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Method to Provide a Multi-Pass Color Printing With a Multi-Line Print Head

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039227D
Original Publication Date: 1987-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Czyszczewski, JS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes method for using a multiple track color ribbon with a multi-line print head, i.e., a print head with a vertical height such as to span multiple print lines. The method disclosed does not require precise vertical alignment of the ribbon with respect to the print head, nor does it require the use of a ribbon shift mechanism. (Image Omitted) A typical resistive ribbon thermal transfer print head consists of a column of 40 printing electrodes at a vertical spacing of 1/240th inch. This head allows the printing of a 1/6th-inch-wide swath of text or graphics across the page with each pass of the print head. The print head described consists of a column of 160 printing electrodes and is capable of printing four lines (2/3rds inch) with each pass. Two types of ribbons can be used with the print head.

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Method to Provide a Multi-Pass Color Printing With a Multi-Line Print Head

This article describes method for using a multiple track color ribbon with a multi- line print head, i.e., a print head with a vertical height such as to span multiple print lines. The method disclosed does not require precise vertical alignment of the ribbon with respect to the print head, nor does it require the use of a ribbon shift mechanism.

(Image Omitted)

A typical resistive ribbon thermal transfer print head consists of a column of 40 printing electrodes at a vertical spacing of 1/240th inch. This head allows the printing of a 1/6th-inch-wide swath of text or graphics across the page with each pass of the print head. The print head described consists of a column of 160 printing electrodes and is capable of printing four lines (2/3rds inch) with each pass. Two types of ribbons can be used with the print head. One ribbon is used for monochrome printing and consists of four tracks, or bands, of black ink. Each of the tracks across the width of the ribbon is aligned with one of the four sets of 40 electrodes on the print head. The other type of ribbon is used for color printing. This ribbon consists of three color tracks and a black ink track. Each of the color tracks is assigned to one of the three primary additive or subtractive colors. The multi-line print head is used with the color ribbon for color text or graphics applications. In the text mode, color printing is accomplished by buffering four lines of text and printing the characters in each line that match the color of the ribbon track that is aligned with the line. The vertical relationship between the print head, ribbon, and writing lines to accomplish this is illustrated in Fig. 1. The paper is then indexed by one line, and the characters in each line that are of the same color as the next color track are printed by making another pass of the print head. This method may require as many as four passes of the print head if the colors on all four of the ribbon tracks are required to print a line. However, since portions of four lines are printed with each pass of the print head, the net result is that one line is printed per pass. Printing most text characters with the multi-line print head and multi-track ribbon does not present a ribbon-to- print head alignment problem. Printing graphics and special characters does present a problem since all of the electrodes in a line often need to be used. Most text characters do not use the electrodes near the top and bottom of a line while vertical lines or special large graphic characters often use the electrodes at the line boundaries. Using these electrodes presents a problem since, due to manufacturing tolerances, the color tracks on the ribbon are not exactly 1/6th inch to match the 40 electrodes on a line. In addition, the color boundaries between the tracks cannot be precisely aligned with the line boundaries as defined by the four groups of 40 ele...