Title:
PRINTING MEDIA LOADING APPARATUS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A printing media loading apparatus includes a roller that has a narrow slit thereon and is used for loading a printing media. There are two nicks respectively on the two sides of the roller, and the narrow slit extends to the two nicks. The printing media loading apparatus further includes at least a detachable fixing unit, installed in a nick on one of the two sides of the roller for fixing the diameter of the roller.



Inventors:
Huang, Chun-chia (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
12/267605
Publication Date:
04/08/2010
Filing Date:
11/09/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H5/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CIGNA, JACOB JAMES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORTH AMERICA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CORPORATION (NEW TAIPEI CITY, TW)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A printing media loading apparatus, comprising: a roller, for loading a printing media; wherein the roller comprises a narrow slit thereon.

2. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 1, wherein the narrow slit extends to two sides of the roller.

3. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 2, further comprising: a detachable fixing unit, installed in the narrow slit on the roller for fixing the diameter of the roller.

4. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 2, wherein there are two nicks respectively on the two sides of the roller, the narrow slit extends to the two nicks, and the printing media loading apparatus further comprises: at least a detachable fixing unit, installed in a nick on one of the two sides of the roller for fixing the diameter of the roller.

5. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 4, wherein there are two omega-shaped, C-shaped or T-shaped protrusions on two sides of the detachable fixing unit, and the two protrusions match the nick on one side of the roller.

6. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 4, wherein the detachable fixing unit comprises a detaching hole.

7. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 2, wherein the narrow slit extends along an axial direction of the roller.

8. The printing media loading apparatus of claim 1, being a photo paper loading apparatus.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a printing media loading apparatus, and more particularly, to a printing media loading apparatus that has a roller having a narrow slit thereon for loading a printing media.

2. Description of the Prior Art

In the present market, commercial photo printers usually use roller type photo papers, in which the photo paper to be printed is rolled onto the roller layer by layer. When transporting the roller type photo paper, the shapes of the photo paper and the roller will change as environmental factors (e.g., temperature or moisture) change. Since the respective coefficients of expansion of the photo paper and the roller are different from each other, the degree of shape change of the photo paper and the roller will be not the same. Accordingly, the inner layers of the rolled photo paper that are closest to the roller will incur dents (compressed marks) caused by the start of the photo paper, and these dents will decrease the quality of the printed photos. Conventionally, the photo paper is discarded when it incurs dents, and more photo paper is prepared, to solve the abovementioned problem. The cost of preparing more paper can be high. Thus, preventing the inner layers of the rolled photo paper from incurring dents while not increasing the cost of the paper is an urgent problem in this field.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore one of the objectives of the present invention to provide a printing media loading apparatus whose roller for loading a printing media has a narrow slit thereon, to resolve the above-mentioned problem.

According to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a printing media loading apparatus is disclosed. The printing media loading apparatus comprises a roller, which is for loading a printing media, wherein the roller comprises a narrow slit thereon.

These and other objectives of the present invention will no doubt become obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art after reading the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment that is illustrated in the various figures and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded diagram illustrating a printing media loading apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating that a detachable fixing unit is installed on a roller for the printing media loading apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a detailed schematic diagram illustrating the detachable fixing unit shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a detailed schematic diagram illustrating how the detachable fixing unit is installed on the roller shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an exemplary diagram illustrating a protrusion of a detachable fixing unit of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is another exemplary diagram illustrating a protrusion of a detachable fixing unit of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating a detachable fixing unit according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a printing media loading apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain terms are used throughout the description and following claims to refer to particular components. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, manufacturers may refer to a component by different names. This document does not intend to distinguish between components that differ in name but not function. In the following description and in the claims, the terms “include” and “comprise” are used in an open-ended fashion, and thus should be interpreted to mean “include, but not limited to . . . ”.

Please refer to FIG. 1. FIG. 1 is an exploded diagram illustrating a printing media loading apparatus 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the printing media loading apparatus 100 includes a roller 110 for loading a printing media, such as photo paper. The roller 110 includes a narrow slit 112 thereon. In this embodiment, the narrow slit 112 extends to the two sides of the roller 110 along an axial direction of the roller 110; however, this is not a limitation of the prevent invention. In another embodiment of the present invention, the narrow slit 112 can extend to the two sides of the roller 110 along any directions. When the roller 110 expands and changes shape as the environment changes, for example, when the temperature rises, and the roller 110 is rolled with a printing media (e.g., photo paper), the roller 110 rolled with the printing media substantially expands towards the narrow slit 112 (direction A shown in FIG. 1) instead of from inside to outside (direction B shown in FIG. 1). Accordingly, the inner layers of the rolled photo paper that are closest to the roller 110 will not easily incur dents (compressed marks) caused by the start of the photo paper.

As shown in FIG. 1, in the embodiment of the printing media loading apparatus 100, there are two nicks 114 respectively on the two sides of the roller 110, and the narrow slit 112 extends to the two nicks 114. In addition, the printing media loading apparatus 100 further includes two detachable fixing units 120. When the printing media (e.g., photo paper) is intended to be rolled on the roller 110, the fixing units 120 can be installed in nicks 114 on the two sides of the roller 110 respectively in order to fix the diameter of the roller 110 (as shown in FIG. 2). When the printing media has been completely rolled on the roller 110, the fixing units 120 can be detached from the roller 110 to ensure that the inner layers of the printing media will not incur dents (compressed marks) during transportation.

Please refer to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 is a detailed schematic diagram illustrating the detachable fixing unit 120 shown in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, there are two omega (Ω) shaped protrusions 122 on two sides of the fixing unit 120. The omega-shaped protrusions 122 can match the nick 114 on the side of the roller 110 to fix the diameter of the roller 110 (as shown in FIG. 4). In addition, the detachable fixing unit 120 further includes a detaching hole 124, which can help detach the fixing unit 120 from the roller 110.

Please note that the fixing units 120 are not limited to be installed on the roller 110 to fix the roller 110's diameter by means of the omega-shaped protrusions 122 in the present invention. In other words, the fixing units 120 can be installed on the roller 110 to fix the diameter of the roller 110 by any means. Take FIG. 5 for example, which is an exemplary diagram illustrating a protrusion of a detachable fixing unit of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5, the fixing units 520 are installed on the roller 510 to fix the roller 510's diameter by means of the C-shaped protrusions 522. Take FIG. 6 for another example, which is another exemplary diagram illustrating a protrusion of a detachable fixing unit of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 6, the fixing units 620 are installed on the roller 610 to fix the roller 610's diameter by means of the T-shaped protrusions 622. In another embodiment of the present invention, the printing media loading may only comprise one detachable fixing unit that is disposed in the narrow slit 112 on the roller 210. Take FIG. 7 for example, which is a diagram illustrating a detachable fixing unit according to another embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 7, the printing media loading apparatus 700 comprises only a detachable fixing unit 720, which is disposed in the narrow slit 712 and nicks 714 to fix the roller 710's diameter. In addition, in the present invention, the fixing units 120 are optional units. In other words, in other embodiments of the present invention, the printing media loading apparatus 100 does not include any fixing units but is still able to ensure that the inner layers of the printing media will not incur dents (compressed marks) during transportation. Take FIG. 8 for example, which is a diagram illustrating a printing media loading apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, the narrow slit 812 of the printing media loading apparatus 800 does not go through the surface of the roller 810, so there is no requirement for a detachable fixing unit to fix the roller 810's diameter.

Compared with the prior art, the printing media loading apparatus of the present invention utilizes the formation of a narrow slit on the roller to solve the problem of the inner layers of the rolled paper incurring dents (compressed marks), and does not increase the cost of the paper.

Those skilled in the art will readily observe that numerous modifications and alterations of the device and method may be made while retaining the teachings of the invention.