Title:
Paper guide device for compact printer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A paper guide device for a compact printer which can be varied in its guide width by a simple operation and can accommodate papers having different widths, is disclosed. The device includes: a lower guide frame mounted on the compact printer; an upper guide frame coupled to a front surface of the lower guide frame with a gap therebetween to allow a paper to pass therethrough, which is provided at its rear surface with a pair of guide pieces having a spacing corresponding a width of a first type of paper to guide the first type of paper; and an auxiliary guider detachably fitted between the lower and upper guide frames such that the auxiliary guider is positioned at a location spaced from either of the pair of guide pieces by a distance corresponding to a width of a second type of paper, thereby guiding the second type of paper in conjunction with either guide piece of the guide pieces.



Inventors:
Yang, Seong-deog (Suwon-si, KR)
Application Number:
10/192672
Publication Date:
11/06/2003
Filing Date:
07/11/2002
Assignee:
Samsung Elecro-Mechanics Co., Ltd.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H23/035; B41J13/00; B65H5/38; (IPC1-7): B65H5/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
JOERGER, KAITLIN S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (WA) (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A paper guide device for a compact printer, comprising: a lower guide frame mounted on the compact printer; an upper guide frame coupled to a front surface of the lower guide frame with a gap existing therebetween to allow a paper to pass therethrough, and which is provided at its rear surface with a pair of guide pieces having a spacing corresponding to a width of a first type of paper to guide the first type of paper; and an auxiliary guider detachably fitted between the lower and upper guide frames such that the auxiliary guider is positioned at a location spaced from either of the pair of guide pieces by a distance corresponding to a width of a second type of paper, thereby guiding the second type of paper in conjunction with either guide piece of the guide pieces.

2. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 1, in which the lower guide frame is provided at its front surface with a pair of fitting grooves into which the pair of guide pieces are partially fitted, and is provided with a vertical retaining hole at a position between the pair of fitting grooves, the upper guide frame being provided with a pair of holding protrusions defining a holding groove therebetween at a position of its upper end corresponding to the retaining hole, the auxiliary guider including a slider to be fitted into the retaining hole in a sliding manner, a hook formed above the slider and protruded forwardly which is adapted to be fitted into the holding groove, and a tension slit formed between the slider and the hook to afford elasticity to the auxiliary guider.

3. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 2, in which the auxiliary guider is provided at an upper end of its rear surface with a hanger protrusion, which is hung on an upper end of the lower guide frame.

4. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 1 or 2, in which the first type of paper has a width of 3 inches, and the second type of paper has a width of 2 inches.

5. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 1, in which the lower and upper guide frames are coupled to each other by screws.

6. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 1, in which the lower guide frame is provided at its front surface with a vertical retaining hole into which the auxiliary guider is fitted, the upper guide frame being provided with a protrusion at a position of its upper end corresponding to an inner side of the retaining hole, which defines a holding groove in conjunction with the other guide piece of the pair of guide pieces, the auxiliary guider including a slider to be fitted into the retaining hole in a sliding manner, a hook formed above the slider and protruded forwardly which is adapted to be fitted into the holding groove, and a tension slit formed between the slider and the hook to afford elasticity to the auxiliary guider.

7. A paper guide device for a compact printer, comprising: a lower guide frame mounted on the compact printer, which is provided at it front surface with a pair of vertical fitting grooves having a spacing therebetween to allow a first type of paper to pass therethrough, and is provided between the pair of fitting grooves with a vertical retaining hole, which is spaced from either of the pair of fitting grooves by a distance corresponding to a width of a second type of paper smaller than a width of a first type of paper; an upper guide frame coupled to a front surface of the lower guide frame with a gap existing therebetween to allow a paper to pass therethrough, which is provided at both sides of its rear surface with a pair of guide pieces to be fitted into the fitting grooves, and which is provided with a pair of holding protrusions defining a holding groove therebetween at a position of its upper end corresponding to the retaining hole; and an auxiliary guider including a slider to be fitted into the retaining hole in a sliding manner, a hook formed above the slider and protruded forwardly which is adapted to be fitted into the holding groove, a tension slit formed between the slider and the hook to afford elasticity to the auxiliary guider, and a hanger protrusion provided at an upper end of the auxiliary guider and hung on an upper end of the lower guide frame.

8. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 7, in which the first type of paper has a width of 3 inches, and the second type of paper has a width of 2 inches.

9. The paper guide device as set forth in claim 7, in which the lower and upper guide frames are coupled to each other by screws.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a paper guide device for a compact printer, and more particularly to a paper guide device for a compact printer which is adapted to allow its guide width to be easily changed to accommodate papers of different widths.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In general, a compact printer is used in issuing itemized receipts on which names and prices of goods are printed, and comprises a printer body, a paper supply unit equipped in the printer body, a printing unit for printing names and prices of goods etc. on papers, a guide device for guiding papers to the printing unit to facilitate a printing procedure, and a cutting unit for cutting printed papers at a certain place.

[0005] Papers used in compact printers are largely classified into a paper having a width of 2 inches and a paper having a width of 3 inches according to the purpose. The papers for a compact printer are supplied in rolled form and are rotatably mounted in compact printers to be used.

[0006] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a conventional paper guide device for a compact printer which is adapted to guide a paper to a printing unit.

[0007] As shown in the drawings, the conventional paper guide device is comprised of a lower guide frame 1 and an upper guide frame 2 which are provided with a gap existing therebetween to allow a paper to pass theretrough, and securely fastened to each other by screws “S”. In the paper guide device, a paper is introduced into “A” portion, and then discharged from “B” portion in the drawings, while maintaining its approximately horizontal orientation.

[0008] The upper guide frame 2 comprises a right guider 4, a left guider 3 and a center guider 5.

[0009] The right guider 4 is rearwardly protruded at its right end to guide a right side of a paper “P1 or P2”, and is fastened to a right portion of a front part of the lower guide frame 1 by the screws “S”.

[0010] The left guider 3 is rearwardly protruded at its left end to guide a left side of a paper “P1 or P2”, and is selectively fastened to a left portion or a center portion of the lower guide frame 1 by the screws “S”. In this case, when the left guider 3 is fastened to the left portion of the lower guide frame 1, the left guider 3 is spaced from the right guider 4 by a certain distance. On the other hand, when the left guider 3 is fastened to the center portion of the lower guide frame 1, the left guider 3 comes into direct contact with the right guider 4.

[0011] That is, a distance between the left end of the left guider 3 and the right end of the right guider 4 is a guide width necessary to snugly accommodate a paper. More specifically, when the left guider 3 is held at the center portion of the lower guide frame 1, a width of 2 inches is maintained between the left and right guiders. When the left guider 3 is held at the left portion of the lower guide frame 1, a width of 3 inches is maintained between the left and right guiders.

[0012] When the spacing between the left guider 3 and the right guider 4 has a width of 3 inches, the center guider 5 is interposed between the left guider 3 and the right guider 4 to serve as a spacer.

[0013] The lower guide frame 1 is provided with threaded holes such that the threaded holes are positioned at the right portion of the lower guide frame 1 on which the right guider 4 is fastened, at the left portion of the lower guide frame on which the left guider 3 is fastened, and at the center portion of the lower guide frame on which the center guider 5 is fastened.

[0014] Accordingly, the conventional paper guide device is capable of accommodating any of papers having a width of 3 inches and papers having a width of 2 inches by adjusting the location of the left guider.

[0015] However, such a conventional paper guide device has a disadvantage in that it is cumbersome to adjust a position of the left guider in accordance with a width of papers to be used.

[0016] More specifically, to adjust a guide width of the paper guide device, the screw for the left guider must be first unscrewed, and then moved to a desired position and be screwed into one of the threaded holes, thereby an operation of positioning the left guider being complicated. Furthermore, since a large number of components are necessary to constitute the paper guide device, its assembled condition is complicated, and its manufacturing process is difficult.

[0017] In addition, since the left guider must be frequently moved in a widthwise direction to obtain a desired guide width, an outer appearance of frames of the device may be deteriorated due to collision between the left guider and other components.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a paper guide device for a compact printer which is adapted to allow its guide width to be easily changed.

[0019] In order to accomplish the above object, the present invention provides a paper guide device for a compact printer, comprising: a lower guide frame mounted on a portion of the compact printer; an upper guide frame coupled to a front surface of the lower guide frame with a gap existing therebetween to allow a paper to pass therethrough, and which is provided at its rear surface with a pair of guide pieces having a spacing corresponding to a width of a first type of paper to guide the first type of paper; and an auxiliary guider detachably fitted between the lower and upper guide frames such that the auxiliary guider is positioned at a location spaced from either of the pair of guide pieces by a distance corresponding to a width of a second type of paper, thereby guiding the second type of paper in conjunction with either guide piece of the guide pieces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0021] FIG. 1 is a front view of a conventional paper guide device for a compact printer, in which a paper guide width is set to 3 inches;

[0022] FIG. 2 is a front view of a conventional paper guide device for a compact printer, in which a paper guide width is set to 2 inches;

[0023] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a paper guide device for a compact printer according to the present invention;

[0024] FIGS. 4 and 5 are a front view and side view of the paper guide device for a compact printer according to the present invention in an assembled condition;

[0025] FIG. 6 is a front view showing adjustment of a guide width of the paper guide device according to the present invention; and

[0026] FIGS. 7 and 8 are an exploded perspective view and a front view of a paper guide device for a compact printer according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0027] This invention will be described in further detail by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0028] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing a construction of a paper guide device for a compact printer according to the present invention, FIGS. 4 and 5 are a front view and a side view of the paper guide device according to the present invention in an assembled condition, and FIG. 6 is a front view of the paper guide device in which its guide width is changed.

[0029] The present invention is related to a paper guide device which is equipped in a compact printer to direct a paper to a printing unit.

[0030] As shown in FIGS. 3 through 5, the paper guide device for a compact printer according to the present invention comprises a lower guide frame 10, an upper guide frame 20 which is attached to a front surface of the lower guide frame 10 by screws “S” such that between the lower guide frame 10 and the upper guide frame 20 is provided a gap to allow a paper to pass therethrough, and an auxiliary guider 30 which is adapted to be selectively attached between the lower guide frame 10 and the upper guide frame 20 to define a guide width of the paper guide device.

[0031] The lower guide frame 10 and the upper guide frame 20, which are coupled to face each other, define a guide inlet “A” into which a paper is introduced at their upper sides, and define a guide outlet “B” from which a paper is discharged. A paper discharged from the guide outlet is maintained in an approximately horizontal position to allow the paper to be easily printed.

[0032] The lower guide frame 10 is provided at both sides of its front surface with a pair of fitting grooves 12, which are spaced from each other by a distance corresponding a width of a first type of paper “P1” and are extended from an upper end of the lower guide frame to a lower end of the lower guide frame, to allow a first type of paper “P1” having a width of 3 inches to pass therebetween. Furthermore, the lower guide frame 10 is provided at its front surface with a vertical retaining hole 14 such that the retaining hole 14 is spaced from either of the pair of fitting grooves 12 by a distance corresponding to a width of 2 inches of a second type of paper “P2”, which is smaller than the width of 3 inches of the first type of paper “P1”. The fitting grooves 12 are vertically elongated from the upper end to the lower end of the lower guide frame 10, and the retaining hole 14 is vertically extended from the upper end of the lower end of the lower guide frame 10 such that the retaining hole 14 is shorter than the fitting grooves 12.

[0033] The lower guide frame 10 is further provided with a pair of retaining holes 16 and a pair of positioning holes 18 such that the holes 16 and 18 are disposed at positions outwardly adjacent to the pair of fitting grooves 12, and the positioning holes 18 are disposed below the retaining holes 16.

[0034] The upper guide frame 20 is provided at both ends of its rear surface with a pair of guide pieces 22, which are fitted into the fitting grooves 12. The pair of guide pieces 22 defines a spacing of 3 inches therebetween to allow the first type of paper “P1” to pass therethrough.

[0035] The upper guide frame 20 is further provided at its upper end with a pair of holding protrusions 24, which are upwardly protruded at positions spaced from each other, thereby defining a holding groove 24a therebetween. That is, the holding protrusions 24 define the holding groove 24a therebetween.

[0036] The upper guide frame 20 is further provided with positioning pins 26 and threaded holes 28, which are disposed at positions corresponding to the retaining holes 16 and the positioning holes 18 of the lower guide frame 10, in which the threaded holes 28 are engaged with the screws “S”.

[0037] The auxiliary guider 30 includes a slider 32 to be fitted into the retaining hole 14 in a sliding manner, a hook 34 which is forwardly protruded and caught in the holding groove 24a, and a tension slit 36 which is disposed between the slider 32 and the hook 34 and is upwardly opened to afford elasticity to the auxiliary guider 30.

[0038] Moreover, the auxiliary slider 32 is provided at an upper portion of its rear surface with a hanger protrusion 38 to be engaged to an upper end of the lower guide frame 10, and is provided under the hanger protrusion 38 with a fitting groove 39 into which a rib defined between the upper end of the lower guide frame 10 and the retaining hole 14 is closely fitted.

[0039] An assembling operation and functions of the paper guide device according to the present invention will now be described.

[0040] When it is intended to couple the lower guide frame 10 to the upper guide frame 20, the guide pieces 22 and the positioning pins 26 of the upper guide frame 20 are first fitted into the corresponding fitting grooves 12 and the retaining holes 16 of the lower guide frame 10, and the screws “S” are inserted and screwed in the threaded holes 28 of the upper guide frame 20 via the positioning holes 18 of the lower guide frame 10.

[0041] The paper guide device according to the present invention, which is assembled in a manner described above, is used in directing the first type of paper “P1” having a width of 3 inches toward a printing unit (not shown) because a distance between the guide pieces 22 of the upper guide frame 20 is 3 inches, as illustrated by a solid line in FIG. 6.

[0042] In this case, a first type of paper “P1”, which is introduced into the upper guide inlet “A” of the paper guide device and then discharged from the lower guide outlet “B” of the paper guide device, is maintained in an approximately horizontal orientation.

[0043] When the paper guide device is intended to guide the second type of paper “P2” having a width of 2 inches, a guide width of the paper guide device is reduced to a dimension of 2 inches by using the auxiliary guider 30 to snugly accommodate a width of the second type of paper.

[0044] More specifically, the auxiliary guider 30 is inserted between the lower guide frame 10 and the upper guide frame 20 such that the slider 32 of the auxiliary guider 30 is fitted in the retaining hole 14 of the lower guide frame 10.

[0045] At this time, the slider 32 is easily inserted between the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20 while being deformed inwardly at its upper portion. When the slider 32 reaches the retaining hole 14, the slider 32 is restored to its normal position and thus is closely fitted into the retaining hole 14, thereby causing the auxiliary guider 30 to be immobilized.

[0046] At the same time, since the hook 34 of the auxiliary guider 30 is fitted in the holding groove 24a of the upper guide frame 20, the auxiliary guider 30 is caused to be more securely held by the holding protrusions 24.

[0047] Accordingly, since the auxiliary guider 30 is inserted between the lower and upper guide frames and is held therebetween to be immobilized, the auxiliary guider 30 can afford stable guidance of the second type of paper “P2” in conjunction with either of the pair of guide pieces 22.

[0048] When the auxiliary guider 30 is normally inserted between the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20, the auxiliary guider 30 cannot be displaced downwardly by its hook 34 and hanger protrusion 38.

[0049] More specifically, when the auxiliary guider 30 is inserted between the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20, since the hook 34 is engaged with the holding groove 24a of the upper guide frame 20 and the protrusion 38 is hung on the upper end of the lower guide frame 10, the auxiliary guider 30 is maintained in its normal fitted position without separation therefrom even though the auxiliary guider 30 is applied with external force.

[0050] Furthermore, the auxiliary guider 30 cannot be displaced upwardly because an upper end of the slider 32 of the auxiliary guider 30 is caught by the upper edge of the retaining hole 14.

[0051] When the auxiliary guider 30 is intended to be removed from the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20, the protrusion 38 of the auxiliary guider 30 is pushed inwardly by a user so that the upper end of the slider 32 is disengaged from the retaining hole 14. Subsequently, the auxiliary guider 30 is pulled upwardly.

[0052] Accordingly, when the auxiliary guider 30 is inserted between the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20, the paper guide device serves to guide the second type of paper “P2” having a width of 2 inches. On the other hand, when the auxiliary guider 30 is removed from the lower and upper guide frames 10 and 20, the paper device serves to guide the first type of paper “P1”. Therefore, the paper guide device according to the present invention can accommodate the second type of paper “P2” as well as the first type of paper “P1”, which are different from each other in width.

[0053] In addition, since a guide width of the paper guide device can be easily changed by a simple operation of attaching and removing the auxiliary guider 30, the number of procedures necessary to change a guide width of the paper guide device can be reduced, and malfunctioning caused by different widths of papers can be minimized.

[0054] Furthermore, since an operation of changing a guide width of the paper guide device can be easily and quickly carried out, the paper guide device according to the present invention affords convenience to a user, thereby having a competitive edge over other products.

[0055] Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, there is shown a paper guide device according to another embodiment of the present invention.

[0056] This embodiment will now be described only in terms of aspects different from the above embodiment with reference to the drawings. In this embodiment, an auxiliary guider 130 is shaped to have a width of about 1 inch. In accordance with the enlargement of a width of the auxiliary guider 130, a retaining hole 114 and a holding groove 124a are also enlarged in width.

[0057] That is, the retaining hole 114 is also shaped to have a width of 1 inch, and the holding groove 124a is defined by either of guide pieces 122 and one holding protrusion 124.

[0058] The paper guide device according to this embodiment also has the same functions as the paper guide device of the above embodiment.

[0059] As such, a width of the auxiliary guider is not limited to a certain value but may be changed to have various widths.

[0060] Although the embodiments of the present invention are applied for papers having widths of 3 inches and 2 inches, a width of papers is not limited to the specific values and can have another width in accordance with its application. In this case, the auxiliary guider can be adjusted in its position depending on a width of papers.

[0061] As described above, the present invention provides a paper guide device for a compact printer which is adapted to be varied in a guide width by a simple operation of attaching and removing an auxiliary guider. Accordingly, an operation of changing a guide width of the paper guide device can be facilitated. Furthermore, since one paper guide device can accommodate papers having different widths, economic efficiency of the product is excellent.

[0062] Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.