A thermal ink jet printhead of the type which expels droplets on demand towards a recording medium from nozzles located above and generally parallel with the bubble generating heating elements contained therein is disclosed, together with fabrication processes therefor. The droplets are propelled along trajectories that are perpendicular to the heating element surfaces and from nozzles located in the printhead roof; such configuration is generally referred to as "roofshooter". Each printhead comprises a silicon heater plate and a fluid directing structural member. The heater plate has a linear array of heating elements associated addressing electrodes, and an elongated ink fill hole parallel with the heating element array. The structural member contains at least one recessed cavity, a plurality of nozzles, and a plurality of parallel walls within the recessed cavity which define individual ink channels for directing ink to the nozzles. The recessed cavity and fill hole are in communication with each other and form the ink reservoir within the printhead. The ink holding capacity of the fill hole is larger than that of the recessed cavity. The fill hole is precisely formed and positioned within the heater plate by anisotropic etching. The structural member may be fabricated either from two layers of photoresist, a two-stage flat nickel electroform, or a single photoresist layer and a single stage flat nickel electroform.