

The software’s quality, maintainability, and functionality improved, making it suitable for industrial use.

Increased Efficiency

Automation reduced manual interventions, speeding up operations and enhancing reliability.

Innovation and Competitiveness

Integrating advanced data science and computer vision capabilities positioned Hummink as an innovation leader in nano-printing technology.

"This collaboration with Fieldbox has given us a significant competitive advantage, enabling us to develop robust software that we can effectively market and promote through the use of Nazca."
Amin M'Barki CEO, Hummink