|Publication number||USRE38926 E1|
|Application number||US 09/976,668|
|Publication date||Dec 27, 2005|
|Filing date||Oct 11, 2001|
|Priority date||Sep 10, 1992|
|Also published as||DE4330798A1, DE4330798C2, US5615873, US5648807, US5742316, US5850235, US5946016, US6027204, USRE40581|
|Publication number||09976668, 976668, US RE38926 E1, US RE38926E1, US-E1-RE38926, USRE38926 E1, USRE38926E1|
|Inventors||Seiichi Hirano, Susumu Murayama, Masanori Yoshida|
|Original Assignee||Seiko Epson Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (88), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (41), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/464,036, now abandoned, filed on Jun. 5, 1995 for PRINTER INCLUDING AN INK CARTRIDGE, which was a divisional application of application Ser. No. 08/119,012, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,648,807, filed on Sep. 9, 1993.
The present invention relates generally to printers, and, in particular, to improvements in an automatic-paper-feeder portion of a printer having an automatic paper feed incorporated therein.
Further, the present invention relates to improvements in a driving mechanism for individually feeding sheets of paper.
Still further, the present invention relates to improvements in ink jet printers, and specifically to improvements in the construction and arrangement of the print area thereof, to improvements in the construction of the mounting the ink cartridge on the carriage thereof, and to improvements for reducing the width of ink jet printers in the direction of a row.
Further, the present invention relates generally to a method of discharging paper in an ink jet printer, and in particular, to an improved technique of the discharging paper in which the discharged paper is neither damaged nor smeared.
As illustrated above, it is difficult to make the printers compact because of the dead space within the printer casings.
In the conventional printer construction of
However, in such a conventional printer, if paper discharge support 2101 rotates in the counterclockwise direction, pressure plate member 2107 moves downward, but separation pawl 2108 does not move. Therefore, if a plurality of sheets of paper are inserted, the edges of the top sheets may enter above separation pawl 2108. Hence, this printer construction has a problem with the feeding-in operation.
In the above construction, intermediate lever 2103 and engaging lever 2104 are necessary, resulting in a complicated printer construction.
The conventional mechanism employing the structures described above has the following problem.
Since transmission arm 2502 is not resilient, if left end 2502′ of transmission arm 2502 is pressed too hard by the carriage, the force of transmission gear 2505 against roller gear 2504 is too much, and gear 2504 and 2505 will not rotate smoothly.
However, with this type of printer, “blind striking” may occur in which ink is ejected from ink jet head 2201 despite the fact there is no paper P in print area 2201 a.
Blind striking occurs after the paper is detected by a paper detecting sensor disposed upstream of the print area but the paper fails to reach the print area due to a failure in paper feed, or the like. If the paper is detected by the paper detecting sensor, ink jet head 2201 operates on the assumption that the paper is present in the print area.
As shown in
Furthermore, a distal end of paper holding plate 2204 in the conventional printer shown in
Further, ink jet printers print by discharging ink onto paper. If the printed paper is discharged by means of, for instance, a pair of rubber rollers, the ink that is not dry will adhere to the rubber rollers on the printed surface side, thereby smearing the ink on the printed surface of the paper.
However, the conventional printer employing the structure described above has the following problem.
Star wheels 2402 are urged toward paper discharge roller 2401 by shafts 2403 each having a spring characteristic. If there are variations in the spring characteristic (i.e., on the urging force) of shafts 2403, the variations appear directly as variations in the pressing force of star wheels 2402 upon paper discharge roller 2401.
If the pressing force of star wheel 2402 upon paper discharge roller 2401 is small, it becomes impossible to obtain a transporting force for the paper. Conversely, if the pressing force is too large, perforations can form in the paper, and the printed surface, therefore, is liable to be damaged.
Since the ink jet printer prints onto paper by the ejection of ink, when printing is performed continuously on a plurality of sheets of paper, a subsequent sheet of paper may be discharged before the ink on the printed paper dries. If the subsequent sheet of paper contacts the preceding sheet of paper, the ink on the printed surface will smear.
Japanese Utility Model Unexamined Publication No. 134865/1992 describes a discharged paper stacker that overcomes this problem. The construction thereof is described with reference to
However, these conventional techniques employing the structures described above have the following problems.
First, even if discharged-paper tray 2306 is formed in a concave shape, if paper P1 is very stiff, paper P1 will not conform and stack in the desired concave shape. As a result, the time until subsequently discharged paper P2 slidably contacts printed paper P1 is not delayed, and the printed surface of printed paper P1 will smear. Also, because the shape of discharged-paper tray 2306 is concave, the space occupied by discharged-paper tray is larger than desired.
Furthermore, the print quality utilizing the techniques shown in
Ink jet printers having an ink cartridge mounted on a carriage have heretofore been proposed. These printers are more compact than a printer not having the ink cartridge mounted on the carriage and where ink is supplied to the ink jet head located above the carriage through a pipe from an ink tank.
Japanese Utility Model Unexamined Publication No. 101949/1991 describes a printer in which the operation of mounting or demounting of the ink cartridge with respect to the carriage can be performed simply by the operation of a lever.
However, this type of conventional printer is constructed and arranged so that the carriage can reciprocate even in a case where the operation of mounting the ink cartridge has not been performed completely.
For this reason, in the event that the carriage reciprocates in the state in which the mounting of the ink cartridge has been performed incompletely, there is the possibility of the ink cartridge coming off the carriage, thereby possibly staining paper or the path of the paper in the printer.
In addition, since no shock-absorbing member is interposed between the carriage and the ink cartridge, when the carriage suddenly reverses direction, any inertial force of the ink carriage is directly transmitted to the cartridge, causing vibrations to the carriage and excess noise.
Ink jet printers generally have a print area where printing is performed on recording paper by the head mounted on the carriage which reciprocates in the direction of a row, and a nonprint area located outside the print area where printing is not performed. In such ink jet printers, if printing is not performed for a predetermined time, the ink at the tip of the nozzle of the head becomes dry, and cause the nozzle to clog. To prevent this, it is necessary to perform a so-called “capping” operation and cover the ink jet head with a cap. However, if clogging has occurred, it is necessary to clear the ink path by forcibly sucking the ink from the nozzle using a sucking mechanism. The capping and sucking operations are performed when the carriage is in the nonprint area. Further, when the printing operation is continuously performed, the paper is fed for the portion of the interlinear space when the carriage is in the print area.
The driving for paper feed and the driving of the suction mechanism are conventionally performed by separate drive motors although printers in which the driving of the respective mechanisms is performed by one drive motor have become popular in recent years.
Similarly, the ink jet printer shown in
The conventional ink jet printers employing the structures described above have the following problems.
As illustrated in
The ink jet printer shown in
The ink jet printer shown in
By the arrangement in accordance with the invention, the foregoing deficiencies in the prior art are overcome. Specifically, a compact printer is provided. The printer paper feed mechanism permits an accurate feed-in operation with a simple mechanism which prevents the paper's insertion above the separation pawl. Further, the smooth operation of the mechanism for driving the feed-in roller is assured. The ink jet printer in accordance with the invention is designed so that the paper is not stained even if blind striking occurs and to keep constant the gap between the printing surface of the paper and the head. Further, the ink jet printer transports paper readily without staining the printed surface by, at least in part, delaying the time until paper which is discharged next is brought into sliding contact with the printed paper, while preventing the configuration of the paper from affecting the printing section. Still further, means is provided to prevent the ink cartridge from coming off the carriage. The cartridge mounting mechanism is adapted to reduce vibration and noise. Still further, the width in the direction of the row for ink jet printer is reduced while the paper feeding and suction operations are selectively effected.
Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, a printer in accordance with one aspect of the present invention includes an automatic paper feeder having a stacker section capable of setting a plurality of sheets of paper therein, wherein a bottom of said stacker section is formed by a bottom itself of a printer case.
The printer in accordance with another aspect of the present invention includes a stacker section capable of setting a plurality of sheets of paper therein; a hopper disposed in said stacker section to urge the paper upwardly; a pair of swinging members each having a separation pawl-located above a corner of a leading end of the paper and a pressing-down portion for pressing down said hopper, each of said swinging members being supported swingably about a shaft located between said separation pawl and said pressing-down portion; and an operation lever having a pair of actuating portions capable of pressing downward said swinging members, said operation lever being supported rotatably above said stacker section.
The printer in accordance with still another aspect of the present invention includes a feed-in roller for feeding sheets of paper one by one; a carriage for printing the sheet fed by said feed-in roller; a feed-in gear for rotating said feed-in roller; and a movable gear supported rotatably by a rotatable lever and capable of assuming a first position in which said movable gear meshes with said feed-in gear to rotate said feed-in gear and a second position in which said movable gear does not mesh with said feed-in gear, wherein a spring member having one end supported by said lever and another end supported by a frame of said printer, and an actuating portion is provided on said carriage to rotate said lever toward the first position in which said movable gear meshes with said feed-in gear by pressing and displacing an intermediate portion of said spring member.
The ink jet printer in accordance with a further aspect of the present invention includes a feed roller for feeding paper to a print area where printing is effected by an ink jet head; a transport roller disposed downstream of said feed roller relative to the print area to transport the paper in such a manner as to stretch the paper between the transport roller and said feed roller by rotating the transport roller at a peripheral speed faster than that of said feed roller; and an ink shielding portion disposed so as to form a passage of the paper between the same and said ink jet head over the entire print area.
The ink jet printer in accordance with a still further aspect of the present invention includes a feed roller for feeding paper to a print area where printing is effected by an ink jet head; a transport roller disposed downstream of said feed roller relative to the print area to transport the paper in such a manner as to stretch the paper between the transport roller and said feed roller by rotating the transport roller at a peripheral speed faster than that of said feed roller; and a pressing member for pressing the paper over an entire widthwise length thereof, a pressing portion of said pressing member being disposed at a position between said feed roller and said transport roller and where said pressing portion is in contact with neither of said two rollers.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ink jet printer for discharging paper printed by a printing section having an ink jet head, by means of a plurality of paper discharging rollers and a plurality of star wheels each of which rotates while nipping the paper between the same and said paper discharge roller, said ink jet printer including a shaft for supporting two star wheels as a unit at opposite ends of said shaft; and an urging member for urging a central portion of said shaft toward said paper discharge rollers.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of discharging paper characterized in that the paper printed by a printing section having an ink jet head is discharged while forcibly urging the paper in a concave shape in which a printed surface is rendered concave as viewed in a discharging direction.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, the method of discharging paper includes the steps of transporting the paper printed by a printing section having an ink jet head in a flat state as viewed in a discharging direction; and discharging the paper while forcibly urging the paper into a concave shape in which a printed surface is rendered concave as viewed in the discharging direction.
The ink jet printer in accordance with a further aspect of the present invention includes a pair of both-side supporting portions for supporting from below both side portions of the paper which has been discharged after being printed on an upper surface thereof by a printing section having an ink jet head, and a pushing-down portion for pushing down a central portion of the paper.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ink jet printer including a carriage which moves along a print area; a head mounted on said carriage; an ink cartridge mounted on said carriage for supplying ink to said head; and a lever provided on said carriage for mounting or demounting said ink cartridge with respect to said carriage, wherein a stopper is provided for stopping the movement of said carriage by coming into contact with said lever when an operation of mounting said ink cartridge by means of said lever has not been effected completely.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ink jet printer including a carriage which moves along a print area; a head mounted on said carriage; and an ink cartridge mounted on said carriage for supplying ink to said head; wherein said ink cartridge is supported on said carriage through a resilient member in a direction of movement of said carriage.
In accordance with a further aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ink jet printer having a print area where the printing of recording paper is effected by a head mounted on a carriage reciprocating in a direction of a row and a nonprint area which is located on both sides of the print area and where the printing by the head is not effected, said ink jet printer including a drive gear capable of assuming a paper-feed driving position which is located in one of the nonprint areas for driving a paper feeding mechanism for feeding the recording paper in a direction essentially perpendicular to the direction of the row and a suction driving position for driving a suction mechanism for sucking ink from said head; changeover means disposed on said carriage for changing over a position of said drive gear; and selecting means located in another one of said nonprint areas for selecting a state of said changeover means when said carriage enters said area.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a printer which can be made compact.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a printer which permits an accurate feeding-in operation with a simple mechanism by preventing the paper, which is inserted and set in an automatic paper feeder, from entering above the separation pawl.
Still another object of the present invention is to facilitate the setting of the paper.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a printer which makes it possible to positively ensure the smooth operation of the mechanism for driving the feed-in roller.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide an ink jet printer which will not stain the paper even if blind striking occurs.
An additional object of the present invention is to provide an ink jet printer which is capable of keeping constant the gap between the printing surface of the paper and the head.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an ink jet printer which is capable of transporting the paper reliably without staining the printed surface.
A further object of the present invention is to prevent the printed surface of the printed paper from becoming stained by reliably delaying the time until paper which is discharged next is brought into sliding contact with the printed paper.
A still further object of the present invention is to prevent the configuration of the paper from affecting the printing section.
Still another object of the present invention is to prevent the ink cartridge form coming off an ink jet printer of the type in which the operation of mounting or demounting of the ink cartridge is effected by the operation of a lever.
A still further object of the present invention is to reduce the vibrations and the reversing noise caused by the cartridge in the carriage.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a printer which is of reduced width in the direction of the row and to selectively effect the paper feeding operation and the suction operation.
Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of discharging paper in an ink jet printer.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of discharging paper that delays the contact of the discharged paper with the paper previously discharged.
Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of discharging paper so the discharged paper does not become damaged during the printing and discharging operations.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.
The invention accordingly comprises the several steps and the relation of one or more of such steps with respect to each of the others, and the apparatus embodying features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangement of parts which are adapted to effect such steps, all as exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGS. 7(a)-7(c) illustrate a left-side holder, FIG. 7(a) being a plan view, FIG. 7(b) being a front elevational view and FIG. 7(c) being a cross-sectional view taken along line 7c—7c in FIG. 7(a);
FIGS. 8(a)-8(c) illustrate a swinging member, FIG. 8(a) being a plan view, FIG. 8(b) being a front elevational view, and FIG. 8(c) being a bottom view;
FIGS. 9(a)-(c) illustrate an operation lever, FIG. 9(a) being a cross-sectional view taken along lines 9a—9a in
FIG. 9(b), FIG. 9(b) being a plan view, and FIG. 9(c) being a left-hand side elevational view;
FIGS. 21(a) to 21(g) illustrate an arm, FIG. 21(a) being a left-hand side elevational view; FIG. 21(b) being a right-hand side elevational view; FIG. 21(c) being a plan view; FIG. 21(d) being a cross-sectional view taken along lines 21d—21d in FIG. 21(a); FIG. 21(e)-being a cross-sectional view taken along lines 21e—21e in FIG. 21(a); FIG. 21(f) being a cross-sectional view taken along lines 21f—21f in FIG. 21(b); and FIG. 21(g) being a cross-sectional view taken along lines 21g—21g in FIG. 21(b);
FIGS. 22(a) and (b) illustrate a spring member, FIG. 22(a) being a plan view, and FIG. 22(b) being a fragmentary front elevational view;
A brief overview of the printer in accordance with the invention will first be given with reference to
The sheets of paper P are fed one by one to automatic feeding path 202 by the operation of a paper feed-in roller 312 which will be described later in detail.
The paper which has been fed in causes first lever 921 to rotate counterclockwise as viewed in
The detected paper, after being subjected to deskewing as will be described later, is wound around paper feed rollers 330, and reaches print area PA via pinch roller 350.
Pinch roller 350 is rotatably attached to a distal end of a paper guide 53 suspended from a rear frame 130 by means of a spring 52 so that paper guide 53 rotates about a fulcrum 51.
Print area PA is formed between an upper surface of intermediate frame 110 and an ink jet head H attached to carriage 60. Carriage 60 reciprocates in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the drawing of
The paper printed on in print area PA passes through transport section 380 and is discharged onto discharged-paper tray 260 via discharge section 490 which includes pushing-up portions 491, 491 for pushing up both sides of the paper, and a knurled roller 492 for pushing down a central portion of the paper.
The above-described operation from feeding to discharging is continuously performed in cases where printing is performed on a plurality of sheets of paper. The sheets are fed one by one by automatic paper feeder 210, and the printed sheets of paper P1 are consecutively stacked on discharged-paper tray 260.
Next, a detailed description will be given to each section of the printer.
As shown in
Also, as shown in
A loop holder 223a for the paper and a support shaft 223b of swinging member 240 are formed integrally on right-side holder 223. FIGS. 7(a) to 7(c) further disclose a hoop holder 225a and a support shaft 225b of a swinging member 250 formed integrally on left-side holder 225.
In addition, as shown in
As shown in
Swinging member 240 has a receiving portion 245 which abuts against an actuating portion 261 of operation lever 260. Formed in a rear portion of receiving portion 245 is a holding portion 245a for holding the rotated position of operation lever 260, that is, actuating portion 261, when operation lever 260 is rotated (see FIG. 12).
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
Next, a description will be given of the operation of automatic paper feeder 210. It should be noted swinging member 250 operates in the same way as swinging member 240, and therefore a description of the operation of swinging member 250 will be omitted.
Specifically, if operation lever 260 rotates, hopper 230 is pressed downward, and separation pawl 241 moves upward. Hence, paper P which is set in stacker section 220 is prevented from entering above separation pawl 241, thereby making it possible to obtain an accurate paper feeding-in operation. Also, the mechanism for pressing down hopper 230 and moving separation pawl 241 upward can be obtained simply by using swinging member 240 and operation lever 260 in conjunction with one another.
Additionally, when operation lever 260 is rotated, since the number of sheets inserted in stacker section 220 is restricted by restricting portion 263, the sheets of paper P can be prevented more reliably from entering above separation pawl 241.
Further, since operation lever 260 also serves as the discharged-paper tray, the number of components used is further reduced.
Furthermore, when operation lever 260 is rotated causing actuating portion 261 to swing swinging member 240, holding portion 245a of swinging member 240 engages actuating portion 261 to maintain the position of rotation of operation lever 260. Hence, the operation of inserting the paper is facilitated.
Subsequently, the group of excess sheets of paper P3 is removed. Operation lever 260 is returned to its original position, as shown in
The operation of the printer in this configuration can now be described with reference to
Accordingly, a printer constructed and arranged similar to that described above is more compact than conventional printers since the bottom of stacker session 220 of automatic paper feeder 210 is formed by bottom 221 of the printer case. In this way, any dead space is eliminated between the bottom of the printer case and the stacker section.
In addition, since loop holder 223a and loop canceling wall 228 are formed integrally with the printer case, the printer can be made further compact, and, if the paper size is fixed, loop holder 225a and loop canceling wall 225c can also be integral with the printer case and the printer can be made even more compact.
The mechanism for driving paper feed-in roller 312 will now be described with reference to
Feed-in roller 312 is rotatively driven by a feed motor M1 via a gear train G1, a gear 332 fixed to one end of a feed shaft 331, a gear 333 fixed to the other end thereof, a sun gear 313, a planetary gear 314 serving as a movable gear, as will be described later, and a feed-in gear 374 fixed to a feed-in roller shaft 371 on which feed-in roller 312 is mounted. Planetary gear 314 engages with or disengages from feed-in gear 374, and is adapted to engage with a feed-in gear 374 only when the carriage is located at the feeding-in position.
FIGS. 21(a) to 21(g) are diagrams further illustrating arm 3140.
Arm 3140 has a hole 3141 rotatably fitted on shaft 133 of the side frame and a shaft 3142 for rotatably supporting planetary gear 314 (see FIG. 18). Reference numeral 3143 denotes a support portion for engaging one end of spring member 150 (see
Referring to FIGS. 21(a)-21(d), a stopper 3144 is formed on arm 3140, and is inserted in a fan-shaped hole 137 (see
FIGS. 22(a) and 22(b) depict spring member 150 which includes a rod-shaped coil spring, and lower end 151 thereof is fitted over the support portion 3143 of the arm, as shown in FIG. 18. An upper end 152 of spring member 150 is supported and abuts against a projection 135 formed in a recess 134 of side frame 130, as shown in
Reference is now made to
In addition, the meshing (pressing) action of planetary gear 314 with feed-in 374 by the rotation of arm 3140 results from actuating portion 564 of carriage 60 pressing against spring member 150, and the operation of the meshing of planetary gear 314 with feed-in gear 374 is effected with the resiliency of spring member 150. Hence, a smooth meshing operation is obtained. Furthermore, sun gear 313 rotates so planetary gear 314 meshes with feed-in gear 374 and planetary gear 314 and feed-in gear 374 do not disengage until the force by actuating portion 564 upon intermediate portion 153 of spring member 150 terminates.
Reference is now made to
When a paper feed signal is inputted to the printer from an unillustrated host computer or the like, carriage 60 moves to the feed-in position (step ST1). Upon movement of carriage 60 to the feed-in position, actuating portion 564 presses and displaces intermediate portion 153 of spring member 150, so that arm 3140 rotates (
In Step ST2, a paper feed counter N (counting the number of steps defining the rotary displacement of the feed motor M1) is reset such that N=0.
Next, paper feed motor M1 is rotated in reverse (step ST3) and the paper feed counter begins to count in increments of 1 (Step ST4).
The reverse rotation of feed motor M1 causes feed rollers 330 and gear 333 to rotate reversely. As shown in
Next, a determination is made on the basis of a signal from paper detection switch 923 as to whether or not the paper is actually being fed in (step ST5).
If the paper is being fed in, feed motor M1 is reversely rotated by a predetermined amount (here, by 120 steps) (step ST6).
As a result, the paper is fed further, and deskewing is performed as the leading end of the paper is pressed against each nip between gate roller 340 and paper feed roller 330 rotating in a direction opposite to the paper feeding direction, and the paper is rotated about its portion in contact with feed-in roller 312 (in the directions of double-headed arrow X in FIG. 17).
In Step ST17, carriage 60 is moved to a printing standby position (a position where actuating portion 564 is disengaged from spring member 150).
When actuating portion 564 ceases to press against spring member 150, arm 3140 also returns to its original position (the position shown in
In Step ST8, feed motor M1 is rotated forward by a predetermined amount (here, by 610 steps).
As a result, paper feed rollers 330 rotate in a clockwise direction as viewed in
In Step ST9, the operation waits for a print signal.
Subsequently, when the print signal is inputted, while carriage 60 reciprocates by the operation of a carriage motor (not shown), ink is ejected from ink jet head H and printing takes place. The printed paper is discharged onto discharged-paper tray 260 via transport section 380 which includes transport rollers 381a-381d (
As illustrated in step ST5 of
If feed motor M1 has reached 1000 steps, it is determined that there is no paper in automatic paper feeder 210, and in Step ST11, a display is given on a display unit (not shown) to the effect that there is “no paper.”
If N has not reached 1000 steps, Step ST3 and subsequent steps are repeated.
In accordance with the driving mechanism of this embodiment, since intermediate portion 153 of spring member 150 is pressed and displaced by actuating portion 564 of carriage 60, arm 3140 rotates and causes planetary gear 314, which is a movable gear, to engage feed-in gear 374. Hence, feed-in roller 312 rotates. Also, the operation of the engagement of planetary gear 314 with feed-in gear 374 is performed with the resiliency of spring member 150. Hence, a smooth meshing operation is obtained, and a smooth and reliable rotating operation of feed-in roller 312 can be obtained.
Spring member 150 has one end 151 supported by arm 3140 and the other end 152 supported by side frame 130. When the pressing of actuating portion 564 of carriage 60 against spring member 150 ceases, spring member 150 returns to its original state. If the pressing of actuating portion 564 of the carriage against intermediate portion 153 of spring member 150 ceases, arm 3140 also returns to its original position by virtue of the returning action of spring member 150. As a result, the engagement of planetary gear 314 with feed-in gear 374 ceases.
Thus, spring member 150 serves to rotate arm 3140 and also serves to return arm 3140 to its original position.
It is understood that various modifications can be made to the actuating mechanism and driving mechanism.
For example, the actuating mechanism is not limited to the spring member disclosed above. It is possible to use a mechanism and rotate an ordinary lever L, as shown in FIG. 26. In
The spring member also need not be a rod-like coil spring, and, in its place, a leaf spring may be used. In this case, a smooth operation can be obtained if portions of contact between the leaf spring and the actuating portion are shaped to contact each other smoothly. However, when the spring member is formed of a rod-like coil spring 150, a smooth operation can be obtained without needing to provide such shaping.
Furthermore, in the driving mechanism disclosed above, the movable gear need not be a planetary gear. It suffices if the movable gear assumes at least two positions, one, a position where it engages the feed-in gear by the rotation of the arm to rotate the feed-in gear, and a position where it does not engage the feed-in gear.
Next, a description will be given of print area PA.
Referring back to
Ink shielding portion 112 is formed integrally with intermediate frame 110, and is arranged over the entire print area PA with extends in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the drawing of FIG. 3A.
As shown in
For this reason, the paper is guided slightly downward when the paper is fed by feed rollers 330 and the leading end of the paper enters print area PA. However, the position of pressing portion 141 is set such that a leading end Pa′ (dotted-dash line in
Next, a description will be given of the printing operation in the above-described print area.
The paper fed to automatic feeding path 202 by the operation of automatic paper feeder 310 is detected by paper detection switch 923. The detected paper is subjected to deskewing, and is then wound around feed rollers 330, and its leading edge enters print area PA.
After the paper is detected by detection switch 923, the paper may fail to reach print area PA due to a failure in paper feed or the like. However, even if the ink is ejected blindly by ink jet head H the ink will strike ink shield portion 112, so that the ink does not adhere to feed roller 330 or damage any other components.
In addition, as shown in
Furthermore, as noted above, leading edge Pa′ of the paper that subsequently enters print area PA is guide so that it passes above portion 112a, opposing the print area, of ink shielding portion 112 without contacting portion 112a, and abuts against paper guides 113, as shown in FIG. 31. Therefore, the paper is not stained by any ink that may be adhering to ink shielding portion 112.
The leading edge of the paper which has entered printed area PA is reliably guided to paper discharge rollers 381 by paper guides 113, and printing is performed in a state in which the paper floats in the air by being pulled by transport rollers 381 and star wheels 382, as shown in FIG. 31.
Paper P is pressed over its entire width by pressing portion 141 so as to position the printing surface. Pressing portion 141 is not affected by the processing accuracy of the surface of feed rollers 330, and maintains a gap G between the printing surface of paper P and ink jet head H constant. In this embodiment, and as illustrated in
Paper discharge rollers 381 are fixed in units of three rollers to two rotating shafts 383 and 384, respectively, which are supported by intermediate frame 110. As shown in
Transmitting gear 385 is constructed and arranged so that a gear portion 385a (meshing with either gear 383a or 384a fixed to rotating shaft 383 or 384, respectively), a roller portion 385b held in rolling contact with feed roller 330 and a common shaft 385c are integrally formed. Both ends of common shaft 385c are movably supported in rectangular holes 111 formed in intermediate frame 110, as shown in
Star wheels 382 rotate by being driven by paper discharge rollers 381, and when transporting the paper, star wheels 382 rotate by nipping the paper between them and paper discharge rollers 381.
The diameter or the number of teeth of each feed rollers 330, transmitting gear 385, and paper discharge rollers 381 is set so that the peripheral speed of paper discharge roller 381 is approximately 12% faster than the peripheral aspect of feed roller 330. Therefore, as depicted in
Supporting portions 491 and 491 are defined by fixed ribs formed integrally with intermediate frame 110. As shown in
Pushing-down portion 492 is defined by a knurled roller, and is rotatably supported on an arm 493 rotatably attached on upper frame 120. As shown in
A description will now be given of the paper discharging operation in the above-described discharge section.
Accordingly, the pressing forces of star wheels 382 against paper discharge rollers 381 (and ultimately the force upon paper P) are stabilized and proportionately reduced, resulting in paper P being transported reliably without any smearing thereon. Moreover, before the leading edge of the paper enters discharging section 490, pushing-down portion 492 is located below upper surfaces 491a of supporting portions 491, 491.
When leading edge Pa′ of the paper enters discharging section 490, both side portions of leading edge Pa are guided gradually upward by upper surfaces 491a of both-side supporting portions 491. At the same time, a central portion Pa1 of leading edge Pa gradually pushes up pushing-down portion 492 while rotating arm 493, counterclockwise, but central portion Pa1 of leading edge Pa then gradually falls below pushing-down portion 492 and is pushed down in comparison with the both side portions due to the weight of pushing-down portion 492 and 493 upon central portion Pa1.
Thus, paper P is discharged, starting with its leading edge, while being forcibly urged into a concave shape in which the printed surface is concaved as seen in the discharging direction. Since pushing-down portion 492 is supported by rotatable arm 493, paper P enters below pushing-down portion 492 smoothly because of the rotating motion of arm 493 when the leading edge of paper P is brought into contact with pushing-down portion 492.
If preceding paper P is pushed out by bringing the leading edge P2a of subsequent paper P2 into contact with the trailing edge Pb of preceding paper P, the stacking operation of preceding paper P on earlier printed paper P1 will be unreliable (see FIG. 34). However, by temporarily stopping the transport of subsequent paper P2, any contact between leading edge P2a of the subsequent sheets of paper and trailing edge Pb of the preceding paper is eliminated by making use of the inertia of preceding paper P1. In this way, the operation of stacking preceding paper P on the earlier printed paper P1 becomes very reliable.
Ink jet printers constructed and arranged in accordance with the present invention have any fluctuation in the pressing forces of each star wheel 382 against each paper discharge roller 381 reduced in half. The central portion of each shaft 386 has two star wheels 382 at opposite ends thereof. When the star wheels 386 are urged toward paper discharge rollers 381 by spring 387, even if there are variations in the urging forces of springs 387, these variations are distributed to the respective two star wheels 382 via shafts 386.
Accordingly, the pressing forces of the star wheels 382 upon paper discharge rollers 381, and, therefore, upon paper P are stabilized and proportionately reduced, resulting in the discharge of paper without damaging the printing surface.
In addition, the paper is discharged in a floating state because the printed paper is discharged while forced into a concave shape in which the printed surface is concave as seen in the discharging direction. And, if the paper discharged is very stiff, it also will not slidably contact with the printed paper since the stiff paper will remain in the air longer making it possible to prevent the printed surface of the printed paper from becoming smeared.
Postcards and envelopes, for example, have very small widths and may contact only one pushing-up portion 491. Therefore, the concave shape may not be formed. However, because of their inherent stiffness, they will not bend when held in a cantilever fashion and will remain in the air a sufficient time even though only one pushing-up portion 491 may be acting upon the postcards or envelopes.
The above construction and arrangement yield many advantages.
First, the discharged-paper tray for stacking the printed sheets of paper does not need to be formed in a concave shape, it is possible to reduce the space occupied by the discharged-paper tray.
Second, since the cancellation of the holding of the preceding paper, i.e., the final discharging operation, is effected by the ensuing paper, it is possible to make unnecessary the transporting/driving means for the preceding paper in the holding section for holding the paper in a concave shape.
Third, since the supporting portions are formed by fixed ribs, and the pushing-down portion is a knurled roller, the paper can be forcibly urged into a concave shape with a simple arrangements. Moreover, since the knurled roller is brought into contact with the printed surface, the printed surface is prevented from becoming stained.
Fourth, since the upper surfaces of the fixed ribs are inclined upward in correspondence with the paper discharging direction, the placing of the paper into a concave shape can be made smooth. Since the knurled roller is supported by the rotatable arm, the changing motion of the paper into a concave shape is effected more smoothly in conjunction with the aforementioned rotating motion.
Fifth, since th weight of the knurled roller forces the paper downward, an urging means such as a spring becomes unncessary, and the paper can be forcibly urged into a concave shape with at least one less component, resulting in a much simpler construction.
Next, a description will be given of the construction and arrangement of ink cartridge 90 which is mounted on carriage 60.
A head surface 71, to which head H is fixed in advance, is incorporated in carriage body 62. A connecting portion 75 for connection with ink cartridge 90 is formed integrally with head substrate 71. A connecting portion, generally indicated at 75, is formed in a hollow cylinder shape, and a needle 75a for breaking the seal of the ink cartridge is formed in a central portion thereof. An ink channel 75c, connected to an ink channel 70b in head H, are both formed in a central portion of needle 75a.
Carriage cover 63 includes pins 63b, 63b that fit in round holes 62b, 62b placed in the corners on a lower side of carriage body 62. A pair of claws 63a, 63a engage with square holes 62a, 62a (
A mounting portion 64 is formed in a box shape and integral with carriage cover 64. Ink cartridge 90 is mounted on mounting portion 64. Connecting portion 75 of the head substrate is fitted in an elongated hole 65. Slits 67, having relatively large widths, are formed in left and right side walls of mounting portion 64 and serve as paths for pins 94 of the ink cartridge. (See FIGS. 23 and 39). Supporting portions 66 are formed on the upper surface of the carriage cover 63.
As shown in
As shown in
A cam groove, generally indicated at 84, is formed on the inner side of each arm 82. Cam groove 84 includes an introducing groove 84a that introduces pin 94 of the cartridge into cam groove 84. Cam groove 84 has three sections in addition to 84a. These sections are starting portion 84b, curved groove 84c and terminating portions 84d. Starting portion 84b communicates with introducing groove 84a. Terminating portion 84d communicates with the starting portion 84b via a curved groove 84c. Using shaft 83 as a center, radius R (
A tongue 85 is a resilient member. Tongue 85 is formed integrally in arm 82 by means of a U-shaped slit 86. An elongated hole 85a is formed at a distal end of tongue 85.
As shown in
A stopper pin 87 will contact support portion 66 of carriage cover 63 to restrict any excess rotation of lever 80 when lever 80 rotates in the direction of arrow a2 (FIG. 40).
First, lever 80 is rotated in the direction of arrow a2, and the empty ink cartridge is removed. A new ink cartridge 90 is then placed lightly into mounting portion 64 (see
Therefore, if lever 80′ rotates in the direction of arrow a1, each pin 94′ enters curved groove 84c. Since radius R increases as described heretofore, pin 94′ is forced downward in slit 67 as lever 80′ rotates in the clockwise direction. Therefore, a cartridge 90′ is gradually forced downward. As cartridge 90′ moves downward, a connecting portion 91′ of the cartridge connects to connecting portion 75 of the head substrate, and a seal 92′ is broken.
When lever 80′ fully rotates in the direction of arrow a1 and reaches the position indicated by the solid lines (FIG. 42), each pin 94 reaches terminating portion 84d of the cam groove, and the cartridge is completely mounted. Moreover, the user is easily able to confirm that a complete fitting state has been obtained since each convex portion 93 of the cartridge is fitted with a click in elongated hole 85a in each tongue 85 of the lever.
When ink cartridge 90 is empty, ink cartridge 90 can be easily removed simply by rotating lever 80 in the direction of arrow a2 and lifting up the cartridge.
This carriage stop position serves as a capping position in which a cap 100 is fitted to head H. Cap 100 is fitted to head H when the carriage is stopped. Cap 100 prevents the ink from drying in the nozzle of the head. Cap 100 can also remove any clogging of the ink by sucking the ink from the nozzle. A lever 101 moves cap 100 vertically. A pump unit 102 performs the sucking operation.
A forward end of ceiling portion 13a is formed as a suspended portion 13c extending downward, and a right end face 13d thereof is formed as a stopper.
Therefore, if lever 80 fully rotates in the direction of arrow a1, i.e., if ink cartridge 90 is completely mounted in mounting portion 64, lever 80 can extend below ceiling portion 13a, and carriage 60 can move in the direction of arrow z (FIG. 43). However, as illustrated in
First, in the event of an incomplete mounting of the ink cartridge, any damage to the structure by the movement of the carriage will only be to the lever 80 and not to the ink cartridge itself. This is because the lever will contact the stopper, and the ink cartridge. Specifically, referring to
Second, if the carriage begins to move without the ink cartridge being fully installed, the lever will very shortly thereafter abut the stopper, preventing any further movement of the carriage. Specifically referring to
Third, the interior of the printer is prevented from becoming started. The carriage stop position serves as the capping position when cap 100 is fitted to head H. If there is an increase in pressure in the ink channel when ink cartridge 90 is mounted on cartridge 60, the ink is captured by cap 100.
Fourth, the stopper construction, specifically stopper 13d, is very simple. Stopper 13d is integral with case 13 of the printer.
Fifth, the construction and arrangement of tongues 85 aid in reducing the vibrations, and any ancillary noise due to the vibrations, of carriage 60 when carriage 60 reverses direction. Tongues 85 of lever 80 resiliently support ink cartridge 90 in carriage 60. When carriage 60 moves, the inertial force and vibrations of ink cartridge 90, when carriage 60 reverses direction, is transmitted to carriage 60 through the tongues 85. Therefore, because of the construction of tongues 85, the inertial force of ink cartridge 90 is transmitted to carriage 60 in a dampened state, and any vibrations and noise are reduced.
Reference will now be made of the ink jet printer constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention.
A major difference between the second embodiment and the first embodiment is in the carriage and the structure for supporting the carriage. All other features of the second embodiment are similar in construction and arrangement to those of the first embodiment.
In this embodiment, the carriage selectively effect the paper feeding operation or the suction operation by being first allowed to enter first nonprint area A1 to select the state of a changeover means provided on the carriage. Then the carriage enters second nonprint area A2 to change over the position of a drive gear by using the changeover means.
An ink jet head H is mounted on carriage 610, and printing takes place by injecting ink i toward a sheet of recording paper (not shown) located below head H, as shown in FIG. 49.
An actuating piece, generally indicated at 30, is formed of a resilient member (e.g. a leaf spring), and includes a proximal portion 31 rotatably supported on the frame by a shaft 31a. As shown in
Referring primarily to
Actuating lever 42 has a substantially Y-shaped configuration and includes first and second distal end portions 42a, 42b.
As shown in
Next, a description will be given of the operation of the above-described mechanism.
Similarly to a conventional printer, the printing operation is performed so that carriage 610 reciprocates across print area A, ink i is ejected from head H, the printing paper is fed for the portion of the interlinear space each time one line is printed, thereby printing one sheet of recording paper.
While printing on a sheet of paper, carriage 610 shallowly enters from first nonprint area A1, and the feeding-in operation and feeding operation of a subsequent sheet of recording paper are performed. At this time, since carriage 610 only shallowly enters into first nonprint area A1, the first distal end portion 42a of actuating lever 42 does not abut against selecting protrusion F5, as indicated by the solid lines in FIG. 52. Thereafter, the carriage 610 returns to print area PA, and printing is performed on the second sheet of recording paper. The same operation is repeated until a predetermined number of sheets are printed.
The capping operation is performed when no print signal is detected for a predetermined period of time. Head H is covered with cap 100 (
In this case, carriage 610 enters second nonprint area A2. As shown by the solid lines in
In this way, the capping operation is performed and drive gear 20 will rotate so the paper feeding operation is performed.
Subsequently, when a print signal is detected, the carriage returns to print area PA to perform the passing operation.
When the nozzle of head H becomes clogged, it is necessary to eliminate the clogging by forcibly sucking the ink from the nozzle by using a suction mechanism. The suction operation is performed by manually throwing a switch which may be on the operation panel or the like of the printer. When the switch is in the ON position, carriage 610 first enters deeply into the first nonprint area A1. Then, as indicated by the phantom lines in
Subsequently, carriage 610 passes print area PA and enters second nonprint area A2. Then, as indicated by phantom lines in
The suction mechanism can now perform the suction operation.
If a print signal is subsequently detected, the carriage returns to print area PA, and changeover lever 40 is reset in the following manner. When carriage 610 moves in the direction of arrow z (FIG. 48), resetting projection 43b at the top of locking lever 43 contacts with the rear surface of resetting protrusion F3, as indicated by the phantom lines in
As described above and in accordance with the ink jet printer of this embodiment, carriage 610 is first entered into first nonprint area A1 to select the state of changeover lever 40 provided on the carriage, and carriage 610 is then entered into second nonprint area A2 to change over the position of drive gear 20 by means of changeover lever 40. Thus, the paper feeding operation or the suction operation can be effected selectively.
Therefore, since the paper feeding operation and the suction operation are selectively performed, the drawback found in conventional mechanisms of the recording paper being fed when the suction operation is performed is eliminated. Furthermore, the drawback of the suction operation being performed despite the fact that the head is not clogged is eliminated. Moreover, since only one nonprint area is provided on each side of the print area, the width of the printer in the direction of the row can be reduced.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in carrying out the above method and in the construction set forth without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
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|International Classification||B65H3/52, B65H3/06, B41J25/34, B41J11/00, B41J29/38, B65H29/70, B65H1/08, B41J2/165, B41J2/14, B41J13/076, B41J13/10, B41J2/175, B41J23/02, B65H29/14, B41J2/01|
|Cooperative Classification||B41J23/025, B65H3/0669, B65H2601/251, B65H29/70, B41J25/34, B41J13/10, B41J13/076, B65H29/14, B41J13/106, B41J11/005, B65H1/08, B41J2/1752, B41J13/103|
|European Classification||B65H1/08, B41J23/02B, B41J13/076, B41J13/10C, B65H29/14, B65H3/06M, B41J2/175C3, B65H29/70, B41J13/10, B41J13/10B, B41J25/34, B41J11/00G2|
|Jul 27, 2007||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Oct 3, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|