Browse Prior Art Database

Head for Color-Resistive Ribbon Printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000044339D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Myers, RA: AUTHOR

Abstract

Future computer output printers are likely to be required to print alphanumeric and image data in multicolor and, most likely, to do so with reasonable fidelity. Today, there are few available ways of doing this. Color printing based on electrostatic printing has been demonstrated, but it is very complex and expensive. Color ink jet printing is feasible, albeit with many technical problems, but also appears to be difficult and complex. Color (image) impact matrix printing is limited in print quality and performance. Resistive ribbon for printing color images can readily be produced; however, no one has yet demonstrated a convenient, compact head structure that one could use with the most elementary ribbon approach -- namely, a different head, ribbon feed, and ribbon cartridge for each color.

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Head for Color-Resistive Ribbon Printing

Future computer output printers are likely to be required to print alphanumeric and image data in multicolor and, most likely, to do so with reasonable fidelity. Today, there are few available ways of doing this. Color printing based on electrostatic printing has been demonstrated, but it is very complex and expensive. Color ink jet printing is feasible, albeit with many technical problems, but also appears to be difficult and complex. Color (image) impact matrix printing is limited in print quality and performance. Resistive ribbon for printing color images can readily be produced; however, no one has yet demonstrated a convenient, compact head structure that one could use with the most elementary ribbon approach -- namely, a different head, ribbon feed, and ribbon cartridge for each color. Nor has anyone yet demonstrated a more elegant, practical approach. The following sets forth a straightforward head design for a three- ribbon printer. The print head in its simplest form is an array of wires -- from 8 to 40 or more -- in close proximity to an area electrode which is ordinarily grounded. Current flows from a chosen wire, through the ribbon (which heats up due to the current flow in its resistive layer), to the area electrode. The hot ribbon melts a thermoplastic toner, which flows to the paper, forming a spot. The heat/ribbon/paper combination must be in intimate contact, with a moderate pressure forcing the ribbon against the paper. In a serial printer, one would usually expect to feed a resistive ribbon to the head by reasonably well-known techniques. However, these techniques are not desirable if one wishes to place several resistive ribbon print heads in close proximity, as one would like to do in an interactive color printer, for example. In that example, closely spaced heads allow superior visibility of the print line. Closely spaced heads are also desirable for other reasons, for example, to provide a simple, self-aligned mechanical structure and to simplify the electronic synchronization problem. The simplest way to print in color is to design a printer which has the ability to print marks of different colors at every spot. This can easily be done by having, for example, one head and three ribbons, and printing each line three times -- switching the ribbon from one color to the other after each pass. One could also have a multicolor ribbon, and move the ribbon up and down to change color. This is mecha...