Title:
Printer having media bin and method for operation
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A printer having a printing unit, a structure that supports the printing unit, and a device coupled to the printer that receives media provided as an output from the printer is provided. The device coupled to the printer is a bin having at least one arm connecting the bin to the structure, wherein the arm is capable of pivotal movement with respect to said structure to allow movement of the bin from a position substantially beneath the printing unit to a media-receiving position is provided. A device having a bin and a bin moving mechanism that is operative to move the bin between a stored position and a media-receiving position in which the bin is capable of receiving media output from the printer is provided. A method of positioning a bin for receiving media from a printer by moving the bin between the stored and a media-receiving position is provided.



Inventors:
Vila, Ignasi (St. Cugat del Valles, ES)
Sarasa, Roberto (Sant Cugat del Valles, ES)
Hubner, Thomas Wolfgang (St. Cugat del Valles, ES)
Application Number:
10/869574
Publication Date:
12/22/2005
Filing Date:
06/16/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H31/00; B65H31/02; B65H31/04; (IPC1-7): B65H31/04; B65H31/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
JOERGER, KAITLIN S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HP Inc. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A printer comprising: a printing unit; a structure that supports said printing unit; a device coupled to said printer that receives media provided as an output from said printer comprising: a bin; and at least one arm connecting said bin to said structure, wherein said arm is capable of pivotal movement with respect to said structure to allow movement of said bin from a position substantially beneath said printing unit to a media-receiving position.

2. The printer according to claim 1, further comprising a stop that alerts a user that said bin is in said media-receiving position.

3. The printer according to claim 1, wherein said bin further comprises an additional arm and where both of said arms are pivotally connected to said structure.

4. The printer according to claim 1, wherein said device further comprises a handle that is slidably connected to said bin.

5. The printer according to claim 4, wherein as said bin is lifted from said stored position to said media-receiving position, said handle slides from a first position to a second position.

6. The printer according to claim 5, wherein said handle is out of a plane of said bin in said second position.

7. The printer according to claim 1, wherein said device further comprises a stop that collides with said structure when said bin is proximate said media-receiving position.

8. The printer according to claim 75, wherein when said bin is in said media-receiving position, said handle is in said first position.

9. The printer according to claim 2, wherein said arm and said bin are rigidly connected.

10. The printer according to claim 9, wherein said handle has a pre-determined orientation with respect to said bin.

11. The printer according to claim 10, wherein said stop collides with said printer when said bin is in said media-receiving position.

12. The printer according to claim 1, wherein said structure comprises at least one leg.

13. The printer according to claim 1, further comprising wheels connected to said bin to facilitate movement.

14. A device for use with a printer, said device comprising: a bin; and a bin moving mechanism that is operative to move said bin between a stored position in which said bin is located substantially beneath the printer and a media-receiving position in which said bin is capable of receiving media output from the printer.

15. The device according to claim 14, further comprising a handle connected to said bin.

16. The device according to claim 14, further comprising at least one arm that is pivotally connectable to the printer.

17. The device according to claim 14, further comprising a stop that rests against the printer when said bin is in said media-receiving position.

18. The device according to claim 16, wherein said arm includes a pivot connection on said bin.

19. The device according to claim 15, wherein said handle is slidably connected to said bin.

20. The device according to claim 19, wherein as said bin is lifted from said stored position to said media-receiving position, said handle slides from a first position to a second position.

21. The device according to claim 20, wherein said handle is out of a plane of said bin in said second position.

22. The device according to claim 17, wherein said stop collides with said printer when said bin is proximate said media-receiving position.

23. The device according to claim 2320, wherein when said bin is in said media-receiving position, said handle is in said first position.

24. The device according to claim 15, wherein said handle is fixedly connected to said bin.

25. The device according to claim 24, wherein said handle has a pre-determined orientation with respect to said bin.

26. The device according to claim 17, wherein said stop collides with said printer when said bin is in said media-receiving position.

27. The device according to claim 16, wherein said arm and said bin are rigidly connected.

28. The device according to claim 14, further comprising wheels to facilitate movement.

29. A method of positioning a bin for receiving media from a printer comprising: moving said bin between a stored position in which said bin is located substantially beneath the printer and a media-receiving position in which said bin receives media output from said printer.

30. The method according to claim 29, further comprising abutting a portion of said bin against the printer.

31. The method according to claim 29, further comprising releasing said bin to secure said bin against said printer in said media receiving-position.

32. The method according to claim 29, wherein said moving is performed with a handle connected to said bin.

33. The method according to claim 29, wherein said bin is pivotally connectable to the printer by at least one arm.

34. The method according to claim 29, wherein a stop rests against the printer when said bin is in said media-receiving position.

35. The method according to claim 33, wherein said arm includes a pivot connection on said bin.

36. The method according to claim 32, wherein said handle is slidably connected to said bin.

37. The method according to claim 36, wherein as said bin is lifted from said stored position to said media-receiving position, said handle slides from a first position to a second position.

38. The method according to claim 37, wherein said handle is out of a plane of said bin in said second position.

39. The method according to claim 34, wherein said stop collides with said printer when said bin is proximate said media-receiving position.

40. The method according to claim 3237, wherein when said bin is in said media-receiving position, said handle is in said first position.

41. The method according to claim 32, wherein said handle is fixedly connected to said bin.

42. The method according to claim 41, wherein said handle has a pre-determined orientation with respect to said bin.

43. The method according to claim 34, wherein said stop collides with said printer when said bin is in said media-receiving position.

44. The method according to claim 33, wherein said arm and said bin are rigidly connected.

45. The method according to claim 29, further comprising wheels to facilitate movement of said bin.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a printer having a media bin and a method.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Large format printing machines demand large amounts of floor space and are optimally placed against a wall. Media bins connected to the front of the printing machines further enhance the volume that is occupied. Although, users can move the bins, they are often difficult to move, store and properly reposition once they have been moved. Also, the bins obstruct access to components at the front of the printers that require maintenance such as roll modules, printer rolls, and print heads. As opposed to moving the bins, users are relegated to placing the printers towards the center of the room to provide access to the back of the machines, to perform routine maintenance on the components.

Solutions to printer bin design have not been successful. The designs do not enable the bins to be easily positioned and hung. Additionally, solutions do not decrease the effective size of the printer and the bin. Further, the solutions often require a large amount of force to lift and position the bin. Ultimately, the bins are not operational and either compromise or prevent hanging of the bin and result in the printed sheets falling on the floor.

Thus, there exists a continuing need to provide a printer having a media bin that is easily movable and positionable to provide full access to the front of the printing machine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A printer having a printing unit, a structure that supports the printing unit, and a device coupled to the printer that receives media provided as an output from the printer is provided. The device coupled to the printer is a bin that provides for at least one arm connecting the bin to the structure. The arm is capable of pivotal movement with respect to the structure to allow movement of the bin from a position substantially beneath the printing unit to a media-receiving position.

A device for use with a printer having a bin is provided. A bin moving mechanism that is operative to move the bin between a stored position in which the bin is located substantially beneath the printer and a media-receiving position in which said bin is capable of receiving media output from the printer is provided.

A method of positioning a bin for receiving media from a printer is provided. The method provides for moving the bin between a stored position in which the bin is located substantially beneath the printer and a media-receiving position in which the bin receives media output from the printer.

The above-described and other features and advantages of the present disclosure will be appreciated and understood by those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, drawings, and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the printer and media bin in a first position according to a first embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the printer and media bin in a media-receiving position, according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the printer and media bin in a stored position, according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the printer and the media bin as it moves from the stored position to the media-receiving position, according to the first embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the printer and media bin in which the bin is in a media-receiving position, according to a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the printer and the media bin in which the bin is in a stored position, according to the second embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a right side view of the printer and the media bin in which the bin is in the stored position, according to the second embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a right side view of the printer and media bin in which the bin is in the media-receiving position, according to the second embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3, a printer 10 of the present invention includes a printing unit 15, a media release unit 20, a roller module 25, and a media rolls 30. Printer 10 also has a base 35 and a pair of front printer leg supports 40 and a pair of back printer leg supports 42, which together constitute the main printer body. Front printer leg supports 40 and back printer leg supports 42 are all mounted in parallel on base 35. Alternatively, a single support could be used as opposed to front and rear supports.

Printing unit 15 includes a carriage (not shown), a print head (not shown) mounted on the carriage, and a paper feed roller 30 for feeding print media towards printing unit 15. Printing unit 15 prints on the media that is fed from one of two media rolls 30. Attached to the front face of printing unit 15 are an ink cartridge carriage and an ink cartridge (neither of which are shown) in which ink is retained and is supplied to the print head mounted in cartridge case.

Media from one of media rolls 30 is fed up to printer unit 15 from roller module 25. Media refers to any roll or print sheets of any suitable sizes and types, such as coated bond, glossy, vellum, transparencies or any other such material used in large-format printers. Roller module 25 is easily accessed from the front of printer 10 to load and replace media. The printing process is performed on media that is cut prior to being released from media release unit 20.

After printing, the print media is released from media release unit 20, and travels obliquely downward toward the front of printer 10. A cutter (not shown) is provided between print unit 15 and media release unit 20 (used especially for media rolls 30). A print sheet that has been printed is cut by the cutter to provide a desired length that is thereafter released.

In FIG. 1, a first embodiment of printer 10 and a bin 45 is shown. Bin 45 is located in front of printer 10 for receiving printed media from printer unit 15. This position of bin 45 is hereinafter referred to as the “media-receiving position”. In FIG. 3, bin 45 is shown at a position entirely beneath printer 10 (hereinafter referred to as the “stored position”).

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, bin 45 is in the media receiving-position to accept media from media rolls 30 as it is released by media release unit 20. Bin 45 is a rigid rack-like element having a width to accommodate media plots and prints of any suitable size, such as any size from A4 to A0, including size A1 or B1. Bin 45 is preferably made of a rigid plastic or metal, such as aluminum or any other such material that is strong, light weight and capable of supporting the weight of several sheets from media roll 30 or single sheets inputted into the printer.

Bin 45 includes at a least one trough 70 to receive media sheets from media release unit 20, a lower portion 48, an upper portion 49 and a handle 50. Handle 50 is located at the mid-point of bin 45 to provide even weight distribution as bin 45 is lifted from the stored position to the media-receiving position. Handle 50 has a rectangular shape and is made of plastic or metal, such as aluminum, or any other such material capable of lifting the weight of bin 45.

Handle 50 is slidable relative to bin 45 and is held in place by a bar 85 located on bin 45. When bin 45 is in either the stored position beneath the printer 10 or in the media-receiving position, handle 50 lies in the plane of bin 45. When a user moves bin 45 from either the stored position or the media-receiving position, handle 50 slides out of the plane of the bin and is in an optimal orientation for positioning bin 45 as it is positioned. Bin 45 also includes a V-shaped stop 55 that collides with the front of roller module 25 to alert the user that bin 45 is in a proper position to release handle 50 for proper hanging of bin 45 against roller module 25.

Further in reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, bin 45 includes a pair of arms 65 disposed on opposite sides of bin 45, that connect bin 45 to printer front supports 40 to allow for rotational movement. Each of the arms 65 is pivotally connected to a different one of the printer supports 40. As shown in FIG. 2, arm 65 has a first pivot connection 80 to provide rotation of bin 45 and arms 65 relative to printer 10 front supports 40 during installation and storage. Arms 65 include a second pivot connection 75 to allow bin 45 to rotate relative to arms 65 during installation. Alternatively, a single arm could be used.

Referring to FIG. 3, bin 45 is shown in its stored position. In the stored position, bin 45 is stored substantially or entirely beneath printer 10 to allow complete accessibility to roller module 25, media rolls 30, printer unit 15 and other printer components. Complete access to these components from the front of printer 10 facilitates ease of maintenance and allows printer 10 to be placed against a wall during use. Additionally, placing bin 45 entirely beneath printer 10 reduces the overall volume or footprint that printer 10 occupies. Bin 45 can also be also provided with wheels 60 to minimize friction against the floor during storage and installation of bin 45.

The operation of bin 45 of the first embodiment will be described in reference to FIG. 4. FIG. 4 shows the path of bin 45 from the storage position A, to an intermediate position B, to the media-receiving position C. Initially, bin 45 is substantially or entirely beneath printer 10. As soon as the user lifts handle 50 in position A, handle 50 slides out of the plane of bin 45. The new relative position of handle 50 with respect to bin 45 allows bin 45 to rotate because of its own weight, about pivot connection 75. The relative position of the handle 50 ensures that bin lower portion 48 is closer to bin 45 during installation than bin upper portion 49.

Additionally, the geometry of handle 50 out of the plane of bin 45, allows the user to lift bin 45 with a pre-determined orientation with respect to media roll module 25. The orientation and the rotation allowed by handle 50 and arms 65 allow proper positioning of bin 45 on roller module 25 in the media-receiving position. As the user lifts bin 45 past intermediate position B to the media-receiving position C, bin 45 is properly oriented for positioning against roller module 25. Once the user senses stop 55 abutting or colliding with roller module 25, bin 45 is properly positioned for hanging on roller module 25 and will remain stationary due to friction between stop 55 and roller module 25. After the user releases handle 50 and bin 45 falls against roller module 25, stop 55 prevents bin 45 from slipping from the roller module. In this position, bin 45 is properly and easily placed for receiving media sheets from media release unit 20.

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a second embodiment of printer 10 is identical to the first embodiment, except for bin 45, and elements designated by the same reference numerals have the same function. In FIG. 5, bin 45 is shown in the stored position in which the bin is located substantially or entirely beneath the printer 10. In FIG. 6, bin 45 is shown in the second media receiving position to receive printed media from media release unit 20.

Bin 45 includes at least one trough 47 to receive media sheets after they are released from media release unit 20. Handle 50 is located at the mid-point of bin 45 to provide even weight distribution as the bin is lifted from the stored position to the media-receiving position. Handle 50 has a cylindrical shape and is made of a plastic or metal, such as aluminum, or any other such material capable of lifting the weight of bin 45.

Handle 50 is fixed relative to bin 45 and therefore allows the entire bin to be lifted with the handle. When bin 45 is in either the stored position beneath the printer 10 or in the media-receiving position, handle 50 has a fixed angle with respect to bin 45. Bin 45 includes a stop 55 that collides with the front of roller module 25 to alert the user that bin 45 is in a proper position to release handle 50 for the proper hanging and receipt of printed media.

According to the second embodiment, and in reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, bin 45 has a pair of arms 65 that provide a pivot connection 80 to front supports 40. Each of the pair of arms 65 are connected to one of the pair of front printer supports 40. Arms 65 and bin 45 rotate together about pivot connection 80 to move bin 45 and arms 65 relative printer supports 40 during installation and storage.

Referring to FIG. 7, bin 45 is shown in its stored position. In the stored position, bin 45 is stored substantially or entirely beneath printer 10 to allow complete accessibility to roller module 25, media rolls 30, printer unit 15 and other printer components. Complete access to these components from the front of printer 10 facilitates ease of maintenance and allows the printer to be placed against a wall during use. Additionally, placing bin 45 beneath printer 10 reduces the overall volume that the printer occupies. Bin 45 can be provided with wheels 60 to minimize friction against the floor during storage and installation of the bin.

The operation of bin 45 of the second embodiment will be described in reference to FIGS. 7 and 8. Initially, bin 45 is beneath printer 10. As soon as the user lifts handle 50, bin 45 and arms 65 together rotate about pivot connection 80. The positioning of handle 50 with respect to bin 45 keeps lower portion 48 closer to the printer than upper portion 49. Further, this orientation and the rotation allowed by arms 65, provide proper positioning of bin 45 on roller module 25 in the media-receiving position. As the user lifts bin 45 and senses stop 55 abutting roller module 25, bin 45 is properly positioned. The user releases handle 50 and the weight of bin 45 and stop 55 prevent bin 45 from slipping from roller module 25. In this position, bin 45 is properly and easily placed for receiving media sheets from media release unit 20.

While the instant disclosure has been described with reference to one or more exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope thereof. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the disclosure without departing from the scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the disclosure not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.