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Publication numberUS3709593 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 9, 1973
Filing dateJul 6, 1971
Priority dateJul 7, 1970
Also published asDE2133892A1, DE2133892B2
Publication numberUS 3709593 A, US 3709593A, US-A-3709593, US3709593 A, US3709593A
InventorsMatsumoto Y, Ochiai T, Ozawa T, Sakai M
Original AssigneeTokyo Shibaura Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrostatic copying apparatus for polychromatic picture
US 3709593 A
Abstract
Apparatus wherein a polychromatic original picture to be copied, an exposure mask for holding a piece of sensitive paper, and an optical system for projecting monochromatic optical images of the polychromatic original picture over the charged sensitive paper are made integral to construct a projection system, the projection system is rotated intermittently and relatively with respect at least to a developing device for an electrostatic image and a fixing device for a developed visible picture, a plurality of sectional positions are formed around the central line of the relative rotation, and monochromatic pictures of colors different from one another are formed on the light-sensitive member at the respectively selected ones among the plurality of sectional positions, whereby a polychromatic picture is copied.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 [111 3,709,593 Matsumoto et al. [4 1 Jan. 9, 1973 [54] ELECTROSTATIC COPYING [56] References Cited APPARATUS FOR POLYCHROMATIC UNITED STATES PATENTS PICTURE 3,130,655 4/1964 Meyer ..355/4 lnventors: Yushi Matsumoto, Ohta-ku, Tokyo; Tunahiro Ozawa, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa; Tadashi Ochiai, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama; Masaomi Sakai, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, all of Japan Assignee: Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., Ltd.,

Kawasaki-shi, J apan Filed: July 6, 1971 Appl. No.: 160,029

Foreign Application Priority Data July 7, 1970 Japan ..45/58964 U.S. Cl. ..355/4 Int. Cl. ..G03g 15/00 Field of Search ..35 5/4 Primary Examiner.lohn M. Horan Attorneyl(emon, Palmer & Estabrook [57] ABSTRACT Apparatus wherein a polychromatic original picture to be copied, an exposure mask for holding a piece of sensitive paper, and an optical system for projecting monochromatic optical images of the polychromatic original picture over the charged sensitive paper are made integral to construct a projection system, the

projection system is rotated intermittently and relatively with respect at least to a developing device for an electrostatic image and a fixing device for a developed visible picture, a plurality of sectional positions are formed around the central line of the relative rotation, and monochromatic pictures of colors different from one another are formed on the light-sensitive member at the respectively selected ones among the plurality of sectional positions, whereby a polychromatic picture is copied.

8 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAN 9 '97s SHEET 010! 10 FIG..1

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PATENTEUJAN 9 I973 SHEET OSUF 10 FIG? PATENTEDJAN 9 ma SHEET OBUF 1O FIG.9

PATENTED JAN 9 I975 SHEET WM 10 FIG. 12

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i sob 50b N 12? ELECTROSTATIC COPYING APPARATUS FOR POLYCHROMATIC PICTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to electrostatic copying apparatus for a polychromatic picture, and more particularly to a copying apparatus having means which,

' when monochromatic pictures of different colors are tive member, e.g., zinc oxide sensitive paper, a light image is irradiated upon the sensitive paper to thereby form an electrostatic image, and the electrostatic image is converted into a visible picture with a developer solution. However, in case where a polychromatic picture is electrostatically copied, a plurality of electrostatic copying processes are required in which a picture of the first color is formed and subsequently the second and third pictures of different colors are formed on an identical sensitive paper. In case of monochromatic copying apparatus, if the original picture (including characters etc.) is projected, i.e., light-exposed, over a predetermined location of the sensitive paper, satisfactory results may be obtained. In polychromatic copying apparatus, however, the original picture of many colors is spectralized and the spectralized optical pictures are successively projected over an identical sensitive paper, so that the precision of the projected locations of the optical pictures of the respective colors with respect to the sensitive paper should be extremely high. In addition, it is required that the quantities of exposure of the optical pictures of the respective colors be made suitably different, and that the developer solution and the developing time for the electrostatic images corresponding to the respective colors be suitably varied. The electrostatic copying apparatus for a polychromatic picture thus includes a number of problems to be solved, so that it has been difficult to be put into practical use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus which may continuously attain polychromatic pictures with no chromatic aberration.

The apparatus of the present invention comprises a light source, a projection system which integrally holds a polychromatic original picture and an exposure mask for flatly attaching a light-sensitive member thereto and which projects said original picture over said light-sensitive member, charging means for charging the lightsensitive member which is attached to said exposure mask, filter means for spectralizing said original picture so as to project over the charged light-sensitive member optical images which correspond to monochromatic pictures of colors being different from one another, developing means for converting into a visible picture each electrostatic image which is formed on said light-sensitive member by the projection, and fixing means for said visible picture. The projection system is rotated intermittently and relatively with respect at least to the developing means and the fixing means, and forms a plurality of sectional positions around the central line of the relative rotation. The monochromatic pictures of colors different from one another are formed at the respectively selected ones among the plurality of sectional positions. The monochromatic pictures of colors different from one another are superposedly formed on the identical sensitive paper, whereby a desired polychromatic picture is formed without any chromatic aberration.

According to the present invention, the rotation of the projection system as is intermittent and relative to the developing means etc. may be performed in various modifications. While a relative and intermittent vertical movement of the projection system and the developing means etc. is carried out at the sectional positions at which the monochromatic pictures are formed, the relative vertical movement may also be performed in various modifications.

At the sectional positions at which the monochromatic pictures are formed, there are included the process of charging the surface of the light-sensitive member, the process of exposing an optical image corresponding to the monochromatic picture, the process of developing an electrostatic image and the process of fixing the developed picture.

The developing means includes the process of performing treatment with a developer solution suitable to the monochromatic picture of a desired color, and a plurality of fixing means are disposed which, every time the monochromatic picture is developed, fixes the visible picture. Charges are placed onto the identical lightsensitive member on which the monochromatic picture of the first color has been fixed, an optical image corresponding to the monochromatic picture of the second color is subsequently projected through the corresponding filter means, and an electrostatic image corresponding to the monochromatic picture of the second color is formed on the identical light-sensitive member. The electrostatic image corresponding to the monochromatic picture of the second color is visualized and fixed by the corresponding developing means and fixing means. The monochromatic pictures of different colors are further superposed by similar means, whereby the electrostatic copying of the polychromatic picture may be conducted.

According to the present invention, the projection system always holds the multi-colored original picture, the light-sensitive member and the projection optical system in a fixed positional relation, so that the monochromatic pictures of any colors are formed at a determined location with respect to the light-sensitive member, thus attaining a polychromatic picture with no chromatic aberration.

Furthermore, according to the present invention, the projection system forms, while it is rotated intermittently and relatively with respect at least to the developing means and the fixing means, monochromatic pictures of different colors in successive and continuous manner, so that a number of polychromatic pictures may be efficiently obtained by automatically and continuously attaching the light-sensitive member to the exposure mask.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagram for explaining the operational sequence of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention, showing the arrangement of parts at one sectional position;

FIG. 3 is a detailed perspective view of a sensitivepaper supplying mechanism shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section of an exposure mask shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a side view, partially broken away, of a screen mechanism which is attached to the exposure mask shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal section showing the operative relation between a developing device for developing an electrostatic image on the light-sensitive member shown in FIG. 2 and the exposure mask;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section of a developer-solution circulating circuit to the developing device shown in FIG. 6; 7

FIG. 8 is a longitudinal section of a washing mechanism for washing the exposure mask and the sensitive paper after the developing device shown in FIG. 6 has completed the development;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view showing the arrangement of internal elements inside a wash-solution main tank shown in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a wash-solution regenerator shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. I1 is a longitudinal section of a drying mechanism of a sensitive-paper drying device (fixing device) shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 12 is an arrangement view of a lamination sticking mechanism for the sensitive paper which has been fixed;

FIG. 13 is a constructional view, partially broken away, which shows the correlative locations of composing parts in the case where, in a further embodiment of the present invention, projection systems are located at an intermediate level;

FIG. 14 is a plane arrangement view of the projection optical systems in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a constructional view which shows the correlative locations of the composing parts when the projection systems shown in FIG. 13 are caused to ascend; and

FIG. 16 is a constructional view which shows the correlative locations of the composing parts when the projection systems shown in FIG. 13 are caused to descend.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIGS 1 to 12, an embodiment of this invention will be described. FIG. 1 is a diagram for explaining the operational sequence of an apparatus cmbodying the present invention, which consists of four adjacent sectional positions indicated at A, B, C and D. The apparatus is constructed such that, after completion of the respective operations at the four positions, a multi-colored picture may be taken out. In other words, the four positions form one cycle for copying the polychromatic picture. More specifically, a piece of sensitive paper is fed and a monochromatic picture of, e.g., blue is formed at position A, monochromatic pictures of red and yellow are formed at positions B and C, respectively, and a monochromatic picture of black is formed and a polychromatic picture is taken out of the ture is taken out. Illustrated in this embodiment is the case where a light source and a projection system, which integrally holds a polychromatic original picture and an exposure mask flatly holding a piece of sensitive paper for copying the original picture, are intermittently rotated, while a developing device and a fixing device are intermittently moved vertically, whereby a polychromatic picture is formed.

The respective mechanisms of the apparatus will now be described in due order from FIG. 2. Shown at l in FIG. 2 is an automatic supply mechanism for sensitive paper 2. At both side ends of the elongated sensitive paper 2 wound in the form of a roll, a roll core 3 is protruded. The roll core 3 is fitted into longitudinal guide slots 5 being provided in both side walls 4 (FIG. 3) and being open at their upper parts, while the outer periphery of the lower part of the sensitive paper 2 is supported by means of a delivery roller 6 which is extended across both the side walls 4 below the guide slots 5. The delivery roller 6 is adapted to be rotated in the direction of arrow by means of a driving motor 7 which is disposed outside the side walls 4. A delivery mechanism 8 for gradually delivering the sensitive paper 2 in the rolled state is thus constructed. The delivery mechanism 8 is received in a receiving box 9 being sealed. The delivered band-like sensitive paper 2 is guided through a feed-out port, not shown, being provided in the top of the receiving box 9, by means of between-holding rollers 10 and a guide roller 11 all of which are disposed in the vicinity of the feed-out port, and it is fed out of the receiving box 9. The sensitive paper 2 having been thus fed out has its sense changed by the guide roller 1 l, and is further turned to the feedin side of the next step by another guide roller 12. The sensitive paper 2 having been turned by the guide roller 12 is fed into a feed-in roller unit 13 which is composed of a driving roller 13c and a press roller 13d. Furthermore, a cutting mechanism 14 is provided below the feed-in roller unit 13 as viewed in the drawings, while transport rollers 15, 15 and 16, 16 are juxtaposed below the mechanism 14. When the front end of the sensitive paper 2 passes through the cutting mechanism 14 and reaches the transport rollers 16, 16, the sensitive paper 2 is once stopped. Then, the cutting mechanism 14 is actuated to cut the sensitive paper 2 into a predetermined length. An exposure mask 17 (FIG. 2, FIG. 4) is provided on the delivery side of the transport rollers l6, 16. The sensitive paper 2 having been cut into the predetermined length is sent towards an attaching surface 17a of the exposure mask 17 (FIG. 4) by means of the transport rollers 16, and is attached by a means as will be stated below.

The exposure mask 17 is constructed as illustrated in FIG. 4. A number of small apertures 19 are perforated in one side of a holding member 18, communicate with an air passage 24 as referred to below, and thus form an adsorbing surface for vacuum adsorption of the sensitive paper 2. In opposition to the adsorbing surface 20, a pressing frame 22 having an optical-image incident, square aperture 21 at its center is disposed so as to be movable in both senses of arrow 0 as will be described below, so that at the exposure of the sensitive paper 2, the peripheral portion of the sensitive paper 2 may be pressed down to the adsorbing surface 20 by the peripheral portion of the pressing frame 22. At the back (left in the drawing) of the holding member 18, a passage 23 for cooling water and the air passage 24 are formed on the surface opposite to the adsorbing surface 20. A wall (right in the drawing) of the air passage 24 has the small apertures 19 perforated therein which form the adsorbing surface 20, while a vent pipe 25 communicating with a vacuum suction system, not shown, is connected to a part of the air passage 24, whereby the sensitive paper 2 fed to the adsorbing surface 20 is vacuumsucked and fixed to the surface 20. A supply pipe 26 and a drain pipe 27 are connected which are coupled to a cooling-water supply and drainage system not shown. Water of a fixed temperature always flows in the passage 23, so that the adsorbing surface 20 of the holding member 18 and the sensitive paper 2 kept adsorbed onto the surface may be maintained at the constant temperature.

On the other hand, on the back side (left in the drawing) of the holding member 18, a supporting plate 29 is disposed which is integrally connected with the pressing frame 22 through a connecting rod 28. A bellows 31 and a spring 32 are concentrically interposed between the supporting plate 29 and a cover plate of the air passage 24 of the holding member 18. To the bellows 31, there is connected an air feed and exhaust pipe 33 communicating with an air feed and exhaust system not shown. Air is fed into or exhausted from the bellows 31, whereby the pressing frame 22 may be moved in both the senses as shown by the arrow 0. At the upper part of the holding member 18 as viewed in the drawing, a box-like space portion 34 is integrally formed. In addition, a pair of rollers 35, 35 supported by shafts on both inner side walls of the space portion 34 are provided in a manner to be biased towards both the side walls. The outer peripheral portions of both the rollers 35 face to the adsorbing surface 20 in a manner to penetrate it at the upper part thereof, and thus form a supply-section gap 36 for the sensitive paper 2 between the pressing frame 22 and the adsorbing surface 20. The sensitive paper 2 having been fed to the supply-section gap 36 via the above-described step of the feed of the sensitive paper, is fed towards the adsorbing surface 20.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, on the right side of the exposure mask 17 as viewed in the figure, a mesh screen 37 and a charger 38 are provided so as to be contiguous to the side of the mask 17, the charger having charge line 38' which extend in the orthogonal direction to the drawing, in order to place charges on the sensitive paper. More specifically, a moving frame 40 adapted to move up and down as viewed in the drawing is provided in the middle of a chain 39 which travels in the vertical direction as viewed in the drawing, and the charger 38 is installed on the upper part of the frame 40. On both side walls of the moving frame 40 there are projectively provided rollers 41, which are adapted to move along guide slots 42 provided sideways. A holding frame 44 with the screen 37 extended thereover is supported in front of (left in the drawing) the moving frame 40 in such a way that it is vertically movable with respect to the moving frame 40 through links 45, while the holding frame 44 and the moving frame 40 are normally urged through springs 46 in the direction in which they are brought into pressed contact to each other. On a side of the holding frame 44, an arm 47 is mounted. The right end of the arm is adapted to be contacted at a predetermined position with a stopper 48 which is protruded at the side part of the guide slot 42.

Normally, the holding frame 44 is kept in pressed contact to the moving frame 40 under the restoring action of the springs 46. When, under such condition, the moving frame 40 and the holding frame 44 rise through the traveling of the chain 39 and the charger 38 passes through the front of the sensitive paper 2 (FIG. 4) attached to the exposure mask 17, charges are placed on an exposure surface 2a (FIG. 2). When the screen 37 reaches a predetermined position, the arm 47 is brought into contact with the stopper 48, and the holding frame 44 moves through the links in the direction to separate from the moving frame 40. Accordingly, both the frames are stopped such that the screen 37 provided on the holding frame 44 opposes to the exposure surface 2a (FIG. 4) of the sensitive paper 2, and preparations are made for the exposure to be subsequently carried out.

A series of mechanisms thus constructed, are provided in opposition to part of the peripheral edge of a turntable A shown in FIG. 2. On the turntable A, projection systems 49 corresponding to the respective positions A, B, C and D are provided. The exposure surface 2a of the sensitive paper 2 has the monochromatic optical images to-be-copied projected thereon, i.e., it is exposed to light, by means of the projection systems. Each of the projection systems 49 comprises, in the order from the upper part of a column 49a thereof toward the lower part, a light source 50, a lightdiffusing plate 51, a light condenser 52, an optical filter 53 which corresponds to one of the respective colors for sequentially forming monochromatic pictures onto the sensitive paper 2, a polychromatic positive film 54, a lens 55, and a reflector 56 disposed considerably apart from the lens. Light from the light source is projected through the filter 53, the positive film 54 and the lens 55 onto the reflector 56. The projected image is reflected by means of the reflector 56. Thus, the optical image of the film 54 as corresponding in color to the filter is projected through the above-mentioned screen 37 (FIG. 5) onto the exposure surface 2a of the sensitive paper 2 attached to the exposure mask 17. In other words, the exposure surface is exposed to light. Thus, the monochromatic optical image spectralized from the colored positive film by the filter falls upon the sensitive paper.

The filters 53 corresponding to the respective colors are fixed at locations of the exposure stages of the respective positions. The projection systems 49 corresponding in number to the positions are intermit' tently rotated by a rotary shaft 43 in such a manner that fixed relative locations are always kept. The rotary shaft 43 is rotated integrally with the turntable A which is intermittently rotated by a driving system not shown. Thus, when the projection system 49 has intermittently moved to the exposure stage I of the position A, the filter 53 corresponding to position A (blue at position A) is set in the optical path of the projection system 49 through an open window 57 perforated in the column 49a.

Lines indicated by characters I, II, III and IV radially extending from the rotational center shaft 43 in FIG. 2, represent the numbers of the operational stages at each position. A two-dot chain line 49c shown in the figure represents that the column 49c and the exposure mask 17 are mechanically coupled, so that they are integrally rotated intermittently in response to the rotation of the rotary shaft 43.

In this manner, at stage I of position A (FIG. 1), a blue optical image is projected through the blue filter 53 onto the exposure surface 2a (FIG. 4) of the sensitive paper 2 which is vacuum-adsorbed to the exposure mask 17 and which has charges placed thereon. The exposure time in this case conforms to a period of time as prescribed for blue.

When the operational process of stage I at position A has been completed as described above, the projection system 49 and the exposure mask 17 are integrally moved clockwise with the intermittent turning displacement of the turntable A. However, a series of mechanisms of the receiving box 9 for the sensitive paper 2, the cutting mechanism 14 for the sensitive paper (FIG. 3) and the charger 38, the mesh screen 37 (FIG. etc. are kept stationary. The exposure mask 17 (FIG. 2) is once stopped at the location of stage II at position A (FIG. 1), and opposes to a developing tank 58 disposed below (FIG. 2). Of course, the projection system 49 is also moved integrally. The developing tank 58 is secured to an upright shaft 59 (FIG. 6) so as to be vertically movable. At development, it rises to enclose, as illustrated at two-dot chain lines 58' in FIG. 6, the whole exposure mask 17 including the sensitive paper 2. At this time, an opposing electrode plate 60 is attached as stated below to the front of the pressing frame 22 of the exposure mask 17, and opposes to the sensitive paper 2 with a light gap formed therebetween. The opposing electrode plate 60 is secured to the upright shaft 59 through a link mechanism 61 referred to below, and is adapted to be brought into contact to the pressing frame 22 by driving the link mechanism 61. The link mechanism 61 consists of a driving shaft 62 and links 63, 63 secured thereto, and moves the opposing electrode plate 60 to the front of the pressing frame 22 by securing and fixing it to the left ends of the links 63 and turning the driving shaft 62. At the upper end of such opposing electrode plate 60 there is provided a funnel 64, which guides a developing solution into the gap between the opposing electrode plate 60 and the sensitive paper 2. Above the funnel 64, a nozzle 66 of a developing-solution circulating circuit 65 (FIG. 7) for supplying the developer solution into the funnel is automatically positioned so as to oppose thereto. The nozzle 66 is usually kept lifted by a lever 67 (FIG. 6), while it is pushed down under the action of a plunger 68 at the development, into the location as shown in FIG. 6. The developing-solution circulating circuit 65 is constructed as illustrated in FIG. 7. Below the developing tank 58 (FIG. 6), a developer-solution main tank 70 is disposed through a valve 69. In the developing solution within the developer main tank 70, a pump 71 is disposed, which sucks up the developer and supplies it through a pipe 72 to the first head tank 73. The developer having been supplied to the first head tank 73 is supplied, only at the development, through a valve 74 to the second head tank 75. Thus, when the developer solution is supplied to the second head tank 75, it flows down through the nozzle 66 to the funnel 64. Thereafter, it is injected into the gap between the sensitive paper 2 in the exposure mask 17 and the opposing electrode plate 60 at high speed. Herein, since knife edges 76 protruding towards the sensitive paper 2 are brought into contact with said sensitive paper at the peripheral edges of the opposing electrode plate 60 (FIG. 6) except the upper end thereof and thus provide a gap or developing chamber 77, the injected developer solution is held for a certain period without being discharged. When the opposing electrode plate 60 is separated from the exposure mask 17 after a determined period of time, the developing solution having remained in the space between them is discharged, and returns through the developing tank 58 to the develop ing main tank (FIG. 7). The developer solution consists of toner and a highly insulating solvent (for example, kerosene), and the toner consists of pigment, a bonding agent and a polarity stabilizer. The pigment differs dependent upon the respective positions, and carmine 6B, rhodarnine Y or iron oxide is used for red, phthalocyanine blue for blue, benzylene yellow for yellow, and carbon black or ferric oxide for black.

When the developing process at position A is thus completed, a wash solution is injected and filled from a washing nozzle 78, which is provided at an open end of the developing-solution tank 58, into said developer tank 58 which is placed on a vertically movable mount as illustrated in FIG. 8. Thus, excessive toner adhering to the sensitive paper 2 and the opposing electrode plate 60 is removed. More specifically, in a washingsolution main tank 79 containing the washing-solution and placed on a stationary mount, a pump 80 is disposed which feeds the wash through a pipe 81 into the nozzle 78 for the washing-solution. On the other hand, in the bottom of the developing tank 58 there is provided an exhaust port 82, which is connected through a pipe 83 to the interior of the wash-solution main tank 79. The wash-solution in the wash main tank 79 is sucked up by the pump 80, is received through the pipe 81 from the washing nozzle 78 into the developing tank 58, and washes the sensitive paper 2 and the opposing electrode plate 60 as referred to above. After the washing, the wash-solution having become dirty is introduced from the exhaust port 82 through the pipe 83 into the wash-solution main tank 79 again, thereby forming a circulating cycle. The dirty wash is regenerated by means of a wash-solution regenerator 84 which is provided within the wash-solution main tank 79. As illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the wash regenerator 84 is formed at the central part of the interior of the wash main tank 79. More specifically, reference numeral 85 designates a partition plate which is disposed at the central upper part inside the washsolution main tank 79, and by means of which the interior of the wash main tank 79 is divided into a dirtysolution tank 86 and a clean-solution tank 87. Below the partition plate 85, a communication chamber 88 is formed which causes the dirty-solution tank 86 and the clean-solution tank 87 to communicate. In a manner to block the communication chamber 88, there is disposed within the clean-solution tank 87 the regenerator 84 which consists of electrode plates 89 and 90 with anodes and cathodes combined alternately and continuous-bubble type foamed plastics 91 in the form of a thick plate as are attached between the adjacent electrodes in a zigzag line with respect to the flow direction of the wash solution. When the dirty wash passes through the interior of the regenerator 84, the toner included in the solution is attracted towards the electrode plates of either one polarity under the interaction of the positive and negative electrode plates 89 and 90, and it is gathered in small apertures of the foamed plastics 91 in the vicinity of theelectrode plates. The wash solution, with the toner thus removed when passing through the foamed plastics 91, flows over a partition wall 92 and into the clean-solution tank 87, and is again supplied to the circulating cycle. The composition of the washing solution consists, for example, of paraffin-series hydrocarbon, carbon tetrachloride and trichloro-trifluoroethane.

When the washing process is thus completed, the developing tank 58 (FIG. 8) descends, and separates from the exposure mask 17. Then, the exposure mask is turned in the clockwise direction, with the sensitive paper kept held, and is moved to stage III of position A.

As shown in FIG. 11, the sensitive paper 2 after completion of the developing and washing steps is dried by means of a drying mechanism 93. The drying mechanism 93 is constructed such that, at the same time that the exposure mask 17 fixed to the turntable A is fed to a location corresponding to stage III of position A and is stopped thereat, a drying tank 94 (FIG. 2) receives the exposure mask 17 therein and dries it. More specifically, the wind of a Silocco fan 95 for hot air which sends air through a heater 95a is guided to the drying tank 94 by means of a duct 96, passes through the sensitive paper 2 on the exposure mask 17 located therein, and is exhausted through an exhaust duct 97 to the outside of the machine. The wash solution adhering to the sensitive paper 2 is accordingly dried by heat and the air flow. In this case, since a punched metal member 98 is provided in the wind exhausting section, the hot air does not flow into the interior of the housing of the apparatus, and yet, the temperature and humidity inside the machine are kept substantially constant. With the foregoing processes at the respective stages of position A, a monochromatic picture of blue has been perfectly formed on the sensitive paper.

The sensitive paper 2, which has had the blue monochromatic picture formed thereon and has been perfectly dried by the processes up to stage III of position A as described above, passes through stage IV of position A together with the exposure mask 17 and transfers towards stage I of position B. The stage IV is used only when the sensitive paper 2 is ejected out of the machine at position D, so that the respective positions of A, B and C require no operation at this stage IV. Therefore, the exposure mask 17 merely passes through this stage IV.

When the sensitive paper 2 fed towards stage I of position B is stopped at this stage, the projection system 49 with the exposure mask 17 and the exposure optical system made integral has a red filter automatically inserted instead of the blue filter 53 into the optical path. Herein, as in the case of the foregoing position A, the charging of the sensitive paper, the exposure of a red optical image, the development of an electrostatic image, the washing and the drying are conducted upon a command at the respectively corresponding stages of position B. Accordingly, a red monochromatic picture is formed on the sensitive paper which has had the blue monochromatic picture formed thereon. Similarly, when the projection system 49 is moved to position C, a yellow monochromatic picture is formed on the same sensitive paper. When the projection system 49 is further moved to position D, a black monochromatic picture is formed.

When a perfect polychromatic picture is formed by the processes as described above and the projection system 49 is sent to stage IV of position D, the sensitive paper is ejected out of the machine. An ejection mechanism to this end is shown in FIG. 12.

As illustrated in FIG. 12, the ejection mechanism 99 blows air against the exposure mask 17 thereby to forcibly take the sensitive paper 2 out of the exposure mask, while a chute 100 is provided at that bottom part thereof at which the exposure mask 17 is located. In the midway of the chute 100, detecting heads 101 and 102 are disposed which detect passage of the front end 'of the sensitive paper 2. Detected signals by the detection heads are used to operate a lamination sticking mechanism 103 as referred to below. The lamination sticking mechanism 103 comprises a laminate film 104 wound in the form of a roll, a vacuum roll 105 which once loads its peripheral wall with the film 104 and which, in synchronism with the feed of the sensitive paper 2, heatingly and pressingly secure to the picture surface of the sensitive paper 2 the film loaded on the peripheral wall, and a heat roll 106 rotatably kept in contact with the vacuum roll 105. In this case, the laminate film 104 is cut into a predetermined length by means of a cutter 107 immediately before it is loaded on the vacuum roll 105. In addition, after the laminate film 104 is stuck to the sensitive paper 2 by the abovementioned means, the sensitive paper 2 is cut into a predetermined size (length and width) by means of a cutting mechanism 108. The cutting mechanism 108 comprises a lever 109 for stopping the fed sensitive paper 2 at a determined location, a switch 1 10 actuated by turning of the lever 109, and a cutter lll operated by the switch 110, and the sensitive paper 2 is ejected out of the machine as a color print having been cut into the predetermined dimensions by the cutter 111.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 12, it has been described that the projection system 49 is merely intermittently rotated without moving up and down, while the developing tank 58 and the drying tank 94, namely the fixation tank, are intermittently moved up and down. The relative movement among the projection system 49 and the developing tank 58 etc., however, may be carried out in various modifications.

According to an embodiment shown in FIGS. 13 to 15, a developing device and a fixation device are located on a circumference, and the image projection system intermittently rotates on the circumference, and besides, intermittently ascends and descends. This embodiment will now be described, with the same characters as those in FIGS. 1 to 12 assigned to the same parts.

As illustrated in FIG. 14, the embodiment includes four sectional positions A, B, C and D as divided by two lines X and Y, indicated by two-dot chain lines, which go through a center axis of the relative rotation among the projection system and the developing device etc. At position A, there are conducted the supply of the sensitive paper and the ejection of the sensitive paper having been formed with a picture. A monochromatic picture of blue is formed on the above-mentioned sensitive paper at position B, that of red on the same sensitive paper at position C, and that of yellow at position D.

Referring to FIG. 13, numeral 120 designates a spline shaft, which is the center axis of the above-mentioned relative rotation. In a spline section 121 of the shaft, a turntable 123 is provided which is engaged with the portion. The turntable is intermittently rotated in the clockwise direction by means of an angle indexing mechanism 124. A housing 125 which holds the tumtable 123 so as to be rotatable, is fixed to a base plate 126. On the other hand, at the upper end of the spline shaft 120 a rack 127 is provided on the extended line of the shaft 120. Disposed at the rack 127 is a pinion 129 which is rotated in the clockwise and anticlockwise directions by a shaft 128, and which meshes with the rack 127 to move the spline shaft 120 in the upward and downward directions. The spline shaft 121 and the rack 127 are coupled by means of a slip ring 130. A projection system 49b comprises a projection optical system 131 and an exposure mask 17b attached integrally to the optical system by a supporting member 132, and the sensitive paper 2 is detachably inserted into the exposure mask. Foursets of such projection systems 49b are coupled to the extreme ends of four arms 134 radially extending from the spline shaft 120 in a manner to define an angle of 90 between the adjacent arms, and they are arranged on an identical circumference.

The projection optical system 131 includes an outer housing 135, a polychromatic positive film 54, a lens 136 and a reflector 137, and projects an image of the film 54 over the sensitive paper 2 by incident light from the corresponding light source 50b. Above the exposure masks 17b as illustrated in the figure a blue filter 53B (position B), a red filter 53R (position C) (not shown), and a yellow filter 53Y (position D) are arranged at predetermined locations with intervals of 90. Chargers 38 each having charge lines 38' are arranged below the respective filters. In a manner to be fixed to the base plate 126, developing and washing tanks 58b are arranged on an identical circumference with intervals of 90 at the respective positions of B, C and D. In adjacency to each tank 58!), a drier 94b which ejects hot air from a nozzle 139 at its extreme end is provided such that the nozzle is located at an opening portion of the tank 58b. The light sources 50b are fixed with intervals of 90 over the respective positions B, C and D, and project light to the projection optical systems 131 located at positions B, C and D during rotation, respectively.

In the above embodiment, the sensitive paper 2 is attached to the exposure mask 17b at position A. At this time, the projection system 49b is held, as shown in FIG. 13, at a location of a level under the neutral state. When, at the location under the neutral state, the spline shaft 120 is turned clockwise by by the drive of the angle indexing mechanism 124, the projection system 49b moves to position B along with the exposure mask 17b. Herein, the rack 127 does not turn since the slip ring 130 is interposed. Simultaneously, when the pinion 129 is turned, the spline shaft ascends as illustrated in FIG. 15. In the midway of the ascent the sensitive paper 2 moves in opposition to the charge lines 38' of the charger 38, so that charges are placed on the surface of the sensitive paper. When the exposure surface of the sensitive paper 2 goes away from the charger 38, the sensitive paper 2 and the blue filter 53b oppose to each other. When light is then projected from the light source 50b of position B into the projection optical system 131 located at position B, a blue, optical picture of the multi-colored positive film is reflected by the reflector 137 and is projected over the charged sensitive paper 2. Thus, an electrostatic image corresponding to the blue picture is formed onto the sensitive paper.

When the pinion 129 is subsequently rotated in the direction in which the rack 127 descends, the spline shaft 120 descends down to the location shown in FIG. 16. Thus, the exposure mask 17b advances along with the sensitive paper 2 into the developing and washing tank 58b which has previously stood by at the location under the exposure mask. At this time, the developer solution is simultaneously supplied into the tank 58b for a moment, thereby turning the electrostatic image into a visible picture. Subsequently, the washing-solution is supplied to the exposure mask, thus conducting the developing and washing processes in the same tank.

Upon completion of the washing process, the pinion 129 is rotated in the sense in which the rack 127 ascends, and the spline shaft 120 starts ascending. Herein, the drier 94b ejects hot air through its nozzle 139, and dries the surface of the sensitive paper 2 owing to the air knife effect to thereby fix the blue picture. Upon completion of the fixation, the projection system 49b is returned to the neutral position as illustrated in FIG. 13, thus completing the operations at position B.

When the operations at position B are completed, the projection system 49b is turned clockwise by 90 by the rotation of the spline shaft 120 through the turntable 123, and it is stopped at position C. At this position C, the projection system 49b is caused to ascend and descend as in the case of position B, the same sensitive paper is charged and exposed to light, and an electrostatic image is subjected to development and fixation by means of the developing and washing tank and the drier which are arranged at position B. Since, herein, the sensitive paper 2 opposes to the red filter 53R (not shown) in the exposure process, a monochromatic picture of red is obtained. Similarly, the projection system 49b is further shifted to position D, at which a monochromatic picture of yellow is formed on the same sensitive paper 2. In this way, the polychromatic electrostatic copying is completed. Subsequently, the projection system 49b is further turned clockwise by 90 and is stopped at position A, at which the sensitive paper 2 formed with the multi-colored picture may be taken out of the machine.

According to this embodiment, the number of operational stages at one position may be reduced and the time for movement of the projection system 49b may be shortened, so that the enhancement of efficiency of copying may be attained.

It is of course a matter of fact that the relative rotation among the projection system and the developing device etc. may be in other modified forms than in the foregoing two embodiments. For example, it is also allowed to vertically move the projection system and to rotate the developing device etc. on a circumference, or to keep the projection system stationary and to rotate and vertically move the developing device etc. It is also possible to project over the sensitive paper the reflected light from a multi-colored original picture.

What we claim is: l. A polychromatic electrostatic apparatus comprising:

light sources; projection units each of which integrally holds a polychromatic original picture and an exposure mask for flatly attaching a light-sensitive member thereto and projects said original picture over said light-sensitive member; charging means for charging the light-sensitive member which is attached to said exposure mask;

filter means for spectralizing said original picture so as to project over the charged light-sensitive members optical images which correspond to monochromatic pictures different in colors from one another;

developing means for converting into a visible pic ture each electrostatic image which is formed on said light-sensitive member by the projection;

and fixing means for said visible picture wherein at least said projection units and developing means as well as fixing means are relatively and intermittently rotated so as to take at least three sectional positions around the center of the relative rotation;

during one complete cycle of said relative rotation through said three sectional positions, said lightsensitive members fixed to said exposure masks in said three sectional positions are charged by said charging means;

monochromatic pictures bearing different colors corresponding to each sectional position are focused on the charged light-sensitive members respectively by said light sources, projection units and filter means;

and the light-sensitive members on which said monochromatic pictures are focused are developed and fixed by said respective developing and fixing means, thereby obtaining a polychromatic picture.

2. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the number of said sectional positions formed around said relative rotation is n and wherein the monochromatic pictures of colors different from one another are formed on said light-sensitive member at the respective ones of (n-l sectional positions, while said light-sensitive member is attached to said exposure mask and the completed picture is taken out at the remaining one sectional position.

3. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the monochromatic pictures of colors diiferent from one another are formed on said light-sensitive member at the respective ones of said plurality of sectional positions formed around said center of said relative rotation, said light sensitive member is attached to said exposure mask at one optional sectional position, and the completed polychromatic picture is taken out at the sectional position which is adjacent to said one sectional position and at which the last monochromatic picture is formed.

4. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said developing means and said fixing means are caused to intermittently ascend at said sectional positions at which the monochromatic pictures are formed, the development and fixation are carried out at the ascent location, and said developing means and said fixing means are returned to the original locations after completion of said development and fixation.

5. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said projection system is caused to intermittently descend at said sectional positions at which the monochromatic pictures are formed, the development and fixation are carried out at the descent location, and said developing means and said fixing means are returned to the original locations after completion of said development and fixation.

6. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said projection system is so constructed that it is caused to intermittently ascend and descend from the original location at said sectional positions at which the monochromatic pictures are formed, said light-sensitive member is charged by said charging means in the midway of the ascent, said filter means is inserted into an optical path of said projection system and the exposure is carried out at the ascent location, the development and fixation are carried out by said developing means and said fixing means at the descent location, and said projection system is returned to the original location after completion of the developing and fixing operations.

7. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 6, wherein a nozzle of the hot-air type fixing means is open to a tank opening portion of said developing means and wherein drying fixation owing to hot air is carried out by said hot-air type fixing means in the midway of the ascent of the lightsensitive member after completion of the developing operation, said light-sensitive member passing through the opening portion of the tank in said ascent.

8. The polychromatic electrostatic copying apparatus according to claim 3, wherein first, second, third and fourth operational stages are formed at each of said plurality of sectional positions, the light-sensitive member is attached to said exposure mask and is charged and exposed to light at said first operational stage of said one optional sectional position, said polychromatic picture is taken out at said fourth operational stage of said sectional position at which said polychromatic picture is taken out, the electrostatic images are developed at said second operational stages of the respective sectional positions, and the developed pictures are fixed at said third operational stages of the respective sectional positions.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3130655 *Jan 21, 1963Apr 28, 1964Minnesota Mining & MfgPhotographic apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3810693 *Aug 15, 1972May 14, 1974Tokyo Shibaura Electric CoColor electrostatic copying apparatus
US3976372 *Nov 13, 1974Aug 24, 1976Sharp Kabushiki KaishaElectrophotographical reproduction of a multicolor image
US3976373 *Sep 10, 1973Aug 24, 1976Canon Kabushiki KaishaElectrophotographic copying apparatus with reciprocating recording medium carrier
US4018522 *Aug 22, 1975Apr 19, 1977Ricoh Co., Ltd.Color electrophotographic copying machine
US5194905 *Nov 29, 1990Mar 16, 1993Xerox CorporationColor printer apparatus for printing selected portions of latent images in various colors
Classifications
U.S. Classification399/178
International ClassificationG03G15/01
Cooperative ClassificationG03G15/0142
European ClassificationG03G15/01S