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Publication numberUS3209681 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1965
Filing dateOct 4, 1963
Priority dateOct 4, 1963
Publication numberUS 3209681 A, US 3209681A, US-A-3209681, US3209681 A, US3209681A
InventorsSanborn Alfred W
Original AssigneeGen Precision Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotary print head with selective character forming dies
US 3209681 A
Images(4)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 5, 1965 A. w. SANBORN 3,209,681

ROTARY PRINT HEAD WITH SELECTIVE CHARACTER FORMING DIES Filed Oct. 4, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet l l/VVE/VTOR Fl 6. 4. 41mm 1% 5/44 80,?

A TTOR/VE Y Oct. 5, 1965 w. SANBQRN 3,209,681

ROTARY PRINT HEAD WITH SELECTIVE CHARACTER FORMING DIES Filed 001;. 4, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 5. FIG. 6.

lnlr Ribbon Take -up 46 Paper Roll Take-up 722 Logic v To Logic 7'0 Log/c Network We fwor/r To Logic Network Oct. 5, 1965 A. w. SANBORN ROTARY PRINT HEAD WITH SELECTIVE CHARACTER FORMING DIES Filed Oct. 4, 1963 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 FIG. [0.

CHIHAOTE INVENTOR Alf/FM If. MM?

A TTOR/VE Y United States Patent 3,209,681 RDTARY PRINT HEAD WITH SELECTIVE CHARACTER FORMING DIES Alfred W. Sanborn, North Hollywood, Calif., assignor to General Precision, In.c., a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 4, 1963, Ser. No. 313,930 19 Claims. (Cl. 10193) The present invention relates to printing mechanisms, and it relates more particularly to a high-speed printer which is capable of providing a printed record with a minimum of components parts.

The improved high-speed printing mechanism of the invention is capable, for example, of providing an alphanumeric printed record, and one containing other symbols, by synthesizing each of the alpha-numeric and/or other symbols from four basic dies.

The synthesis is accomplished in the embodiment of the invention to be described by rotating a printing head which includes, in the embodiment to be described, four spring loaded printing dies. In order to build up any desired symbol, alpha-numeric or otherwise, one or more of the dies are struck at appropriate times and moved longitudinally against the spring bias to an extended position during each complete rotation of the printing head. In this manner, the impressions of the dies, struck for each particular symbol, are caused to be imprinted on the recording medium at different angular positions of the printing head, so that the various symbols may be properly synthesized.

An object of the present invention, therefore, is to provide an improved alpha-numeric character printing mech anism which is extremely rapid in its operation, and yet which is simple in its construction and which utilizes a minimum of moving parts.

Another object of the invention is to provide such an improved character printing mechanism which is relatively simple to operate; and one which may be constnlcted inexpensively and sold at a relatively low price.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide such an improved high-speed printing mechanism which is extremely accurate and precise in its operation.

A still further object of the invention is to provide such an improved high-speed printing mechanism which is extremely rapid in its operation; and which is capable of achieving printing speeds many times the capabilities of existing comparable mechanisms, so as to render the printing mechanism of the invention especially suitable for use with high speed automatic calculating, computing, communicating, and other types of systems.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective representation of one embodiment of the high-speed printing mechanism of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective showing of the printing dies which are used in the mechanism of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an end view of the dies of FIGURE 2, grouped together in the rotatable printing head of the mechanism of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a schematic representation of the various steps by which the printing dies of FIGURES 2 and 3 may be selectively actuated during a complete revolution of the printing head so as to synthesize, by way of example, the character A;

3,289,681 Patented Oct. 5, 1965 FIGURE 5 is a plan view, partly in section, and illustrating in a somewhat schematic manner, the operating components of the printing mechanism of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 6 is an end view of the mechanism of FIG- URE 5, taken substantially on the line 66 of FIG- URE 5;

FIGURE 7 is an end view of certain ones of the operating components of the mechanism of FIGURE 5, taken substantially on the line 7-7 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 8 is an opposite end view of the components of FIGURE 7, taken substantially on the line 88 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 9 is a block diagram representative of an electric control system for use in conjunction with the mechanism; and

FIGURE 10 is a table explaining the manner in which the various printing dies are actuated during the individual rotations of the printing head, so as to synthesize various alpha-numeric and other symbols.

A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIGURE 1 and includes a base 10. A supporting shelf 12 is mounted on the base 10 by means, for example, of a plurality of upright posts 14. The entire assembly may be enclosed in a suitable housing, as represented by the dotted lines 16.

The mechanism of FIGURE 1 includes an elongated cylindrical printing head 18 which is rotatably mounted in a printing mechanism, the printing mechanism being shown in more detail in FIGURES 5-8. The printing mechanism is enclosed in a suitable housing 20. An electric motor 22 has its drive shaft extending into the housing and coupled to the head 18. The motor is energized to provide rotation for the printing head 18.

As mentioned above, the improved printing mechanism of the invention may be used in conjunction with automatic devices and systems of various types. In addition, the mechanism may be manually controlled. An appropriate keyboard mechanism 24 is provided for manual control purposes.

The rotatable printing head 18 has a group of four elongated, rectangular-shaped, printing dies, or punches, mounted in it. These dies are shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, and are designated as 30, 32, 34 and 36, respectively. It will be noted that each of the printing dies has a protruding boss or face 31 on its forward end. The dies 30, 32 and 34, for example, have a face 31 formed across the upper portion of their respective forward ends, and the die 36 has a diagonal face extending across its forward end, as shown.

The dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 are mounted in the rotatable cylindrical printing head 18 of FIGURE 1 for rotation as a unit with the head 18. In addition, each of the dies may be longitudinally moved individually and selectively parallel to the axis of rotation of said head 18 from a retracted or stand-by position in the head to an extended printing position.

A first reel mechanism, including a supply reel 40 and a take-up reel 42, draws an inked ribbon 44 along a path adjacent the forward faces of the dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 in the printing head 18, and traversing the longitudinal axis of the head.

Likewise, a take-up reel 46 and a supply reel 48 serve to draw a paper tape 50 along a path adjacent the inked ribbon 44. The take-up reels 42 and 46 may be driven by a motor 52, through an appropriate gear box 54.

A stationary cylindrical shaped platen 56 is mounted on the shelf 12, and this platen serves as a back-stop for the inked ribbon 44 and paper tape 50. Whenever any one of the dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 is moved to its extended printing position, the face of that die strikes the inked ribbon 44 and moves it and the tape 50 against the surface of the platen 56. This causes an inked impression of the embossed design at the forward end of the actuated die to be imprinted on the paper tape.

By the proper actuation of the dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 during successive revolutions of the printing head 18, any one of a variety of alpha-numeric symbols can be imprinted on the paper tape 50. The speed of rotation of the printing head can be made sufficiently high with respect to the speed of the ribbon 44 and paper tube 50, so that the sequential operation of the dies during a revolution of the head to imprint a symbol on the paper tape 50 can be made while the paper tape 50 is moving without producing any discernible distortion insofar as the imprinted symbol is concerned. Under some conditions, however, it may be desirable to drive the tape intermittently to avoid character blurring.

As shown in FIGURE 4, the various symbols, such as the symbol A, can be imprinted on the tape 50 during a complete revolution moving counterclockwise, as shown in FIGURE 8 of the head 18, by activating the dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 selectively at predetermined angular positions of the printing head during its revolution.

For example, when the printing head has an angular position of reading counterclockwise the dies 30, 32 and 34 are actuated simultaneously to provide the imprinted mark shown in FIGURE 4a on the paper tape. Then, when the head has moved angularly to a 90 position, the dies 30 and 32 are actuated to provide the additional mark, as shown in FIGURE 4b. Then, when the head has been turned to its 180 position, the die 34 is actuated to provide the additional mark, shown in FIG- URE 40, to the symbol. Finally, when the head has moved to its 270 position, the dies 30 and 32 are again simultaneously actuated to provide the further portion to the symbol, as shown in FIGURE 4d.

The result of this selective sequential operation of the different printing dies 30, 32 and 34 during the revolution of the printing head 18 results in the symbol A, as shown in FIGURE 42. It is evident that the selective actuation of the printing dies in accordance with other sequences during the rotation of the head 18 can cause other symbols to be imprinted on the tape.

The table of FIGURE illustrates the manner in which the various symbols may be imprinted, by the actuation of the different dies during the 0, 90, 180 and 270 angular position of the head 18. In the table of FIGURE 10, the die is designated 1, the die 32 is designated 2, the die 34 is designated 3, and the die 36 is designated 4.

The printing mechanism contained in the housing 20 is shown in more detail in FIGURES 5-8. As mentioned above, the printing head 18 is rotatably mounted in the housing, and it is rotatably driven by the motor 22. The pirnting dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 are mounted in the head 18, and these dies rotate as a group with the head about the axis of rotation of the head.

The dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 are spring biased to their normal retracted stand-by position by a plurality of springs in the head 18, such as the springs 60 and 62. Head 18 is normally constructed of two parts which provide for ease in insertion of the springs 60 and 62 within the head 18 whereby the two parts of the head 18 may then be secured together by any suitable means. A plurality of solenoids 64, 66, 68 and 70 are mounted in the housing 20, and these solenoids include respective pivoted arms 72, 74, 76 and 78.

When one of the solenoids 64, 66, 68 or 70 is energized, its armature moves outwardly, so that its pivoted arm strikes a hammer blow sharply against the inner end of a particular one of the inner ends of dies 30, 32, 34 or 36 positioned adjacent to that particular arm at its moment of actuation. This causes the die struck to move outwardly against the tension of its biasing spring to its extended printing position, and such motion causes its face 31 to move the inked ribbon 40 and the paper tape 50 sharply against the platen 56. Therefore, by the selective energizing of the solenoids during each rotation of the head 18, the different dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 may be selectively impelled to their extended printing positions.

It is to be here understood that the relative position of the ends of the solenoid arms 72, 74, 76 or 78, the rear ends of the dies 30, 32, 34 and 36, and the inner end 79 of the rotatable printing head 18, both before and after actuation, is very important. The dies 30, 32, 34 and 36 must be of such a length and positioned in respect to the platen 56 and the ends 75 of the pivot arm 74 that each die is free or flying at the moment the face 31 strikes the platen through the ribbon and paper. The solenoids 64, 66, 68 or 72 must be turned off before the end 75 thereof moves into the rear end 79 of the rotatable head 18, and the hammer blow of the end 75 of the pivoted arm must be stopped from forward movement against the die appreciably before the completion of the dies forward movement into the platen. This particular relationship, it will be appreciated, creates the free or flying die, permitting the momentum of the die to do the actual printing through the ribbon and paper and to bounce back from the platen 56 and in cooperation with the springs 62, etc., to return the die to its retracted position. A The free or flying die with its return bounce back from the platen is essential to give sharpness and non-smudging of the mark made thereby, as well as to prevent tearing of the ribbon and paper.

In order to provide an indication of the selected angular positions of the head 18, an apertured disc 100 is mounted on the head, to be rotated therewith. The disc 100 has an aperture 102 formed in it. In the embodiment being described, the head 18 and disc 100 are assumed to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, as viewed from the front of the mechanism.

A plurality of light sources 106, 107, 108 and 109 are mounted in the housing 20 on appropriate brackets (not shown) to be positioned directly behind the disc 100. These light sources are mounted in a circle, for example, and are displaced angularly from one another. The light sources are positioned so that upon rotation of the disc 100, light from the different sources sequentially passes through the aperture 102.

A plurality of photo-sensitive devices, such as a known type of photo-diode, are mounted on the opposite side of the disc to be in alignment with respective ones of the light sources. These photo-sensitive devices are designated 110, 112, 114 and 116 in FIGURE 8.

The arrangement is such that when the rotatable printing head 18 is in, for example, the 0 position, light from the light source 106 passes through the aperture 102 to strike the photo-diode 110, so as to provide a corresponding output signal from that diode. Likewise, when the printing head 18 is in the 90 position, light source 107, together with the photo-diode 112 excited by light source 107, provides an output signal. In like manner, when the printing head is in the position, the photo-diode 114, excited by light source 108, provides an output signal; and when the printing head is in the 270 position, the photo-diode 116, excited by light source 109, provides an output signal.

The output signals from the different photo-diodes are used to condition the corresponding solenoids 64, 66, 68 and 70 for energization. The arrangement is such that the difierent solenoids may be selectively energized when the printing head 18 is at its different selective angular positions, so as to synthesize the characters, a explained above.

As shown in FIGURE 9, the various solenoids 64, 66, 68 and 70 may be controlled by a suitable logic network 200 which responds to signals from the photo-diodes 110,

112, 114 and 116, as well as to appropriate input signals.

The logic network 200, for example, may respond to an input on the No. 1 input line to operate the #1 (30) die at the position of the head 18. Likewise, the logic network may respond to an input on the No. 2 input line to operate the #2 die (32) at the 0 position of the head 18, and so on. The selective application of inputs to the different input lines, then permit the printing mechanism to synthesize corresponding characters, in the manner described above.

A typical condition code for the input lines is represented in Table 1 below. In each instance, the die indicated is operated by an input on the correspondingly indicated input line. As in the preceding example, the die 30 is designated #1, the die 32 is designated #2, the die 34 is designated #3, and the die 36 is designated #4.

Then, as shown by the Table 2, inputs simultaneously apply to the indicated input lines cause the printer to imprint a corresponding number or letter.

Table l--C0nditi0n code Input line: Die 1:0 1 220 2 3:0 3 420 4 Table 2Alpha-numeric conditions numeric Number (Input lines):

A lpha conditions Letter (Input lines):

Azl, 2, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14

FIGURE 10 sets out in table form how the dies are programmed for printing of different letters and symbols. For example, in producing the letter A dies 1, 2, and 4 (30, 32 and 34) are struck simultaneously when the head 18 is in the 0 quadrant, and will be actuated at this instant by the arms 72, 74 and 76, respectively. When the head 18 is in the quadrant, dies 1 and 2 will be struck simultaneously by arms 74 and 76. When the head 18 is in the quadrant, the die 4 only will be actuated by arm 74 and finally to complete the letter when the head 18 is in the 270 quadrant, dies 1 and 2 will be actuated by arms 78 and 72. From this it will be seen that each letter is formed or produced by a different programming in accordance with the chart set out in FIG- URE 10.

The invention provides, therefore, an improved and simplified high speed printing mechanism. The printing mechanism of the invention is capable of imprinting different alpha and numeric characters on the paper tape in response to the different inputs, as explained above.

It will be appreciated that the moving components of the printer of the invention are reduced to a minimum, so that the mechanism is relatively simple and inexpensive to construct. In addition, the high speed printing mechanism of the invention may be operated in a relatively simple manner, and it is capable of being conveniently coupled to high speed calculating, computing, or communicating systems.

While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, modifications may be made. It is intended in the claims to cover such modifications which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A high-speed printing mechanism including: a cylinder, a plurality of elongated printing dies mounted in said cylinder for rotation therewith about the longitudinal axis of said cylinder and for individual movement parallel to the axis of said cylinder between a stand-by position and a printing position, each of said dies parallel to the axis of said cylinder having a pat-tern formed on a face thereof, and means for selectively moving said dies to said printing position.

2. A high-speed printing mechanism including: a cylinder, a plurality of elongated printing dies mounted in said cylinder for rotation therewith as a unit about the longitudinal axis of said cylinder and for individual movement parallel to the axis of said cylinder between a standby position and a printing position, each of said dies having a pattern formed on a face thereof, means for driving a medium along a path traversing said axis to permit said medium selectively to receive impressions from said face of each of said dies as said dies are selectively moved to said printing position, and means for selectively moving said dies parallel to the axis of said cylinder to said printing position as said medium is so driven along said paths.

3. A high-speed printing mechanism including: a cylindrical printing head mounted for rotation about the 1ongitud-inal axis thereof; a plurality of elongated dies slidably mounted in said head for rotation therewith and for individual longitudinal movement parallel to the axis of said head between a stand-by position and a printing position, each of said dies having embossed markings formed on one face thereof, means for driving a medium along a path traversing the longitudinal'axis of said printing head to enable said medium selectively to receive the impressions of said markings on said face of each of said dies as the dies are selectively moved to said printing position,

and means for selectively moving said dies parallel to said longitudinal axis of said cylinder to said printing position along a line parallel to said axis and at right angles to said medium as said medium is so driven along said path.

4. A high-speed printing mechanism for forming and printing characters from a combination of impressions including: a cylindrical printing head mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis, a plurality of elongated dies slidably mounted in said head for rotation therewith and for individual movement parallel to said axis of said head between a retracted stand-by position and an extended printing position, each of said dies having a high-relief pattern formed on the forward face thereof, means coupled to said printing head for imparting rotation thereto about its longitudinal axis, means for driving a medium along a path adjacent said forward faces of said dies and traversing the longitudinal axis of said printing head to enable said medium selectively to receive the impression of said forward face of each of said dies as the dies are selectively driven to said printing position, and further means for selectively driving said dies to said printing position along a line parallel to said axis and at right angles to said medium as said medium is drawn along said path.

5. The machine defined in claim 4 and which includes resilient means in said cylindrical printing head for biasing said dies to said stand-by position.

6. The printing machine defined in claim 4 and which includes means for indicating selected angular positions of said printing head, and control means coupled to said indicating means and to said further means for controlling the selective movement of said dies to said printing position.

7. A high-speed printing mechanism including: a cylindrical printing head mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis, a plurality of elongated dies slidably mounted in said head for rotation therewith and for individual movement parallel to said axis of said head between a retracted stand-by position and an extended printing position, each of said dies having a high relief pattern formed on the forward end thereof, resilient means mounted in said head for biasing said dies to said standby position, a drive mechanism mechanically coupled to said printing head for imparting rotation thereto about said axis, a reel mechanism for driving a paper tape along a path adjacent said forward ends of said dies and traversing the longitudinal axis of said printing head, and a plurality of solenoids mechanically coupled to respective ones of said dies for selectively driving said dies parallel to the axis of said cylinder to said printing position to cause the patterns on the forward ends of said dies selectively to imprint impressions on said paper tape.

8. The machine defined in claim 7 and which includes means, including an apertured disc on said printing head and light-sensitive means for indicating seelcted angular positions of said head, and control means electrically coupled to said indicating means and to said solenoids for controlling the selective movement of said dies to said printing position.

9. A printing mechanism for forming and printing characters from a combination of a plurality of dies comprising: a plurality of printing dies, each of said dies having a protruding face configuration on one end thereof for printing impressions in combinations to form a character, said dies being rotatable as a unit about an axis perpendicular to said face configurations; and means for selectively moving said dies parallel to said perpendicular axis from a standby position to a printing position during a single revolution of said unit to form and print said character.

10. A printing mechanism as set forth in claim 9 including a medium traversing the perpendicular face of said plurality for receiving said formed characters.

11. A printing mechanism for forming and printing alpha-numeric characters on a medium comprising: four printing dies, each of said dies having a protruding face configuration on one end thereof for printing impressions in combination to form alpha-numeric characters, said dies being rotatable as a unit about an axis perpendicular to their face configurations; and means for moving selected combinations of said dies parallel to said axis at preselected quadrant divisions during a single revolution of said unit to form and print an alpha-numeric character upon a medium traversing said face configuration of said dies.

12. A printing mechanism as set forth in claim 11 including means for determining when said dies are in a preselected quadrant whereby a desired combination of said dies are moved to said printing position to form and print a character upon said medium.

13. A printing mechanism as set forth in claim 12 including biasing means for returning said dies to a standby position when said character forming and printing operation is completed.

14. A printing mechanism for forming and printing characters on a medium comprising a cylinder, a plurality of printing dies in said cylinder having face configurations for printing impressions in combinations to form a desired character, said plurality including three dies having face configurations comprising high relief patterns forming a raised single line, each said single line being parallel to the other and one printing die having a face configuration to form a single line diagonally with respect to said other three dies, means for rotating said cylinder and said dies about the longitudinal axis of said cylinder and means for moving said dies parallel to said'axis.

15. A printing mechanism for forming and printing characters on a medium comprising: a rotatable die holder; means for rotating said die holder about its longitudinal axis; a plurality of printing dies slidably mounted within said die holder, said plurality being rotatable with said die holder, each of said dies having a face configuration for printing impressions in combination to form a character; and means for individual or combination selecting and depressing said plurality from a standby position to a printing position while said die holder is in a preselected quadrant of a single revolution.

16. A printing mechanism as set forth in claim 15 including means for indicating in which preselected quadrant said die holder is located.

17. A printing mechanism as set forth in claim 16 wherein said quadrant indicating means comprises: a light source disposed in each quadrant of rotation of said die holder; a light sensitive indicator disposed adjacent each said light source; and an opaque member having a single aperture, said member being coupled to said die holder to rotate therewith and disposed between said light source and said light sensitive indicators whereby said indicators will be enabled by said light source when said aperture passes therebetween.

18. In mechanism for forming printed characters by sequential impressions on a medium comprising: a head rotatable on an axis normal to said medium, a printing die carried by said head in a position radially offset from its axis and movable parallel to said axis into contact with said medium, means for rotating said head, printing control means, and means jointly controlled by said printing control means and said head rotating means for moving said die into contact with said medium at a plurality of different angular rotational positions of said head.

19. In mechanism for forming printed characters by sequential impressions on a medium comprising: a head rotatable on an axis normal to said medium, a plurality of printing dies carried by said head in positions radially offset from its axis and individually movable parallel to said axis into contact with said medium, means for rotating said head, printing control means, and means jointly controlled by said printing control means and said head rotating means for moving said dies individually and in References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/24 Carroll 10193 2/33 Bryce 10193 Bryce 10193 Conrad 17862 Deloraine 178-30 Potter 10193 Johnson 197-1 X Knutsen 1971 Hen-so 10193 WILLIAM B. PENN, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3330208 *Mar 31, 1966Jul 11, 1967Rca CorpPrinter having a selectively variable print font
US3467232 *Aug 31, 1967Sep 16, 1969Burroughs CorpDot printing apparatus
US3561355 *Feb 27, 1969Feb 9, 1971Telefunken PatentPrinting member selector and drive means
US3698528 *Apr 3, 1970Oct 17, 1972Ncr CoCompact print head assembly with antirebounding means
US3770092 *Feb 14, 1972Nov 6, 1973Autotronics IncWire print head
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US3848719 *Jul 9, 1970Nov 19, 1974Philips CorpPrinting device comprising electro-magnets
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US4031992 *Nov 11, 1975Jun 28, 1977Societe D'applications Generales D'electricite Et De Mecanique S A G E MPrinting device
US4036128 *Mar 5, 1976Jul 19, 1977Harlan EastonBranding iron with quickly changeable characters
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US4473008 *Sep 20, 1983Sep 25, 1984Rca CorporationMethod for intaglio printing and selectively alterable inking plate therefor
US4493568 *Feb 22, 1983Jan 15, 1985Estabrooks David ADot matrix printhead employing moving coils
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Classifications
U.S. Classification101/93.4, D18/26, 101/373, 101/91, 400/124.29, 101/109, 178/30, 101/93.47
International ClassificationB41J2/50
Cooperative ClassificationB41J2/50
European ClassificationB41J2/50