Original Publication Date: 1998-Aug-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-08
Xerox Disclosure Journal
Disclosed is an embosser adaptable as a finishing feature for use with, for example, printing and copying machines. The embosser comprises a supporting plate, a field or array pins as pixels that are slidably mounted to the supporting plate. Optionally, the embosser can include a back plate with, for example, a pliable or compressible rubber or elastomer coated surface, which receives a paper document followed by the protruding pin array during a press or embossing operation. The embosser pin array function is analogous to a commercially available novelty known as "PINPRESSIONSTM." The pin field is programmed to activate selected pins to slidably protrude from the remaining pin array to form a protruding or raised pin image and to perform the embossing function, for example, to emboss a printed image or a printed document issuing from a printer or copier, wherein the embosser with protruding pins is brought into close contact and are briefly pressed together with a printed document thereby forming an embossed image thereon. The pins may be any suitable diameter. Smaller diameter pins can be selected when greater detail or greater embossed image resolution is desired. Further, the pins can be blunt or sharp to provide additional latitude in the embossed image structure and texture. Still further, sharp pins may be employed in conjunction with high press force to, partially or fully, punch through activated pin elements on the document. The embosser may be applied to the front, rear, or both surfaces of the printed document to form impressions as depressions and or raised embossed structure accordingly. The embosser provides three dimensional imaging capability to conventional two dimensional imaged prints, and can be readily adapted to virtually any printer or copier analogous to many other finishing devices, such as, staplers, binders, hole punchers, and the like. Alternatively, the embosser may be a free standing device suitable for off-line embossing of documents.