Browse Prior Art Database

Vector DATA Plotting for Printers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047011D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bergman, LS: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A low-cost hardware circuit is described which will enable matrix-type printers to plot vector data. The data to be plotted can be precomputed and stored in the printer or can be transmitted from a host computer system. The former is useful for preprinted forms and the latter, for producing engineering drawings or adding illustrations to text-processed prints. The precomputed data supplies the capability for storing forms in a printer and for merging the alphanumeric data to be displayed on the form so that formatted displays can be produced without the need for storing a large number of forms. Graphic data can also be printed in a variety of forms, such as from a CAD/CAM system on the printer. The hardware to be added to a raster-scan printer, such as the IBM Model 6670 Information Distributor, is illustrated in Fig. 1.

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Vector DATA Plotting for Printers

A low-cost hardware circuit is described which will enable matrix-type printers to plot vector data. The data to be plotted can be precomputed and stored in the printer or can be transmitted from a host computer system. The former is useful for preprinted forms and the latter, for producing engineering drawings or adding illustrations to text-processed prints. The precomputed data supplies the capability for storing forms in a printer and for merging the alphanumeric data to be displayed on the form so that formatted displays can be produced without the need for storing a large number of forms. Graphic data can also be printed in a variety of forms, such as from a CAD/CAM system on the printer. The hardware to be added to a raster-scan printer, such as the IBM Model 6670 Information Distributor, is illustrated in Fig. 1. The amount of hardware required is small and does not require an increase of the power supply capacity. The details of operation of the system shown in Fig. 1 are supplied for illustrative purposes, the system for other arrangements being adaptable to the requirements of the particular system. The graphic data can be supplied by an engineering graphics program that generates the drawing on a display terminal with a light pen. The resulting vector data can then be converted to raster-scan format by another program, and the resulting data run-length encoded for transmission to the hardware shown. For purposes of illustration, an implementation for producing graphics on a laser-modulated electrophotostatic printer will be described. In this type of printer, a photoconductor surface is initially charged. The surface is then selectively discharged using a laser which scans the surface by successive rows or columns. The points on the photoconductor surface that correspond to white areas on the print are discharged by the laser. A toner, or thermoplastic ink, is applied to the surface and is retained in the charged portions. The toner is then transferred to a paper sheet by electrostatic means, and the toner is fused into the paper by a heat process. The graphic data is prepared by a host processor and encoded into run-length information. The run-length coding comprises successive binary count values that represent the number of successive white and black pels (picture elements). The white pel count keeps the laser turned on so as to discharge the part of the scan that is to be white, whereas the black...