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Printhead Pressure Adjustment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244564D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-21
Document File: 3 page(s) / 112K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Print quality with a printer is dependent upon a number of factors ranging from printhead temperature in a thermal printer, print speed, printhead pressure, etc. While print speed and printhead temperature can be software controlled, printhead pressure adjustment is generally a manual process. However, printhead pressure adjustment can be cumbersome for end users. It is desirable to have a more user-friendly mechanism for adjusting the pressure of a printhead.

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Printhead Pressure Adjustment

    Print quality with a printer is dependent upon a number of factors ranging from printhead temperature in a thermal printer, print speed, printhead pressure, etc. While print speed and printhead temperature can be software controlled, printhead pressure adjustment is generally a manual process. However, printhead pressure adjustment can be cumbersome for end users. It is desirable to have a more user-friendly mechanism for adjusting the pressure of a printhead.

    Embodiments provided herein provide a more user-friendly mechanism for adjusting printhead pressure in a printer. One principle behind this method is based on touchscreen technology developed by Tactus Technology. The Tactus Tactile Layer ™ panel provides a user interface with real, physical buttons, guidelines, or shapes that rise out of the surface of a touchscreen on demand. The Tactile Layer component is a completely flat, transparent, dynamic layer that sits on top of the touch sensor and display. When triggered, this thin layer deforms and buttons or shapes of a specific height, size, and firmness, appear on the surface. A user can feel, depress, and use these physical buttons just like they would use keys on a keyboard. When the buttons are no longer needed, the buttons recede into the surface and become invisible.

    According to embodiments of the present invention, the transparent tactile layer can be placed strategically on top of the printhead surface. When pressure adjustment is required, software can invoke different shapes or buttons to rise up from the tactile layer and apply pressure on the printhead by controlling the heights of the protruded buttons/shapes. This may result in uniform pressure adjustment across the printhead as opposed to a conventional sectional printhead pressure adjustment.

Technology Overview

    The Tactus Tactile layer surface is easy to integrate as the tactile panel replaces the glass or plastic layer that sits on top of a touch sensor and display on a touchscreen.


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The layer is essentially a thin, flat, smooth, and transparent cover layer varying in thickness from about 0.75mm to 1mm.

Made of a thin multi-layer stack, the top-most layer consists of an optically clear polymer. A number of micro-holes connect the top layers of the panel to a series of micro-channels that run through the underlying substrate. The micro-channels are filled with a fluid whose optical index of refraction matches that of the surrounding material, making it fully and evenly transparent when light from...