Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Flory L. Martin
  • Patent number: 6425650
    Abstract: A system of classifying incoming media entering an inkjet or other printing mechanism is provided to identify the media without requiring any special manufacturer markings. The incoming media is optically scanned using a blue-violet light to obtain both diffuse and specular reflectance data, from which a media signature is generated. The generated signature is compared with known signatures for different media types to classify the incoming media, and a corresponding print mode is selected. Finally, the selected print mode for the classified incoming media is stored for future reference. Thus, a consumer can teach the printing mechanism to recognize new types of media. For borderline media falling between two categories, the printer remembers which category was selected previously, and then applies the same print mode to the next borderline media to provide a visually consistent output. A printing mechanism constructed to implement this method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Steven H Walker, Stuart A. Scofield, Jefferson P. Ward, Huston W. Rice
  • Patent number: 6406124
    Abstract: A ganged inkjet printhead sealing system maintains inkjet printhead health in an inkjet printing mechanism during periods of printing inactivity. In multi-printhead printing mechanisms, separate caps seal against each of the printheads. The caps each have an outlet vent. The vents are all ganged together and fluidically coupled to a single, common pressure regulation chamber that isolates the environment adjacent the printhead nozzles from the external environment when the printheads are capped. A fluid in a U-shaped manometer tube, or an elastomeric bladder are used to isolate the pressure chamber environment. The bladder may be constructed as a thin-walled sheet, a spring-biased bag, or as a bellows. The pressure chamber volume changes to accommodate pressure spikes during the capping process, as well as environmental changes in temperature, elevation, barometric pressure, etc. An inkjet printing mechanism having such a ganged capping system, along with associated capping methods are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Jeremy A. Davis, Kris M. English, Jeffrey K. Pew
  • Patent number: 6402288
    Abstract: A flexible frame onsert molded capping system has an elastomeric sealing lip onsert molded onto a flexible, flat, springy support frame, preferably with series of these sealing lips being molded on a single flexible frame to simultaneously seal several adjacent inkjet printheads. The frame has a border region with one or more cap bases attached to the frame by plural suspension spring elements. The suspension spring elements have both cantilever and torsional characteristics which allow the bases to tilt and twist independent of one another to seal each printhead, even when the orifice plates of adjacent printheads are not in a coplanar alignment. Use of a single piece frame, and onsert molding of the cap lips thereon, decreases the number of parts required to assemble an inkjet printing mechanism, leading to a more economical unit which is easier to assemble.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: John D. Rhodes, Donald L. Michael
  • Patent number: 6400099
    Abstract: An accelerated illuminate response system controls a light emitting diode (“LED”), for instance, in an optical sensor system that monitors ink droplets on a print media in an inkjet printing mechanism to adjust future printing for optimal images. A printhead carriage scans an optical sensor across the printed media to determine droplet location, color and hue. The sensor uses an LED to illuminate the media in response to an LED drive signal, and a photodetector to receive light reflected from the media. The LED drive signal first applies a low level pre-warming current, then a high current pulse for a selected duration, and thereafter a normal drive current during a secondary illuminate response until the LED reaches a selected illumination value at or near steady-state conditions. An inkjet printing mechanism having such an optical sensor system is also provided, along with a method of illuminating an LED.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Steven H. Walker
  • Patent number: 6394575
    Abstract: An inkjet airbrush system uses inkjet printing technology in a new manner for color mixing in airbrush painting. A variety of different configurations are used to generate atomized custom colors which are blown by the inkjet airbrush onto an object. In response to firing signals, a printhead ejects a custom blend of colors which are combined in a mixing chamber and then atomized using any type of atomizer desired. The firing signals may be generated by a remote device, such as a computer, or they may be generated on-board the inkjet airbrush in response to a user input, such as a code selected from a color chart. The amount of colorant passing through the airbrush may be varied by varying the firing signal frequency. The inkjet airbrush provides fast color changes and faster clean-up than conventional systems. A method of applying a fluid on an object is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Blair M. Kent
  • Patent number: 6390593
    Abstract: A foam-filled cap sealing ink-ejecting nozzles of an inkjet printhead in a printing mechanism has a two-layer structure, with an outer skin layer of an elastomer, and a second foam core layer inside the skin. The skin defines a sealing lip that surrounds the nozzles when the cap is in a sealing position to avoid unnecessary drying of the ink. The skin has an interior surface that defines a cavity under the sealing lip. The foam core, located within the cavity, may be formed by expanding a foam preform or by injecting raw foam into the cavity. An insert may be molded into the cap structure for use in mounting the cap in the printing mechanism. An optional backing layer molded to the structure is used to attach a vent basin to the cap. A method of constructing this cap, and a printing mechanism having this cap, are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Stephen M DeRoos, Donald L Michael, James E Green, James A Harvey
  • Patent number: 6386663
    Abstract: An adaptive method for handling media is provided for an inkjet printing mechanism having a printhead that prints on media in a printzone. A drive motor, a spacing adjuster, a controller storing a tolerance adjust value, and a media support member are provided, with the support member defining a printhead-to-media spacing in the printzone. The tolerance value is summed with a value selected for the type of media or image to determine a total motor drive value. In a coupling step, the motor is operatively coupled to the support member using the spacing adjuster. Following the coupling step, in an adjusting step, the printhead-to-media spacing is selectively adjusted by the driving spacing adjuster with the motor for the total drive value. A method is provided of accommodating manufacturing tolerance variations accumulated during assembly of an inkjet printing mechanism having a printhead that prints on media in a printzone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Allan G. Olson
  • Patent number: 6386678
    Abstract: A high deflection capping system has an elastomeric sealing member with a sealing lip that, when viewed in cross section, forms a smiling-shaped seal against an inkjet printhead to provide improved printhead sealing, particularly when sealing over surface irregularities on the printhead. This high deflection sealing member may be onsert molded onto a support frame. A series of these sealing lips being molded on a single flexible frame to simultaneously seal several adjacent inkjet printheads, with the flexible frame having a border region with one or more cap bases attached to the frame by plural suspension spring elements. The suspension spring elements have both cantilever and torsional characteristics which allow the bases to tilt and twist independent of one another to seal each printhead. Alternatively, the support frame may be designed to support only a single high deflection sealing member. A venting system is also provided with vapor diffusion handling capabilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Donald L. Michael, John D. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 6386669
    Abstract: A system of classifying incoming media entering an inkjet printing mechanism identifies the media without requiring any special manufacturer markings. The media is first optically scanned using a blue-violet light at an initial intensity to obtain both diffuse and specular reflectance data. If useable, the data is compared with known values for different types of media to classify the media so an optimum printmode tailored for the particular media type is used. If the initial data is unusable, successive scanning passes are preformed to find useable diffuse data, and if found, then to find useable specular data. During these successive passes, following an initial calibration scan for the media, each successive scan reduces the scanner intensity until reaching a minimum intensity. If upon reaching the minimum intensity, no useable data has been found, then a default printmode is selected. A printing mechanism constructed to implement this method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Stuart A. Scofield, Steven H. Walker
  • Patent number: 6375302
    Abstract: An ink solvent application system applies an inkjet ink solvent with a wiper to clean ink residue from an inkjet printhead. The solvent is stored in a porous applicator and extracted using capillary forces generated when the wiper is rubbed across the applicator. To retain sufficient amounts of ink solvent on the wiper, the wiper moves away from the applicator in a coordinated motion having both rotational and translational components. This coordinated motion for picking solvent from the applicator is superior to a purely rotational stroke of the wiper, which picks very little solvent. The wiper then wipes the solvent across the printhead to dissolve accumulated ink residue. The wiper then moves across a blotter to remove dissolved ink residue and dirty solvent from the wiper. A method of cleaning ink residue from an inkjet printhead, along with an inkjet printing mechanism having such a solvent application system, are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Todd R Medin
  • Patent number: 6357851
    Abstract: A hide-away wiper and wiper scraper system has a wiper that is extended to wipe ink residue from an inkjet printhead installed in an inkjet printing mechanism, and following wiping, ink residue is scraped from the wiper during retraction into a hide-away rest position inside the scraper mechanism. For cleaning several inkjet printheads, several such hide-away wipers may be provided in like number for cleaning the printheads. The hide-away nature of these wipers allows for independent movement of the wipers between their rest and wiping positions, which facilitates the uses of independent wiping routines tailored for the servicing needs of each printhead, or type of printhead. An inkjet printing mechanism having a hide-away wiping system, along with a method of cleaning one or more inkjet printheads, are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Todd Michael Gaasch
  • Patent number: 6350073
    Abstract: A Z-fold print media handling system for printing banners and the like uses an inkjet printing mechanism without a tractor-feed. A series of stuttering stopping and starting steps generates varying static and dynamic frictional forces to separate the first sheet of a Z-fold stack from the remainder of the stack. Both conventional cut-sheet media and Z-fold media are fed using the same printing mechanism, which pulls the media toward a printzone through frictional engagement with a first surface of the media To prevent printhead crashes and smearing the image near the perforations joining the Z-fold sheets, the printhead to media spacing is increased for Z-fold media over the standard spacing used for cut-sheet media. A cam feature is incorporated into the media drive clutch disk to determine whether an operator has set a selector lever for cut-sheet or Z-fold printhead to media spacing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Thomas E McCue, Jr., Gary Hays, John C Santon, Raymond C Sherman, William Watts, Jeffrey T Hendricks, Ivan F. Crespo
  • Patent number: 6340218
    Abstract: A single-pass wiping system is provided for cleaning ink residue from an inkjet printhead in an inkjet printing mechanism. The wiper system includes a platform moveable through a wiping stroke, along with a first wiper blade and a second wiper blade each supported by the platform. A third intermediate wiper blade is supported by the platform between the first wiper blade and the second wiper blade to wipe ink residue from the printhead during a unidirectional wiping stroke through contact first with the first wiper blade, followed by contact with the third wiper blade, followed by contact with the second wiper blade. An inkjet printing mechanism is provided with a single-pass wiping system as described above, along with a method is provided for cleaning ink residue from an inkjet printhead in an inkjet printing mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Dean A. Gaylor
  • Patent number: 6340220
    Abstract: A transferring spittoon system is provided for an inkjet printing mechanism to handle waste inkjet ink that has been spit from an inkjet printhead during a nozzle clearing, purging or “spitting” routine. A rotating spit wheel receives ink residue spit from the printhead. A scraper removes the residue from the spit wheel and directs the residue into a temporary storage container. A transfer mechanism transports the ink residue from the temporary storage container to a permanent storage container. A second scraper may be used to remove the residue from the transfer mechanism and direct the residue into the permanent storage container. The transfer mechanism may be a rotating auger, a conveyor belt, or a turntable. A method of purging ink residue from an inkjet printhead, along with an inkjet printing mechanism having such a transferring spittoon system, are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Dean A. Gaylor, Michael S. Millman, John A. Barinaga
  • Patent number: 6328412
    Abstract: An inkjet printhead servicing station for an inkjet printing mechanism includes a translational pallet that carries servicing appliances, like wipers, caps and flaps. A service station frame defines a guide track that supports the pallet for translational movement in a plane substantially parallel with a printhead plane and in a direction substantially perpendicular to the scanning axis of the printhead when transported by a carriage. The frame has adjacent pallet and carriage alignment datums. The pallet has a carriage lock that secures the carriage with or without the inkjet printhead installed therein. The pallet has a rack gear that is driven with a spindle pinion gear. The service station frame has a base and a bonnet cover that define the guide track, with the pallet being sandwiched therebetween. An inkjet printing mechanism having such a service station, and a method of assembling a service station are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Bret Taylor, John D. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 6328411
    Abstract: A ferro-fluidic inkjet printhead sealing and spitting system is provided for maintaining inkjet printhead health, prior to and after installation in an inkjet printing mechanism. As a ferro-fluidic capping system for sealing printhead nozzles which eject ink having either polar properties or non-polar properties, the system includes a support structure engageable with the printhead, and a magnetic element supported by the support structure. A ferro-fluidic fluid overlays the magnetic element to seal against the printhead nozzles when the support structure is engaged with the printhead. The ferro-fluidic fluid has polar properties when the ink has non polar properties, and non-polar properties when the ink has polar properties. The ferro-fluidic fluid may be used to receive ink spit from the printhead, or when used with an adhesive tape, to protect an inkjet cartridge during shipping. An inkjet printing mechanism having such a ferro-fluidic system, along with associated methods are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Bret K. Taylor, Jefferson P. Ward, Dawn M. Beachnau Hood
  • Patent number: 6325503
    Abstract: A hardcopy printing mechanism and a greeting card feeder retrofit kit therefor, along with an operating method are provided for printing images on a first-sized media, and on both surfaces a second-sized greeting card media without removing the first-sized media from its normal supply tray. The hardcopy device may be an electrophotographic or inkjet printer preferably equipped with a duplexer module which inverts media from a printed first surface to an opposing second surface for printing an image thereon. For a printer having an alignment surface, and a width adjuster to push the first-sized media against the alignment surface, the greeting card feeder includes a biasing member which pushes the card stock against the alignment surface. The retrofit kit includes a supply of pre-scored greeting card stock and a software program with a group of greeting card images for a consumer to select from to print store-bought quality greeting cards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Thomas E. McCue, Jr., Mark Garboden, Todd M. Gaasch
  • Patent number: 6325505
    Abstract: A system of classifying the type of media to be printed upon in a printing mechanism is provided for use in an inkjet or other type mechanism where media identification is desired without requiring any special markings to be made on the media. A method includes the steps of optically scanning a portion of said media to generate a reflectance value, and performing a Fourier transform on the reflectance value to determine the frequency magnitude of the reflectance value. In an analyzing step, the frequency magnitude of the reflectance value is analyzed through comparison with known values for different types of media to classify said media as one of said different types of media. At least four different types of media may be distinguished and classified, including two different types of transparencies, glossy photo media, and plain paper. A printing mechanism constructed to implement this method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Steven H. Walker
  • Patent number: 6322192
    Abstract: A multi-function optical sensing system is provided for determining the presence, color and location of ink droplets printed by printheads in a printzone of an inkjet printing mechanism, and for determining the media type from indicia printed on media indicative of the media type. Printhead carriage and media advance encoders provide input signals that are used in conjunction with signals received from a multi-function optical sensor that the carriage scans across the printzone to illuminate selected portions of the media. The spectral reflectance of the illuminate media is used to determine the ink color or hue when illuminated by a blue light emitting diode (LED) of the sensor, and to interpret the media type indicia when illuminated by a red LED. An inkjet printing mechanism having such a multi-function optical sensing system is also provided, along with a method of sensing ink droplets printed on media in such an inkjet printing mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Steven H. Walker
  • Patent number: D460105
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: David W. Leong, Stephan W. Emmenegger