WO2005070675A1 - Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge - Google Patents

Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge Download PDF

Info

Publication number
WO2005070675A1
WO2005070675A1 PCT/AU2004/000072 AU2004000072W WO2005070675A1 WO 2005070675 A1 WO2005070675 A1 WO 2005070675A1 AU 2004000072 W AU2004000072 W AU 2004000072W WO 2005070675 A1 WO2005070675 A1 WO 2005070675A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
cartridge
ofthe
printer
printhead
inkjet printer
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2004/000072
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Kia Silverbrook
Garry Raymond Jackson
Original Assignee
Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd filed Critical Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd
Priority to PCT/AU2004/000072 priority Critical patent/WO2005070675A1/en
Publication of WO2005070675A1 publication Critical patent/WO2005070675A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/135Nozzles
    • B41J2/165Preventing or detecting of nozzle clogging, e.g. cleaning, capping or moistening for nozzles
    • B41J2/16517Cleaning of print head nozzles
    • B41J2/16552Cleaning of print head nozzles using cleaning fluids
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/17Ink jet characterised by ink handling
    • B41J2/175Ink supply systems ; Circuit parts therefor
    • B41J2/17503Ink cartridges
    • B41J2/17506Refilling of the cartridge
    • B41J2/17509Whilst mounted in the printer
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/17Ink jet characterised by ink handling
    • B41J2/175Ink supply systems ; Circuit parts therefor
    • B41J2/17503Ink cartridges
    • B41J2/17513Inner structure
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/17Ink jet characterised by ink handling
    • B41J2/175Ink supply systems ; Circuit parts therefor
    • B41J2/17503Ink cartridges
    • B41J2/17553Outer structure
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/21Ink jet for multi-colour printing
    • B41J2/2107Ink jet for multi-colour printing characterised by the ink properties
    • B41J2/2114Ejecting transparent or white coloured liquids, e.g. processing liquids

Abstract

A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including a printing fluid storage means (28, 30, 32, 34) and a pagewidth printhead (52) in communication with said printing fluid storage means. The inkjet printer including a cradle unit having a body complementary to the removable printer cartridge; a data connection point fast with the body for receiving data signals defining images for printing from an external data source; and aprocessing means coupled to the data connection point and arranged to operate the pagewidth printhead in response to the data signals to print said images.

Description

INKJET PRINTER SYSTEM WITH REMOVABLE CARTRIDGE
FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a printer system and in particular to a removable printer cartridge for an inkjet printer system.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO CO-PENDING APPLICATIONS
The following applications have been filed by the Applicant simultaneously with the present application:
PCT/AU / (WAL), PCT/AU / (MPA) PCT/AU / (SMA.)
The disclosures of these co-pending applications are incorporated herein by reference. The above applications have been identified by their filing docket number, which will be substituted with the corresponding application number, once assigned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Traditionally, most commercially available inkjet printers employ a printhead that traverse back and forth across the width ofthe print media as it prints. Such a print head is supplied with ink for printing and typically has a finite life, after which replacement ofthe printhead is necessary. Due to the size and configuration ofthe traversing printhead, removal and replacement of this element is relatively easy, and the printer unit is designed to enable easy access to this element. Whilst printer systems employing such traditional traversing printheads have proven capable of performing printing tasks to a sufficient quality, as the printhead must continually traverse the stationary print media, such systems are typically slow, particularly when used to perform print jobs of photo quality. Recently, it has been possible to provide printheads that extend the entire width ofthe print media so that the printhead remains stationary as the print media progresses past. Such printheads are typically referred to as pagewidth printheads, and as the printhead does not move back and forth across the print media, much higher printing speeds are possible -with this printhead than with traditionally traversing printheads. However as the printhead is the length ofthe print media, it must be supported within the structure ofthe printer unit and requires multiple electrical contacts to deliver power and data to drive the printhead, and as such removal and replacement ofthe printhead is not as easy as with traditional traversing printheads. Accordingly, there is a need to provide a printer system that is capable of providing high quality print jobs at high speeds and wliich facilitates relatively easy replacement ofthe printhead when necessary. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to a first aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; and a pagewidth printhead in communication with said printing fluid storage means. The pagewidth printhead may be arranged to generate a print of at least 8 inches in width and may include at least 20,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means. The printing fluid storage means may be housed within a body that includes means for replenishing of printing fluid from an external source and may include one or more storage reservoirs for storing ink for printing. The storage reservoirs may separately store a set of colored inks sufficient for color printing as well as an ink fixative to aid in fixing the ink delivered by the pagewidth printhead and an infra-red ink to allow printing to occur in the non-visible spectrum as some applications may require. The printer cartridge may include a first electrical connector provided in electrical communication with the pagewidth printhead and disposed adjacent a first end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a first corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer. A second electrical connector may also be provided in electrical communication with the pagewidth printhead and disposed adjacent a second end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a second corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer. In such an arrangement, when the printer cartridge is received in the inkjet printer, power and data can transmitted to the pagewidth printhead from the inkjet printer by the mating relationship between the first and second electrical connectors and the corresponding connectors ofthe inkjet printer. The printer cartridge may also include an assembly arranged to direct air over the printhead to prevent paper or dust from settling on the fluid delivery nozzles and degrading the print quality ofthe print job. The assembly may include a filter for filtering the air prior to the air being directed over the printhead, thereby removing any particles that may be entrained in the delivered air. The assembly may also include an inlet for receiving air from an external source, such as a source located in fhe inkjet printer. Accordingly, in a further embodiment ofthe present invention there is provided a method for facilitating maintenance of an inkjet printer of a type having a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing the inkjet printer in at least first and second portions detachable from each other, the first portion requiring replacement more frequently than the second portion in use; wherein the first portion includes the pagewidth printhead. The first portion may further include a printing fluid storage means for storing printing fluids to be delivered by the pagewidth printhead and be in the form of a printer cartridge that can be removably received within the second portion. The second portion may be a printer cradle unit having a cavity adapted to receive the printer cartridge. The printer cradle unit may further include an electrical control unit to control the operation ofthe printer cartridge via power and data connectors which mate with corresponding power and data connectors provided on said printer cartridge following receival ofthe printer cartridge within the printer cradle unit. The printer cradle unit may also include a print media handling system for supplying print media to the printhead ofthe printer cartridge to facilitate printing on the surface ofthe print media. In a second aspect, fhe present invention provides an inkjet printer cartridge including: a body including, a printing fluid storage means, and a printhead including at least 20,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means. In an alternative embodiment of this aspect ofthe invention, the printhead may include at least 30,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means. In yet another embodiment, the printhead may comprise a pagewidth printhead. The printing fluid storage means ofthe printer cartridge may include one or more storage reservoirs for separately storing one or more printing fluids for printing. Such printing fluids may be a set of coloured inks sufficient for colour printing and may also include an ink fixative for facilitating fixing of ink following delivery by said fluid delivery nozzles as well as an infrared ink. According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided an inkjet printer including: a cradle; an inkjet printer cartridge releasably engaged by the cradle and including at least first and second storage means for storing an ink and an ink fixative respectively; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the first and second storage means; and means to control application ofthe ink and ink fixative by said printhead in order to facilitate fixing of the ink onto a print media following delivery by said printhead. The inkjet printer cartridge may include further storage means to separately store a set of colored inks sufficient for color printing. According to another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided an inkjet printer cartridge arranged to be releasably engaged by an inkjet printer, said cartridge including: at least first and second storage means containing an ink and an ink fixative respectively; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the first and second storage means. According to yet another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a method for operating an inkjet printer of a type including a printer cartridge as above, the method including the steps of: controlling the pagewidth printhead to print upon a media with the ink; and facilitate fixing ofthe ink to the media by controlling the pagewidth printhead to apply the ink fixative to the media. According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: one or more inks for printing; and a printhead in fluid communication with the one or more inks; wherein at least one ofthe one or more inks is an infra-red ink. The printer cartridge may further include a body arranged to store the inks for printing, and the printhead may be a pagewidth printhead that is attached to the body to facilitate the fluid communication. The one or more inks stored within the body may also include a set of colored inks to enable color printing. According to a fifth aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means for storing one or more printing fluids; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a refill port in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means. The printer cartridge ofthe present invention may further including a body in which the printing fluid storage means is located and to which the pagewidth printhead and the refill port are attached. Further, the printing fluid storage means may also include separate printing fluid storage reservoirs for each ofthe one or more printing fluids, wherein the one or more printing fluids may include a set of color inks to facilitate color printing. Still further, the refill port may include one or more inlets corresponding to, and in communication with, each ofthe separate printing fluid storage reservoirs. Accordingly to a sixth aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a removable printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and an assembly arranged to direct air over the printhead, the assembly including a filter. The assembly may further include an inlet for receiving air from a source located remote from the printer cartridge, for example, a source provided in the inkjet printer. The printhead of the printer cartridge may comprise a pagewidth printhead and the filter may be capable of collecting particulate matter present in * the air received from the external source. In this regard, as the printer cartridge is removable from the inkjet printer, upon replacement ofthe cartridge the filter for filtering the air will also be replaced. The purpose of the assembly being to prevent paper or particulate matter from collecting or impinging upon the surface ofthe printhead, which may cause damage to the printhead as well as effect the quality of any print jobs performed by the printhead. According to a further embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a method for preventing degradation of a printhead of a removable printer cartridge including the steps of: generating a stream of air; filtering particulate matter from the stream of air by means of a filter attached to said cartridge in order to produce filtered air; and directing the filtered air over the printhead. According to a seventh aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; an air inlet; and one or more conduits arranged to direct air from the air inlet over the printhead. The printhead ofthe printer cartridge may be a pagewidth printhead and the cartridge may be removable from the inkjet printer to facilitate replacement ofthe printer cartridge. The air inlet may be configured to mate with a complementary formation ofthe inkjet printer so that air can be supplied to the printer cartridge from an air supply source positioned remote from the printer cartridge. According to an eighth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a printing fluid blotter arranged to blot the printhead. In a preferred embodiment, the printing fluid storage means and the printhead ofthe cartridge may be arranged to be fast with a body ofthe printer cartridge and the printing fluid blotter may be coupled to the body. The printing fluid blotter may also include an engagement means to engage an assembly for selectively bringing the printing fluid blotter into cooperation with the printhead and the printing fluid blotter may include an absorptive material arranged to absorb printing fluid ejected from the printhead whilst the printhead is not printing to a print medium. The printing fluid blotter may be rotationally coupled to the body ofthe printer cartridge and may also be slidingly coupled to the body. In the event that the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead, the blotter may extend along the pagewidth printhead to perform blotting functions along the entire length ofthe printhead. According to another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a body containing at least one printing fluid reservoir; a printhead attached to the body and in fluid communication with fhe at least one printing fluid reservoir; a printing fluid blotter rotatably coupled to the body; and an engagement means located on the printing fluid blotter to engage an assembly for selectively causing cooperation ofthe printing fluid blotter with the printhead. According to a ninth aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and an assembly auxiliary to the printhead arranged to selectively perform a number of different functions in respect ofthe printhead. In a preferred embodiment, the differing functions performed by the assembly may include at least one of: blotting the printhead, capping the printhead and acting as a platen in respect ofthe printhead. The assembly auxiliary to the printhead may further include a rotatable member coupled to the printer cartridge adjacent the printhead. The rotatable member may include a number of faces each configured to perform one ofthe differing functions identified above. The printer cartridge may further include engagement means fastened to the rotatable member for engagement by a mechanism of the inkjet printer for selectively bringing the operational faces into cooperation with the printhead. The engagement means being controllable by the printer to ensure that the assembly is in the desired orientation required for the particular state ofthe printer. In this regard, the printer cartridge may also include biasing means arranged to normally bias a face ofthe rotatable member against the printhead such that the assembly is always in a position to perform one desired function. In a preferred embodiment the printer cartridge comprises a pagewidth printhead with the assembly extending the length ofthe printhead. According to a tenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a first electrical connector in electrical communication with said printhead and disposed adjacent a first end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a first corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer. The printer cartridge may further include a second electrical connector disposed adjacent a second end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a second corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer. Such electrical connectors provide a means in which data and power may be provided to the printer cartridge to control the printhead for printing onto a print media. The mating of first and second connectors with the corresponding connectors ofthe inkjet printer enable the transfer of power and data to occur once the printer cartridge is engaged with the inkjet printer. In this regard, the printing fluid storage means, pagewidth printhead and first and second electrical connectors may each be attached to a body ofthe printer cartridge. According to another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: an elongate body adapted to be received within the inkjet printer and including printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead attached to the body and in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and first and second electrical connectors in electrical communication with said printhead, said first and second connectors attached to the elongate body and disposed adjacent opposite ends ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with corresponding first and second electrical connectors ofthe inkjet printer. According to an eleventh aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: an ink storage reservoir; a printhead in communication with said ink storage reservoir; a refill port in communication with the ink storage reservoir and arranged to receive refill ink for replenishing the ink storage reservoir; and an integrated circuit assembly arranged to store information relating to the properties of at least one ofthe refill ink and the ink stored in the ink storage reservoir. In a preferred embodiment, the information relating to the properties ofthe refill ink or the ink stored in the ink storage reservoir may include any information relating to the amount of ink remaining in the ink storage reservoir, the origin ofthe refill ink, the rheological properties ofthe refill ink, and fhe color ofthe refill ink. Preferably, the integrated circuit assembly includes an electrical contact mounted upon the inkjet printer for connection with an integrated circuit of a refill cartridge containing the refill ink. In a preferred form, the printhead ofthe printhead cartridge is a pagewidth printhead. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe the present invention there is provided a method for mamtaining the authenticity of an ink supply of an inkjet printer of a type including a removable printer cartridge containing an ink storage means in communication -with a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing an ink refill cartridge including an intergrated circuit assembly that stores information relating to the properties ofthe refill ink; connecting the ink refill cartridge to the printer cartridge; and performing a test to compare the properties ofthe refill ink -with the properties ofthe ink stored in the ink storage means. Preferably, the step of comparing the properties ofthe refill ink with the properties ofthe ink stored in the ink storage means includes a step of determining whether the inks share the same properties to enable the ink storage means to be refilled by the ink supply. According to a twelfth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a number of storage reservoirs each dedicated to store a predetermined printing fluid; a printhead in communication with said storage reservoirs; and a refill port arranged to mate with a corresponding connector of a refill cartridge, the refill port including inlets corresponding to, and in fluid communication with, each ofthe storage reservoirs. In a preferred embodiment, the printhead ofthe printer cartridge may be a pagewidth printhead, and the printing fluids may include and any one or more of a set of colour inks for colour printing, an ink fixative and an infrared ink. According to an alternative embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer refill system including: a printer cartridge having a refill port including inlets corresponding to, and in fluid communication with, each of a number of storage reservoirs, said reservoirs each dedicated to store a predetermined one of a number of printing fluids; and at least one refill cartridge containing one ofthe number of printing fluids and including a connector arranged to mate with the refill port, the connector having an outlet located to communicate with a particular one ofthe refill port inlets in communication with a particular one ofthe number of storage reservoirs dedicated to store the printing fluid contained within said refill cartridge. The printer cartridge ofthe inkjet printer refill system may include a printhead in communication with the printing fluid storage reservoirs, and the printhead may be a pagewidth printhead. According to a thirteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with said printing fluid storage means, said printhead includine two print chips which extend the length of the printhead. The two print chips are arranged so that they preferably abut together to extend the length ofthe printhead. The printer cartridge preferably includes an elongate body adapted to be received within a printer cradle and preferably has electrical connectors located at opposing ends ofthe printhead and in electrical communication with the two printhead chips. According to a fourteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a shield extending the length ofthe printhead arranged to protect the printhead from contact with paper upon insertion ofthe cartridge into a cradle ofthe inkjet printer. Preferably, the printer cartridge includes an elongate body to house the printing fluid storage means with the housing adapted to be removably received within the cradle ofthe inkjet printer. The shield may further be arranged to act as a cover plate to seal an air duct ofthe printer cartridge during use. According to another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cartridge including: an elongate body adapted to be received within a printer cradle; at least one printing fluid storage reservoir housed within the elongate body; a pagewidth printhead attached to the elongate body and in fluid communication with the at least one printing fluid storage reservoir; and a shield extending the length ofthe printhead and arranged to protect the printhead from contact with paper upon insertion ofthe cartridge into an inkjet printer cradle and further arranged to seal an air duct ofthe inkjet printer cartridge. According to a fifteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: an elongate body housing a printing fluid storage means and adapted to be received within an inkjet printer cradle; a pagewidth printhead attached to said body and in fluid communication with said printing fluid storage means; and an air distribution assembly arranged to evenly distribute compressed air along the pagewidth printhead. Preferably the air distribution assembly includes an air inlet for receiving compressed air from an external source and a channel formed in the elongate body in communication with said inlet and disposed along the pagewidth printhead. The air distribution assembly further includes a filter for sealing the length of the channel and arranged to direct air along its length to said printhead. The filter is preferably arranged such that it only permits air therethrough upon air pressure within the channel reaching a threshold level. This may be achieved by the filter including a plurality of pores sized to determine the threshold level. According to a sixteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: one or more printing fluid reservoirs; a printing fluid delivery member defining one or more printing fluid delivery channels; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the one or more printing fluid reservoirs by means ofthe one or more printing fluid delivery channels. Preferably, the one or more printing fluid reservoirs are housed within an elongate body and the pagewidth printhead is preferably attached to the elongate body. The printing fluid delivery member is preferably arranged to extend the length ofthe printhead and the pagewidth printhead is preferably attached to the elongate body by the printing fluid delivery member. The printing fluid delivery member preferably defines a plurality of printing fluid delivery channels to deliver the printing fluid from the storage reservoirs to the printhead. According to a seventeenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply; a data connection point fast with the body for receiving data signals defining images for printing from an external data source; and processing means coupled to the data connection point and arranged to operate the pagewidth printhead in response to the data signals to print said images. Preferably, the body ofthe inkjet printer cradle defines a recess shaped to receive the removable pagewidth inkjet cartridge, such that the cartridge is supported by the cradle body. The cradle body may further include a power connection point for receiving operative power from an external power source. According to an eighteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to each of a number of removable inkjet cartridges each of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply and each having different performance characteristics; and a controller arranged to determine the performance characteristics of each of said number of cartridges once coupled to said cradle and to operate each said cartridge in response to the determined performance characteristics. Preferably, the controller is arranged to operate each of a number of removable inkjet cartridges having performance characteristics which differ by one or more of: optimum printing speed; ink capacity. Preferably, the body includes a recess to receive any one ofthe number of removable inkjet cartridges. According to a nineteenth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a method for facilitating the upgrade of an inkjet printer of a type including a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing the inkjet printer as a complementary cradle and starter cartridge wherein the cradle is arranged to operate a number of cartridges having differing performance characteristics; facilitating replacement of the starter cartridge with another of said number of cartridges having an improved performance characteristic. Preferably, the differing performance characteristics ofthe cartridges includes one or more of: printing speed; ink capacity; number and types of inks. The printing speeds ofthe various cartridges supported by the cradle may vary between 15 ppm to 60 ppm. The ink capacity ofthe various cartridges supported by the cradle may vary between 150ml of ink to 300ml of ink. The number and types of inks carried by the various cartridges supported by the cradle may include any one or more of black, cyan, magenta, yellow, infrared and an ink fixative. According to a twentieth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer system including: a plurality of inkjet printer cartridges; and a number of inkjet printer cradles each including a body defining a recess and arranged to receive and operate each of a set of supported inkjet printer cartridges ofthe plurality of inkjet printer cartridges; wherein those inkjet cartridges of said plurality not belonging to the set of supported inkjet prmter cartridges, in respect of a particular one of said number of inkjet printer cradles, are shaped to prevent their reception into the recess of said particular inkjet printer cradle. Preferably, the inkjet printer cartridges include pagewidth printheads and include an internal ink store in fluid communication with the pagewidth printhead. The internal ink store may include a number of individual ink storage reservoirs for separately storing ink for printing Preferably, inkjet printer cartridges not supported by a particular inkjet printer cradle is formed with a protrusion, or an indentation, that interferes with an indentation, or a protrusion, ofthe particular inkjet printer cradle upon attempting to insert said cartridge into said cradle. In order to assist in visually identifying those inkjet printer cartridges that are supported by the particular inkjet printer cradle, indicia may be provided on the inkjet printer cartridges and on the inkjet printer cradles. Such indicia may be in the form of a coloured marker or the like. According to a twenty-first aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply; and an integrated circuit assembly arranged to test an authentication device of said cartridge. The authentication device ofthe removable inkjet cartridge preferably comprises a quality assurance chip which stores information relating to the operating properties ofthe cartridge. The printer cradle body preferably defines a recess to receive the removable inkjet cartridge, and the integrated circuit assembly may include a connector mounted upon the body at a location sufficient to connect with the quality assurance chip ofthe cartridge upon insertion ofthe removable inkjet cartridge into the recess.
The integrated circuit assembly may further comprises a portion of a control circuit ofthe inkjet printer cradle, the control circuit may be arranged to indicate a failure to verify the authentication device ofthe cartridge. According to a twenty-second aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; and terminals positioned upon the body to contact corresponding terminals located upon the removable inkjet cartridge upon insertion of said cartridge into the recess thereby facilitating electrical communication between said cradle and said cartridge. Preferably, the terminals ofthe printer cradle body are located upon one or more walls ofthe recess. The recess may be an elongate recess and the terminals are preferably located on at least one end wall ofthe recess. In another embodiment, the terminals may be located on opposing end walls ofthe elongate recess. Each ofthe terminals ofthe printer cradle may be comprise data and power terminals to facilitate the transfer of data and power between the printer cradle and the inkjet cartridge. According to another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining an elongate recess dimensioned to mate with a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; and power and data terminals positioned upon opposing end walls ofthe recess to contact corresponding terminals located upon the removable inkjet cartridge upon insertion of said cartridge into the recess thereby facilitating electrical communication between said cradle and said cartridge. According to a twenty-third aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge; a retaining means arranged to retain said cartridge within the recess; and one or more resilient members arranged to hold the cartridge fast with the retaining means and the body in use. In a preferred embodiment, the one or more resilient members are arranged to bias the cartridge against the retaining means during use ofthe printer and following retention ofthe cartridge within the printer cradle. In another embodiment, the one or more resilient members may arranged to bias the cartridge against the cradle body during use ofthe printer. The removable inkjet cartridge preferably includes a pagewidth printhead, with the printhead preferably in fluid communication with a printing fluid storage reservoir included -within the removable inkjet cartridge. The retaining means may include a latch and the one or more resilient members may comprise one or more springs. Preferably, the recess in the printer cradle body includes a shelf upon which the one or more resilient members are positioned. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess having a shelf and dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; a latch arranged to retain said cartridge within the recess; and one or springs positioned on the shelf and arranged to bias said cartridge against the latch in use. In yet another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a method for stabilizing an inkjet printer cartridge within an inkjet printer cradle, the method including the steps of: locating said cartridge within a recess defined by a body of said cradle; retaining said cartridge within the recess by way of a latch; and holding said cartridge fast with the latch and the body by means of one or more resilient members. In one form, the step of holding the cartridge fast may comprise biasing the inkjet printer cartridge against the latch. Alternatively, the step of holding said cartridge fast may comprise biasing the inkjet printer cartridge against the body. According to a twenty-fourth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead, said cradle including: a number of mechanisms auxiliary to said cartridge; a single motor; and a transmission assembly coupling the single motor to each ofthe number of mechanisms. Preferably, the number of mechanisms include an air compressor for supplying compressed air to the printer cartridge and a print media transport assembly for transporting the print media to the printhead for printinε. Preferably, the transmission assembly includes a direct drive coupling between the compressor and a spindle ofthe motor. The direct drive coupling may include a worm gear extended from a spindle ofthe motor and meshed with a cog ofthe print media transport assembly to drive the print media transport assembly. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead, said cradle including: an air compressor for producing air to be directed over the pagewidth printhead; a print media transport assembly arranged to convey print media across the printhead; a single motor; and a transmission assembly arranged to couple the single motor to the air compressor and to the print media transport assembly; wherein the transmission assembly includes a direct drive coupling from a spindle ofthe single motor to the air compressor and a geared coupling from the spindle to the print media transport assembly According to a twenty-fifth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead and a printhead auxiliary member arranged to selectively perform a number of different functions in respect ofthe printhead, said cradle including: a transmission assembly arranged to selectively engage and drive the printhead auxiliary member. The transmission assembly preferably includes a drive shaft and the assembly is arranged to engage and disengage with the printhead auxiliary member upon rotation ofthe drive shaft in first and second directions respectively. Further, the transmission assembly preferably includes a flipper gear assembly for selective engagement with a drive shaft for the printhead auxiliary member, the flipper gear assembly preferably comprises a first gear fixed to the drive shaft, a second gear radially displaced from the first gear and a locating member retaining the second gear and the first gear in a meshed configuration. According to a twenty-sixth aspectof the present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an air inlet port; and an air compressor having an air outlet pipe positioned to couple with the air inlet port upon mating ofthe inkjet printer cradle with said cartridge. Preferably, fhe printer cradle body defines a recess dimensioned to receive and locate the removable inkjet cartridge and the air outlet pipe terminates within the recess. The air outlet pipe preferably traverses a portion ofthe body defining an internal shelf of the recess, and has a termination configured to assist piercing of a seal over the air inlet port in the removable inkjet cartridge. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an air inlet port; and an air compressor having an air outlet pipe arranged to traverse a portion ofthe body defining an internal shelf of the recess, said pipe positioned to couple with the air inlet port upon insertion ofthe inkjet printer cradle into the recess and configured to assist in piercing of a seal over the air inlet port. According to a twenty-seventh aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: an ink reservoir having an ink outlet; means for applying pressure to said ink reservoir in order to force ink through the outlet; and means for limiting the pressure of said ink forced through the outlet to a predetermined level. Preferably, the ink reservoir comprises a deformable membrane and the means for limiting the pressure ofthe ink forced through the outlet comprises a means for limiting the pressure directly applied to said ink reservoir. The means for applying pressure to the ink reservoir may comprise a handle and the means for limiting applied pressure to the ink reservoir may include a resilient member having deformation characteristics selected to limit the pressure to a predetermined level. The resilient member is preferably located between the ink reservoir and the means for applying pressure to the ink reservoir and preferably comprises a spring. Both the reservoir and the spring may be located within a portion ofthe handle. In use, the dispenser is preferably coupled to an external reservoir and the ink is forced through the outlet ofthe dispenser and is delivered to the external reservoir. The external reservoir is preferably provided in a removable inkjet cartridge and the predetermined pressure level relates to the pressure required to rupture said external reservoir. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention, there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container of printing fluid having an outlet; a handle arranged to apply pressure to said container in order to force ink through the outlet; and a resilient member arranged to limit pressure applied to the deformable container by the handle in order to prevent rupture of an external reservoir coupled to said dispenser in use. Preferably, the deformable container comprises a membrane for storing the printing fluid and the resilient member preferably comprises a spring which includes a platform arranged to abut the membrane. According to a twenty-eighth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser system comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers each including: one of a number of printing fluids; a feature configured to locate the dispenser at predetermined location upon an inkjet printer component to be refilled; and an outlet located at one of a number of predetermined positions relative to the feature depending upon the type of printing fluid within said dispenser . Preferably, the inkjet printer component is a removable inkjet printer cartridge, and the removable inkjet printer cartridge preferably includes a pagewidth printhead. The feature configured to locate the dispenser at a predetermined location preferably comprises a connector arranged to mate with a refill port ofthe inkjet printer component, and the number of predetermined positions ofthe outlet preferably lie within a region defined by the connector. In a preferred embodiment, the number of printing fluids include a range of inks colored to facilitate color printing. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser system comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers each including: a colored ink; connector arranged to mate with a refill port of an inkjet printer cartridge to be refilled, the refill port including a number of discretely positioned inlets; and an outlet positioned to mate with one ofthe discretely positioned inlet ports depending upon the color ofthe colored ink . According to a twenty-ninth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir of printing fluid responsive to relative motion ofthe first and second portions and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein in use bringing fhe first and second portions towards each other causes egress ofthe printing fluid through the outlet. Preferably, the reservoir comprises a deformable container located within the housing and in the event of bringing the first and second portions towards each other, the deformable container compresses. The first and second portions ofthe housing are preferably arranged to slide over each other and a resilient member is preferably disposed between the deformable container and either or both ofthe first and second portions of the housing. The resilient member preferably has characteristics selected to limit pressure in the deformable container to a predetermined level in use. The resilient member may comprise a spring and the first and second portions ofthe housing may comprise a base and plunger, wherein the spring is located between the deformable container and the plunger. The deformable container preferably comprises a deformable membrane. In another embodiment of this aspect of the present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising a base and a plunger; a deformable container located within the housing for storing printing fluid; an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; and a spring located between the deformable container and the plunger having characteristics selected to limit pressure in the deformable container to a predetermined level in use; wherein in use, bringing the plunger towards the base causes compression ofthe deformable container between the spring and the base and egress ofthe printing fluid through the outlet. According to a Ihirtieth aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir of printing fluid responsive to relative motion ofthe first and second portions and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein fhe first and second portions include mated features arranged to prevent motion of said portions relative to each other until a predetermined level of operative force is applied across said portions. In a preferred embodiment, the reservoir of printing fluid comprises a deformable container located within the housing and bringing the first and second portions ofthe fluid dispenser towards each other causes compression of said container thereby conveying the printing fluid from the dispenser. The first and second portions preferably comprise a base and plunger and the mated features may comprise one or more complementary protrusions formed into opposing walls ofthe base and plunger. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container containing a full complement of printing fluid; a housing including a base slidingly engaging a plunger and locating the deformable container; and an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the first and second portions include mated features arranged to prevent motion of said portions relative to each other until a predetermined level of operative force is applied across said portions According to a tliirty-first aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir for storing printing fluid responsive to movement of the first and second portions relative to each other and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the first and second portions include locking features arranged to prevent disengagement of said portions relative to each other subsequent to operation ofthe dispenser. The reservoir for storing printing fluid preferably comprises a deformable container located within the housing such that bringing the first and second portions towards each other causes compression ofthe container. The first and second portions preferably comprise a base and plunger and the locking features preferably comprise one or more complementary protrusions and indentations formed into opposing walls of the base and plunger. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container for printing fluid; a housing locating the deformable container between a base slidingly engaging a plunger; and an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the base and plunger engage each other by means of one or more complementary protrusions and indentations formed into opposing walls ofthe base and plunger and positioned to prevent disengagement ofthe plunger from the base subsequent to operation ofthe dispenser. According to a thirty-second aspect ofthe present invention there is provided a method for refilling a removable inkjet cartridge including the steps of: mating the removable inkjet cartridge to a complementary inkjet cradle; mating a refill cartridge to the removable inkjet cartridge; verifying the authenticity ofthe removable inkjet cartridge; verifying the authenticity of the refill cartridge; and subsequently operating the cradle on the basis ofthe verification steps. Preferably, the step of mating the removable inkjet cartridge to a complementary inkjet cradle includes facilitating electrical communication between an authentication device ofthe inkjet cartridge and a controller ofthe cradle. The step of mating the refill cartridge to the removable inkjet cartridge preferably includes facilitating electrical communication between an authentication device ofthe refill cartridge and a controller ofthe cradle. The step of subsequently operating the cradle on the basis ofthe verification steps preferably includes indicating to a user a failure to authenticate either the refill cartridge or the removable inkjet cartridge. In another embodiment of this aspect ofthe present invention there is provided an inkjet printer including a controller arranged to verify authenticity devices of a removable inkjet printer cartridge of said printer and a refill cartridge coupled to the removable inkjet printer cartridge. The controller is preferably located within a cradle ofthe printer and coupled to electrical contacts mounted on a body ofthe cradle at positions to establish electrical communication with the authenticity devices. Each ofthe authenticity devices preferably comprise integrated circuits. It will be appreciated that the present invention provides a printer system that employs a printhead and associated printing fluid storage means in a cartridge form which can be readily removed and replaced from a cradle unit ofthe printer system. The removable and replaceable cartridge contains a printhead that is capable of providing print jobs of a quality and a speed superior to existing printer systems and allows for the cartridge to be refilled with printing fluid upon depletion. The present invention also provides for a system and method of refilling and dispensing printing fluid into the cartridge to provide a printer system that is capable of providing high quality print jobs at high speeds and wliich facilitates easy removal and replacement ofthe printhead where necessary.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 is a perspective view, showing front, top and right-hand sides of a printer cartridge according to a preferred embodiment ofthe present invention in combination with a printer cradle. Figure 2 is a block diagram ofthe printer cartridge. Figure 3 is a perspective view, showing front, top and right-hand sides ofthe printer cartridge prior to insertion into the printer cradle. Figure 4 is a perspective view, showing rear, bottom and left-hand sides ofthe printer cartridge. Figure 5 is a perspective view, showing, front, bottom and right-hand, sides ofthe printer cartridge in a partly dismantled state. Figure 6 is a perspective view, showing front, bottom and right-hand sides ofthe printer cartridge in an exploded state. Figure 7 is a plan view ofthe underside of a base molding ofthe cartridge revealing a number printing fluid conduits. Figure 8 is a right-hand plan view ofthe printer cartridge. Figure 9 is a cross-sectional view ofthe printer cartridge. Figure 10 is a cross sectional view through a printhead chip nozzle in a first state of operation. Figure 11 is a cross sectional view through the printhead chip nozzle in a second state of operation. Figure 12 is a cross sectional view through a printhead chip nozzle subsequent to ejection of an ink droplet. Figure 13 is a perspective, and partially cutaway, view of a printhead chip nozzle subsequent to ejection of an ink droplet. Figure 14 is a perspective cross section of a printhead chip nozzle. Figure 15 is a cross section of a printhead chip nozzle. Figure 16 is a perspective and partially cutaway perspective view of a printhead chip nozzle. Figure 17 is a plan view of a printhead chip nozzle. Figure 18 is a plan, and partially cutaway view of a printhead chip nozzle. Figure 19 is a perspective cross-sectioned view of a portion of a printhead chip. Figure 20 is a block diagram ofthe printer cradle. Figure 21 is a perspective, front, left-hand, upper side view of the printer cradle. Figure 22 is a front plan view ofthe printer cradle. Figure 23 is a top plan view ofthe printer cradle. Figure 24 is a bottom plan view ofthe printer cradle. Figure 25 is a right-hand plan view ofthe printer cradle. Figure 26 is a perspective view ofthe left-hand, front and top sides ofthe printer cradle in an exploded state. Figure 27 is a right-hand, and partially cutaway, plan view ofthe printer cradle. Figure 28 is a perspective, rear left-hand and upper view ofthe printer cradle with print cartridge inserted. Figure 29 is a perspective, rear left-hand and upper side view ofthe printer cradle with RFI shield removed. Figure 30 is a perspective detail view of a portion ofthe left-hand side ofthe printer cradle. Figure 31 is a perspective detail view of a portion of the right-hand side of the prmter cradle. Figure 32 is a perspective view of a single SoPEC chip controller board. Figure 33 is a perspective view of a twin SoPEC chip controller board. Figure 34 is a block diagram of a SoPEC chip. Figure 35 is a perspective view of an ink refill cartridge in an emptied state. Figure 36 is a perspective view ofthe ink refill cartridge in a full state. Figure 37 is a perspective view ofthe ink refill cartridge in an exploded state. Figure 38 is a cross section ofthe ink refill cartridge in an emptied state. Figure 39 is a cross section ofthe ink refill cartridge in a full state. Figure 40 depicts a full ink refill cartridge aligned for docking to a printer cartridge. Figure 41 depicts the ink refill cartridge docked to a printer cartridge prior to dispensing ink. Figure 42 depicts the ink refill cartridge docked to a printer cartridge subsequent to dispensing ink.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Figure 1 depicts an inkjet printer 2 which includes a cradle 4 that receives a replaceable print cartridge 6 into a recess formed in the cradle's body according to a preferred embodiment ofthe present invention. Cartridge 6 is secured in the cradle recess by a retainer in the form of latch 7 that is connected by a hinge to cradle 4. Visible on the upper surface of print cartridge 6 is an ink refill port 8 which receives an ink refill cartridge during use.
Print Cartridge Referring now to Figure 2, there is depicted a block diagram of removable inkjet printer cartridge 6. Cartridge 6 includes ink refill port 8 and an ink delivery assembly 10 for storing and delivering ink to a micro- electromechanical pagewidth print head chip 52. Printhead chip 52 receives power and data signals from cradle 4 via power and data interface 58. A rotor element 60, which is mechanically driven by cradle 4 has three faces which respectively serve to: blot printhead chip 52 subsequent to ink ejection; seal the printhead when it is not in use; and act as a platen during printing. Accordingly, rotor element 60 acts as an auxiliary assembly to the printhead in that it assists in mamtaining proper printhead functioning. Cartridge 6 also includes an authentication device in the form of quality assurance chip 57 which contains various manufacturer codes that are read by electronic circuitry of controller board 82 of cradle 4 during use. The manufacturer codes are read to verify the authenticity of cartridge 6. With reference to Figures 3 to 9, and initially to Figure 6, structurally cartridge 6 has a body including a base molding 20 that houses a polyethylene membrane 26 including ink storage reservoirs in the form of pockets 28, 30, 32, 34 for each of four different printing fluids. Typically the printing fluids will be cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. Additional storage reservoirs may also be provided within base molding 20 in order to receive and store an ink fixative and/or an infrared ink as various applications may require. In this regard there may be up to six storage reservoirs provided with base molding 20. As membrane 26 is filled with printing fluids it expands and conversely, as ink is consumed during printing the membrane collapses. Cover molding 36 includes a recess 38 that receives an ink inlet molding 24 having a number of passageways. A number of apertures 42A-42E are formed through recess 38 and are arranged to communicate with corresponding passageways of ink inlet molding 24. The passages ofthe ink inlet member convey ink from an externally fitted ink refill cartridge to each ofthe ink storage reservoirs via a series of ink delivery paths formed into ink membrane 26. The ink delivery paths connect each aperture 42A-42E ofthe ink inlet member 24 to its dedicated ink storage reservoir 28-34. The ink is typically delivered under pressure thereby causing it to flow into and expand the reservoirs of membrane 26. An ink inlet seal 40 is located over the outside of recess 38 in order to seal apertures 42A-42E prior to use. Pagewidth printhead chip 52 is disposed along the outside of cartridge base molding 20 in the region below the ink storage reservoirs. As shown in Figure 7, a number of conduits 43 A-43E are formed in the underside ofthe cartridge base molding and are in direct communication with each of ink storage reservoirs 28, 30, 32, 34. The conduits provide an ink delivery path from the underside of cartridge base molding 20 to inlet ports provided in ink delivery moldings 48 onto which the printhead chip 52 is attached. Referring again to Figure 6, ink delivery moldings 48 are preferably made from a plastic, such as LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) via an injection molding process and include a plurality of elongate conduits disposed along the length thereof arranged to distribute printing fluids from the reservoirs in membrane 26 to printhead chip 52. Each ofthe elongate conduits are dedicated to carry a specific fluid, such as a particular color ink or a fixative and to allow the fluid to be distributed along the length ofthe printhead. To assist in controlled delivery ofthe printing fluid an ink sealing strip 45 is placed between cartridge base molding 20 and ink delivery molding 48. The ink sealing strip is formed with apertures that allow fluid transfer to occur between the two elements, however the strip acts to seal the channels formed in the cartridge base molding to prevent fluid leakage. Formed in cartridge base molding 20 adjacent the elongate ink distribution conduits, is an air distribution channel 50 that acts to distribute pressurized air from air inlet port 76 over the nozzles of printhead 52. The air distribution channel runs along the length of printhead 52 and communicates -with air inlet port 76. A porous air filter 51 extends along the length of air distribution channel 50 and serves to remove dust and particulate matter that may be present in the air and which might otherwise contaminate printhead 52. Porous air filter 51 has a selected porosity so that only air at a desired threshold pressure is able to pass through it, thereby ensuring that the air is evenly delivered at a constant pressure along the length of the printhead. In use, channel 50 firstly fills with compressed air until it reaches the threshold pressure within the channel. Once the threshold pressure is reached the air is able to pass through porous air filter 51 evenly along the length ofthe filter. The filtered air is then directed over the printhead. The purpose ofthe pressurized air is to prevent degradation ofthe printhead by keeping its nozzles free of dust and debris. The pressurized air is provided by an air compressor (item 122 of Figure 14) incorporated into cradle 4. An air nozzle (item 124 of Figure 15). ofthe compressor pierces air seal 44 upon insertion of cartridge 6 into cradle 4 and mates with air inlet port 76. An air coverplate 54 is fixed to the cartridge base molding and evenly distributes air across printhead 52 in the manner described above. Power and data signals are provided to printhead 52 by means of busbar 56wbich is in turn coupled to external data and power connectors 58A and 58B. An authentication device in the form of a quality assurance (QA) chip 57 is mounted to connector 58A. Upon inserting print cartridge 6 into cradle 4 the data and power connectors 58A and 58B, and QA chip 57, mate with corresponding connectors (items 84A, 84B of Figure 9) on cradle 4, thereby facilitating power and data communication between the cradle and the cartridge. QA chip
57 is tested in use by a portion of controller board 82 configured to act as a suitable verification circuit. Rotor element 60 is rotatably mounted adjacent and parallel to printhead 52. The rotor element has three faces, as briefly explained previously, as follows: a platen face, which during printing acts as a support for print media and assists in bringing the print media close to printhead 52; a capping face for capping the printhead when not in use in order to reduce evaporation of printing fluids from the nozzles; and a blotter face, for blotting the printhead subsequent to a printing operation. The three faces ofthe rotor element are each separated by 120 degrees. At opposite ends of rotor element 60 there extend axial pins 64A and 64B about which are fixed cogs
62A and 62B respectively. The free ends of axial pins 64A and 64B are received into slider blocks 66A and
66B. Slider blocks 66A and 66B include flanges 68A and 68B which are located within slots 70A and 70B of end plates 22 A and 22B. The end plates are fixed at either end of cartridge base molding 20. Slider blocks 66A and 66B are biased towards the printhead end of slots 70A and 70B by springs 72A and 72B held at either end by their insertion into blind holes in slider block 66A and 66B and by their seating over protrusions into slots 70A and 70B as best seen in Figure 8. Accordingly, rotor element 60 is normally biased so it is brought closely adjacent to printhead 52. During transport, and whilst printer cartridge 6 is being inserted into cradle 4, rotor element 60 is arranged so that its capping face caps printhead 52 in order to prevent the surrounding air from drying out the printhead's nozzles. Printhead A preferred design for pagewidth printhead 52 will now be explained. A printhead ofthe following type may be fabricated with a width of greater than eight inches if desired and will typically include at least 20,000 nozzles and in some variations more than 30,000. The preferred printhead nozzle arrangement, comprising a nozzle and corresponding actuator, will now be described with reference to Figures 10 to 19. Figure 19 shows an array ofthe nozzle arrangements 801 formed on a silicon substrate 8015. The nozzle arrangements are identical, but in the preferred embodiment, different nozzle arrangements are fed with different colored inks and fixative. It will be noted that rows ofthe nozzle arrangements 801 are staggered with respect to each other, allowing closer spacing of ink dots during printing than would be possible with a single row of nozzles. The multiple rows also allow for redundancy (if desired), thereby allowing for a predetermined failure rate per nozzle. Each nozzle arrangement 801 is the product of an integrated circuit fabrication technique. In particular, the nozzle arrangement 801 defines a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS). For clarity and ease of description, the construction and operation of a single nozzle arrangement 801 will be described with reference to Figures 10 to 18. The inkjet printhead chip 12 includes a silicon wafer substrate 801. 0.35 Micron 1 P4M 12 volt CMOS microprocessing circuitry is positioned on the silicon wafer substrate 8015. A silicon dioxide (or alternatively glass) layer 8017 is positioned on the wafer substrate 8015. The silicon dioxide layer 8017 defines CMOS dielectric layers. CMOS top-level metal defines a pair of aligned aluminium electrode contact layers 8030 positioned on the silicon dioxide layer 8017. Both the silicon wafer substrate 8015 and the silicon dioxide layer 8017 are etched to define an ink inlet channel 8014 having a generally circular cross section (in plan). An aluminium diffusion barrier 8028 of CMOS metal 1, CMOS metal 2/3 and CMOS top level metal is positioned in the silicon dioxide layer 8017 about the ink inlet channel 8014. The diffusion barrier 8028 serves to inhibit the diffusion of hydroxyl ions through CMOS oxide layers ofthe drive circuitry layer 8017. A passivation layer in the form of a layer of silicon nitride 8031 is positioned over the aluminium contact layers 8030 and the silicon dioxide layer 8017. Each portion ofthe passivation layer 8031 positioned over the contact layers 8030 has an opening 8032 defined therein to provide access to the contacts 8030. The nozzle arrangement 801 includes a nozzle chamber 8029 defined by an annular nozzle wall
8033, which terminates at an upper end in a nozzle roof 8034 and a radially inner nozzle rim 804 that is circular in plan. The ink inlet channel 8014 is in fluid communication with the nozzle chamber 8029. At a lower end ofthe nozzle wall, there is disposed a moving rim 8010, that includes a moving seal lip 8040. An encircling wall 8038 surrounds the movable nozzle, and includes a stationary seal lip 8039 that, when the nozzle is at rest as shown in Figure 10, is adjacent the moving rim 8010. A fluidic seal 8011 is formed due to the surface tension of ink trapped between the stationary seal lip 8039 and the moving seal lip 8040. This prevents leakage of ink from the chamber whilst providing a low resistance coupling between the encircling wall 8038 and the nozzle wall 8033. As best shown in Figure 17, a plurality of radially extending recesses 8035 is defined in the roof 8034 about the nozzle rim 804. The recesses 8035 serve to contain radial ink flow as a result of ink escaping past the nozzle rim 804. The nozzle wall 8033 forms part of a lever arrangement that is mounted to a carrier 8036 having a generally U-shaped profile with a base 8037 attached to the layer 8031 of silicon nitride. The lever arrangement also includes a lever arm 8018 that extends from the nozzle walls and incorporates a lateral stiffening beam 8022. The lever arm 8018 is attached to a pair of passive beams 806, formed from titanium nitride (TiN) and positioned on either side ofthe nozzle arrangement, as best shown in
Figures 13 and 18. The other ends ofthe passive beams 806 are attached to the carrier 8036. The lever arm 8018 is also attached to an actuator beam 807, which is formed from TiN. It will be noted that this attachment to the actuator beam is made at a point a small but critical distance higher than the attachments to the passive beam 806. As best shown in Figures 13 and 16, the actuator beam 807 is substantially U-shaped in plan, defining a current path between the electrode 809 and an opposite electrode 8041. Each ofthe electrodes 809 and 8041 are electrically connected to respective points in the contact layer 8030. As well as being electrically coupled via the contacts 809, the actuator beam is also mechanically anchored to anchor 808. The anchor 808 is configured to constrain motion ofthe actuator beam 807 to the left of Figures 10 to 12 when the nozzle arrangement is in operation. The TiN in the actuator beam 807 is conductive, but has a high enough electrical resistance that it undergoes self-heating when a current is passed between the electrodes 809 and 8041. No current flows through the passive beams 806, so they do not expand. In use, the device at rest is filled with ink 8013 that defines a meniscus 803 under the influence of surface tension. The ink is retained in the chamber 8029 by the meniscus, and will not generally leak out in the absence of some other physical influence. As shown in Figure 11, to fire ink from the nozzle, a current is passed between the contacts 809 and 8041, passing through the actuator beam 807. The self-heating ofthe beam 807 due to its resistance causes the beam to expand. The dimensions and design ofthe actuator beam 807 mean that the majority ofthe expansion in a horizontal direction with respect to Figures 10 to 12. The expansion is constrained to the left by the anchor 808, so the end ofthe actuator beam 807 adjacent the lever arm 8018 is impelled to the right. The relative horizontal inflexibility ofthe passive beams 806 prevents them from allowing much horizontal movement the lever arm 8018. However, the relative displacement ofthe attachment points ofthe passive beams and actuator beam respectively to the lever arm causes a twisting movement that causes the lever arm 8018 to move generally downwards. The movement is effectively a pivoting or hinging motion. However, the absence of a true pivot point means that the rotation is about a pivot region defined by bending ofthe passive beams 806. The downward movement (and slight rotation) ofthe lever arm 8018 is amplified by the distance of the nozzle wall 8033 from the passive beams 806. The downward movement ofthe nozzle walls and roof causes a pressure increase within the chamber 29, causing the meniscus to bulge as shown in Figure 11. It -will be noted that the surface tension ofthe ink means the fluid seal 11 is stretched by this motion without allowing ink to leak out. As shown in Figure 12, at the appropriate time, the drive current is stopped and the actuator beam
807 quickly cools and contracts. The contraction causes the lever arm to commence its return to the quiescent position, which in turn causes a reduction in pressure in the chamber 8029. The interplay ofthe momentum of the bulging ink and its inherent surface tension, and the negative pressure caused by the upward movement of the nozzle chamber 8029 causes thinning, and ultimately snapping, ofthe bulging meniscus to define an ink drop 802 that continues upwards until it contacts adjacent print media. Immediately after the drop 802 detaches, meniscus 803 forms the concave shape shown in Figure 12. Surface tension causes the pressure in the chamber 8029 to remain relatively low until ink has been sucked upwards through the inlet 8014, which returns the nozzle arrangement and the ink to the quiescent situation shown in Figure 10. As best shown in Figure 13, the nozzle arrangement also incorporates a test mechanism that can be used both post-manufacture and periodically after the printhead is installed. The test mechanism includes a pair of contacts 8020 that are connected to test circuitry (not shown). A bridging contact 8019 is provided on a finger 8043 that extends from the lever arm 8018. Because the bridging contact 8019 is on the opposite side ofthe passive beams 806, actuation ofthe nozzle causes the priding contact to move upwardly, into contact with the contacts 8020. Test circuitry can be used to confirm that actuation causes this closing ofthe circuit formed by the contacts 8019 and 8020. If the circuit closed appropriately, it can generally be assumed that the nozzle is operative.
Cradle Figure 20 is a functional block diagram of printer cradle 4. The printer cradle is built around a controller board 82 that includes one or more custom Small Office Home Office Printer Engine Chips (SoPEC) whose architecture will be described in detail shortly. Controller board 10 is coupled to a USB port 130 for connection to an external computational device such as a personal computer or digital camera containing digital files for printing. Controller board 10 also monitors: a paper sensor 192, which detects the presence of print media; a printer cartridge chip interface 84, which in use couples to printer cartridge QA chip 57; an ink refill cartridge QA chip contact 132, which in use couples to an ink refill cartridge QA chip (visible as item 176 in Figure 37); and rotor element angle sensor 156, which detects the orientation of rotor element 60. In use the controller board processes fhe data received from USB port 130 and from the various sensors described above and in response drives a motor 110, tricolor indicator LED 135 and, via interface 84, printhead chip 52. As will be explained in more detail later, motor 110 is mechanically coupled to drive a number of mechanisms that provide auxiliary services to print cartridge 6. The driven mechanisms include: a rotor element drive assembly 145, for operating rotor element 60; a print media transport assembly 93, which passes print media across printhead chip 52 during printing; and an air compressor 122 which provides compressed air to keep printhead chip 52 clear of debris. As will be explained in more detail shortly, motor 110 is coupled to each ofthe above mechanisms by a transmission assembly which includes a direct drive coupling from the motor spindle to an impeller ofthe air compressor and a worm-gear and cog transmission to the rotor element and print media transport assembly. The structure of cradle 4 will now be explained with reference to Figures 21 to 31. As most clearly seen in the exploded view of Figure 26, cradle 4 has a body shaped to complement cartridge 6 so that when mated together they form an inkjet printer. The cradle body is formed of base molding 90 and cradle molding 80. The base molding acts as a support base for the cradle and also locates drive motor 110, rotor element roller 94 and drive roller 96. The base molding is snap fastened to cradle molding 80 by means of a number of corresponding flanges 120 and slots 123. Cradle molding 80 defines an elongate recess 89 dimensioned to locate print cartridge 6. A number of indentations in the form of slots 86 are formed in an internal wall ofthe cradle for receiving complementary protrusions in the form of ribs 78 (Figure 4) of cartridge 6. Consequently cartridge 6 must be correctly orientated in order for it to be frilly received into cradle molding 80. Furthermore, the slots ensures that only those cartridges that are supported by the electronics ofthe cradle, and hence have non-interfering ribs, can be inserted into the cradle, thereby overcoming the problem ofthe drive electronics ofthe cradle attempting to drive cartridges having unsupported performance characteristics.
Controller 82 is arranged to determine the performance characteristics of cartridges inserted into cradle 4 and to operate each cartridge in response to the determined performance characteristics. Consequently, it is possible for an inkjet cradle to be provided with a starter cartridge having relatively basic performance characteristics and then to upgrade as desired by replacing the starter cartridge with an improved performance upgrade cartridge. For example the upgrade cartridge may be capable of a higher print rate or support more inks than the starter cartridge. With reference to Figure 25, drive shaft 127 of motor 110 terminates in a worm gear 129 that meshes with a cog 125B that is, in turn, fixed to drive roller 96. Referring again to Figure 26, the drive roller is supported at either end by bearing mount assemblies 100A and 100B, which are in turn fixed into slots 101 A and 101B of cradle mounting 80. Similarly, rotor element translation roller 94 and pinch roller 98 are also supported by bearing mount assemblies 100A and 100B. Referring now to Figure 30, opposite the motor end of drive roller 96 there is located a flipper gear assembly 140. The flipper gear assembly consists of a housing 144 which holds an inner gear 142 and an outer gear 143 that mesh with each other. The inner gear is fixed and coaxial with drive roller 96 whereas housing 144 is free to rotate about drive roller 96. In use the housing rotates with drive roller 96 taking with it outer gear 143 until it either abuts a stopper located on the cradle base molding 90 or outer gear 143 meshes with rotor element drive cog 146. The direction of rotation of drive roller 96 is dependent on the sense ofthe driving current applied to motor 110 by control board 82. The meshing of outer gear 143 with rotor element drive cog 146 forms rotor element drive assembly 145 comprising drive roller 96, inner gear 142, outer gear 143 and rotor element drive cog 146. Consequently, in this configuration power can be transmitted from drive roller 96 to rotor element drive roller 94. With reference to Figure 31, the opposite ends of rotor element drive roller 94 terminate in cams 148A and 148B which are located in corresponding cam followers 150A and 150B. Cam followers 150A and 150B are ring shaped and pivotally secured at one side by pivot pins 152A and 152B respectively. Hinged jaws 154A and 154B are provided for clutching the rotor element slider blocks (items 66A, 66B of Figure 6) ofthe printer cartridge. The jaws are each pivotally connected to cam followers 150A and 150B opposite pins 152A and 152B respectively. Upon rotor element drive roller 94 being rotated, cams 148 A and 148B abut the inner wall of cam followers 150A and 150B thereby causing the cam followers to rise taking with them jaws 154A and 154B respectively. In order to ensure that rotor element 60 is rotated through the correct angle, cradle 4 includes a rotor element sensor unit 156 (Figure 20) to detect the actual orientation ofthe rotor element. Sensor unit 156 consists of a light source and a detector unit which detects the presence of reflected light. Rotor element 60 has a reflective surface that is arranged to reflect rays from the light source so that the orientation ofthe rotor element can be detected by sensor 156. In particular, by monitoring sensor unit 156, controller board 82 is able to determine which face of rotor element 60 is adjacent printhead 52. Apart from driving drive roller 96, motor 110 also drives an air compressor 122 that includes a fan housing 112, air filter 116 and impeller 114. Fan housing 112 includes an air outlet 124 that is adapted to mate with air inlet port 76 (Figure 6) of cartridge 6 A metal backplane 92 is secured to the rear of cradle molding 80 as may be best seen in side view in Figure 25 and in cross section in Figure 27. Mounted to backplane 92 is a control board 82 loaded with various electronic circuitry. The control board is covered by a metal radio frequency interference (RFI) shield
102. Control board 82 is electrically coupled to cradle connectors 84A and 84B via a flex PCB connector 106 and also to an external data and power connection point in the form of USB port connector 130. USB connector 130 enables connection to an external personal computer or other computational device. Cradle connectors 84A, 84B are supported in slots formed at either end of cradle molding 80 and are arranged so that upon printer cartridge 6 being fully inserted into recess 89 ofthe cradle molding, cradle connectors 84A and 84B make electrical contact with cartridge connectors 58A and 58B. Controller board 82 is connected by various cable looms and flexible PCB 106 to QA chip contact 132. The QA chip contact is located in a recess 134 formed in cradle molding 80 and is situated so that during ink refilling it makes contact with a QA chip 176 located in ink refill cartridge 162 as will be described shortly. Controller board 82 also drives a tricolor indicator LED (item 135 of Figure 20) which is optically coupled to a lightpipe 136. The lightpipe terminates in an indicator port 138 formed in cradle molding 80 so that light from the tricolor indicator LED may be viewed from outside the casing.
Controller Board Printer units according to a preferred embodiment ofthe invention have a fundamental structure, namely a cradle assembly which contains all ofthe necessary electronics, power and paper handling requirements, and a cartridge unit that includes the highly specialised printhead and ink handling requirements ofthe system, such that it may be possible for a cradle unit to support a cartridge unit which enables different capabilities without the need to purchase a new cradle unit. In this regard, a range of cartridge units, each having a number of different features may be provided. For example, in a simple form it may be possible to provide a cartridge unit of three distinct types: • Starter Unit - 15 ppm cartridge with 150 ml of ink capacity • Intermediate Unit - 30 ppm cartridge with 300 ml of ink capacity • Professional Unit - 60 ppm cartridge with +300 ml of ink storage capacity.
Such a system may be supported on one cradle unit with the user able to purchase different cartridge units depending upon their requirements and cost considerations. In the case ofthe professional unit, it may be required that a special cradle unit be provided that supports the more developed and refined fimctionality of such a cartridge unit. Cartridge units of different functionality may bear indicia such as color coded markings so that their compatibility with the cradle units can be easily identified. In this regard, Figure 32 shows the main PCB unit for a cradle unit operating at 15-30 ppm, whilst Figure 33 shows a main PCB unit for driving a cartridge unit operating at 60 ppm. As can be seen the PCBs are almost identical with the main difference being the presence of 2 SoPEC chips on the 60 ppm PCB. Hence, even if a user has purchased a cradle unit which may not initially support a more powerful cartridge unit, the present system structure makes it easy for the cradle unit to be easily upgraded to support such systems. The printer preferably also includes one or more system on a chip (SoC) components, as well as the print engine pipeline control application specific logic, configured to perform some or all ofthe functions described above in relation to the printing pipeline. Referring now to Figure 4, from the highest point of view a SoPEC device consists of 3 distinct subsystems: a Central Processing Unit (CPU) subsystem 301, a Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) subsystem 302 and a Print Engine Pipeline (PEP) subsystem 303. The CPU subsystem 301 includes a CPU 30 that controls and configures all aspects ofthe other subsystems. It provides general support for interfacing and synchronizing the external printer with the internal print engine. It also controls the low-speed communication to QA chips (which are described elsewhere in this specification). The CPU subsystem 301 also contains various peripherals to aid the CPU, such as General Purpose Input Output (GPIO, which includes motor control), an Interrupt Controller Unit (ICU), LSS Master and general timers. The Serial Communications Block (SCB) on the CPU subsystem provides a full speed USB 1.1 interface to the host as well as an Inter SoPEC Interface (ISI) to other SoPEC devices (not shown). The DRAM subsystem 302 accepts requests from the CPU, Serial Communications Block (SCB) and blocks within the PEP subsystem. The DRAM subsystem 302, and in particular the DRAM Interface Unit (DIU), arbitrates the various requests and determines which request should win access to the DRAM. The DIU arbitrates based on configured parameters, to allow sufficient access to DRAM for all requestors. The DIU also hides the implementation specifics ofthe DRAM such as page size, number of banks and refresh rates. The Print Engine Pipeline (PEP) subsystem 303 accepts compressed pages from DRAM and renders them to bi-level dots for a given print line destined for a printhead interface that communicates directly with up to 2 segments of a bi-litbic printhead. The first stage ofthe page expansion pipeline is the Contone Decoder Unit (CDU), Lossless Bi-level Decoder (LBD) and Tag Encoder (TE). The CDU expands the JPEG- compressed contone (typically CMYK) layers, the LBD expands the compressed bi-level layer (typically K), and the TE encodes Netpage tags for later rendering (typically in IR or K ink). The output from the first stage is a set of buffers: the Contone FIFO unit (CFU), the Spot FIFO Unit (SFU), and the Tag FIFO Unit (TFU). The CFU and SFU buffers are implemented in DRAM. The second stage is the Halftone Compositor Unit (HCU), which dithers the contone layer and composites position tags and the bi-level spot layer over the resulting bi-level dithered layer. A number of compositing options can be implemented, depending upon the printhead with which the
SoPEC device is used. Up to 6 channels of bi-level data are produced from this stage, although not all channels may be present on the printhead. For example, the printhead may be CMY only, with K pushed into the CMY channels and IR ignored. Alternatively, the encoded tags may be printed in K if IR ink is not available (or for testing purposes). In the third stage, a Dead Nozzle Compensator (DNC) compensates for dead nozzles in the printhead by color redundancy and error diffusing of dead nozzle data into surrounding dots. The resultant bi-level 6 channel dot-data (typically CMYK, Infrared, Fixative) is buffered and written to a set of line buffers stored in DRAM via a Dotline Writer Unit (DWU). Finally, the dot-data is loaded back from DRAM, and passed to the printhead interface via a dot FIFO. The dot FIFO accepts data from a Line Loader Unit (LLU) at the system clock rate (pclk), while the PrintHead Interface (PHI) removes data from the FIFO and sends it to the printhead at a rate of 2/3 times the system clock rate. In the preferred form, the DRAM is 2.5Mbytes in size, of which about 2Mbytes are available for compressed page store data. A compressed page is received in two or more bands, with a number of bands stored in memory. As a band ofthe page is consumed by the PEP subsystem 303 for printing, a new band can be downloaded. The new band may be for the current page or the next page. Using banding it is possible to begin printing a page before the complete compressed page is downloaded, but care must be taken to ensure that data is always available for printing or a buffer under-run may occur. The embedded USB 1.1 device accepts compressed page data and control commands from the host
PC, and facilitates the data transfer to either the DRAM (or to another SoPEC device in multi-SoPEC systems, as described below). Multiple, SoPEC devices can be used in alternative embodiments, and can perform different functions depending upon the particular implementation. For example, in some cases a SoPEC device can be used simplv for its onboard DRAM, while another SoPEC device attends to the various decompression and formatting functions described above. This can reduce the chance of buffer under-run, which can happen in the event that the printer commences printing a page prior to all the data for that page being received and the rest ofthe data is not received in time. Adding an extra SoPEC device for its memory buffering capabilities doubles the amount of data that can be buffered, even if none ofthe other capabilities ofthe additional chip are utilized. Each SoPEC system can have several quality assurance (QA) devices designed to cooperate with each other to ensure the quality ofthe printer mechanics, the quality ofthe ink supply so the printhead nozzles will not be damaged during prints, and the quality ofthe software to ensure printheads and mechanics are not damaged. Normally, each printing SoPEC will have an associated printer QA, which stores information printer attributes such as maximum print speed. An ink cartridge for use with the system will also contain an ink QA chip, which stores cartridge information such as fhe amount of ink remaining. The printhead also has a QA chip, configured to act as a ROM (effectively as an EEPROM) that stores printhead-specific information such as dead nozzle mapping and printhead characteristics. The CPU in the SoPEC device can optionally load and run program code from a QA Chip that effectively acts as a serial EEPROM. Finally, the CPU in the SoPEC device runs a logical QA chip (ie, a software QA chip). Usually, all QA chips in the system are physically identical, with only the contents of flash memory differentiating one from the other. Each SoPEC device has two LSS system buses that can communicate with QA devices for system authentication and ink usage accounting. A large number of QA devices can be used per bus and their position in the system is unrestricted with the exception that printer QA and ink QA devices should be on separate LSS busses. In use, the logical QA communicates with the ink QA to determine remaining ink. The reply from the ink QA is authenticated with reference to the printer QA. The verification from the printer QA is itself authenticated by the logical QA, thereby indirectly adding an additional authentication level to the reply from the ink QA. Data passed between the QA chips, other than the printhead QA, is authenticated by way of digital signatures. In the preferred embodiment, HMAC-SHAl authentication is used for data, and RSA is used for program code, although other schemes could be used instead. A single SoPEC device can control two bi-lithic printheads and up to six color channels. Six channels of colored ink are the expected maximum in a consumer SOHO, or office bi-lithic printing environment, and include:
• CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow), for regular color printing. • K (black), for black text, line graphics and gray-scale printing.
• IR (infrared), for Netpage-enabled applications.
• F (fixative), to prevent smudging of prints thereby enabling printing at high speed. Because the bi-lithic printer is capable of printing so fast, a fixative may be required to enable the ink to dry before the page touches the page already printed. Otherwise ink may bleed between pages. In relatively low-speed printing environments the fixative may not be required. In the preferred form, the SoPEC device is color space agnostic. Although it can accept contone data as CMYX or RGBX, where X is an optional 4th channel, it also can accept contone data in any print color space. Additionally, SoPEC provides a mechanism for arbitrary mapping of input channels to output channels, including combining dots for ink optimization and generation of channels based on any number of other channels. However, inputs are typically CMYK for contone input, K for the bi-level input, and the optional Netpage tag dots are typically rendered to an infrared layer. A fixative channel is typically generated for fast printing applications. In the preferred form, the SoPEC device is also resolution agnostic. It merely provides a mapping between input resolutions and output resolutions by means of scale factors. The expected output resolution for the preferred embodiment is 1600dpi, but SoPEC actually has no knowledge ofthe physical resolution ofthe Bi-lithic printhead. In the preferred form, the SoPEC device is page-length agnostic. Successive pages are typically split into bands and downloaded into the page store as each band of information is consumed.
Subsystem Umt Umt Name Description Acronym
DRAM DIU DRAM interface unit Provides interface for DRAM read and write access for the various SoPEC units, CPU and the SCB block. The DIU provides arbitration between competing units and controls DRAM access. DRAM Embedded DRAM 20Mbits of embedded DRAM.
Subsystem Unit Unit Name Description Acronym
CPU CPU Central Processing Unit CPU for system configuration and control. MMU Memory Management Unit Limits access to certain memory address areas in CPU user mode. RDU Real-time Debug Unit Facilitates the observation ofthe contents of most ofthe CPU addressable registers in SoPEC, in addition to some pseudo-registers in real time. TIM General Timer Contains watchdog and general system timers. LSS Low Speed Serial Interfaces Low level controller for interfacing with the QA chips GPIO General Purpose IOs General 10 controller, with built-in Motor control unit, LED pulse units and de-glitch circuitry ROM Boot ROM 16 KBytes of System Boot ROM code ICU Interrupt Controller Unit General Purpose interrupt controller with configurable priority, and masking. CPR Clock, Power and Reset block Central Unit for controlling and generating the system clocks and resets
Figure imgf000040_0001
Subsystem Unit Unit Name Description Acronym Print Engine PCU PEP controller Provides external CPU with the means Pipeline to read and write PEP Unit registers, (PEP) and read and write DRAM in single 32- bit chunks. CDU Contone Decoder Unit Expands JPEG compressed contone layer and writes decompressed contone to DRAM CFU Contone FIFO Unit Provides line buffering between CDU and HCU LBD Lossless Bi-level Decoder Expands compressed bi-level layer. SFU Spot FIFO Unit Provides line buffering between LBD and HCU TE Tag Encoder Encodes tag data into line of tag dots. TFU Tag FIFO Unit Provides tag data storage between TE and HCU HCU Halftoner Compositor Umt Dithers contone layer and composites the bi-level spot and position tag dots.
Figure imgf000041_0001
Ink Refill Cartridge As previously explained, printhead cartridge 6 includes an ink storage membrane 26 that contains internal ink reservoirs 28-34 that are connected to an ink refill port 8 formed in the top of cover molding 36. In order to refill reservoirs 28-34 an ink dispenser in the form of an ink refill cartridge is provided as shown in Figures 35 to 42. The structure of refill cartridge 160 will be explained primarily with reference to Figure 37 being an exploded view ofthe cartridge. Ink cartridge 160 has an outer molding 162 which acts as an operation handle or "plunger" and which contains an internal spring assembly 164. Spring assembly 164 includes a platform 178 from which spring members 180 extend to abut the inside of cover molding 162. The spring members bias platform 178 against a deformable ink membrane 166 that is typically made of polyethylene and contains a printing fluid, for example a colored ink or fixative. Ink membrane 166 is housed -within a polyethylene base molding 170 that slides within outer molding 162, as can be most readily seen in Figures 38 and 39. An ink outlet pipe 182 extends from membrane 166 and fits within an elastomeric collar 172 formed in the bottom of base molding 170. A seal 174 covers collar 172 prior to use ofthe ink refill cartridge. At the bottom of base molding 170 there extends a lug 190, which acts as a locating feature, shaped to mate with refill port of an inkjet printer component such as the ink refill port 8 of printer cartridge 6. The position of outlet pipe 182 and collar 172 relative to lug 190 is varied depending on fhe type of printing fluid which the ink refill cartridge is intended to contain. Accordingly, a printing fluid system is provided comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers each having an outlet positioned relative to lug 190 depending upon the type of printing fluid contained within the dispenser. As a result, upon mating the refill cartridge to port 8, outlet 192 mates with the appropriate inlet 42A-42E and hence refills the particular storage reservoir 28, 30, 32, 34 dedicated to storing the same type of printing fluid. Extending from one side ofthe bottom of base molding 170 is a flange 184 to which an authentication means in the form of quality assurance (QA) chip 176 is mounted. Upon inserting ink cartridge 160 into ink refill port 8, QA chip 176 is brought into contact with QA chip contact 132 located on cradle 4. From the outside wall of base molding 170 there extends a retaining protrusion 168 that is received into an indentation being either pre-plunge recess 165 or post-plunge recess 169, both of which are formed around the inner wall of top cover molding 162 as shown in Figures 37 and 38. Pre-plunge recess 165 is located close to the opening ofthe top-cover molding whereas post-plunge recess 169 is located further up the inner wall. When ink cartridge 160 is fully charged, retaining protrusion 168 is engaged by pre-plunge recess 165. As will be more fully explained shortly, in order to overcome fhe engagement a deliberate plunging force, exceeding a predetermined threshold, must be applied to the top cover molding. Plunging discharges the ink through outlet 172, and overcomes the bias of spring assembly 164 so that base molding 170 is urged into top cover molding 162 until retaining protrusion 168 is received into post-plunge recess 169.
Example of Use In use printer cartridge 6 is correctly aligned above cradle 4 as shown in Figure 3 and then inserted into recess 89 of upper cradle molding 80. As the cartridge unit is inserted into cradle 4, data and power contacts 84A and 84B on the cradle electrically connect with data and power contacts 58A and 58B of cartridge 6. Simultaneously air nozzle 124 of air compressor assembly 122 penetrates air seal 44 and enters air inletport 76 of cartridge 6. As can be seen in Figure 27, the inner walls of recess 89 form a seat or shelf upon which cartridge 6 rests after insertion. A number of resilient members in the form of springs 190 are provided to act against the cartridge as it is brought into position and also against the retainer catch, as it is locked over the cartridge. Consequently the springs act to absorb shocks during insertion and then to hold the cartridge fast with the cradle 4 and latch 7 by securely bias the cartridge in place against the latch. In an alternative the springs might instead be located on latch 7 in which case cartridge 6 would be biased against cradle 4. Any attempt to insert the cartridge the wrong way around will fail due to the presence of orientating slots 86 and ribs 78 of cradle 4 and cartridge 6. Similarly, a cartridge that is not intended for use with the cradle will not have ribs corresponding to orientating slots 86 and so will not be received irrespective of orientation. In particular, a cartridge that requires driving by a cradle having a twin SoPEC chip controller board will not have the correct rib configuration to be received by a cradle having a single SoPEC chip controller board. When the cartridge unit is first inserted into cradle unit 4, and during transportation, rotor element 60 is orientated so that its capping face engages printhead 52 thereby sealing the nozzle apertures ofthe printhead. Similarly, when the printer unit is not in use the capping surface is also brought into contact with the bottom of printhead 52 in order to seal it. Sealing the printhead reduces evaporation ofthe ink solvent, which is usually water, and so reduces drying ofthe ink on the print nozzles while the printer is not in use. A remote computational device, such as a digital camera or personal computer, is connected to USB port 130 in order to provide power and print data signals to cradle 4. In response to the provision of power, the processing circuitry of controller board 82 performs various initialization routines including: verifying the manufacturer codes stored in QA chip 57; checking the state of ink reservoirs 28 - 34 by means ofthe ink reservoir sensor 35; checking the state of rotor element 60 by means of sensor 156; checking by means of paper sensor 1 2 whether or not paper or other print media has been inserted into the cradle; and tricolor indicator LED 135 to externally indicate, via lightpipe 136, the status ofthe unit. Prior to carrying out a printing operation a piece of paper, or other print media, must be introduced into cradle 4. Upon receiving a signal to commence printing from the external computational device, controller board 82 checks for the presence ofthe paper by means of paper sensor 192. If the paper is missing then tricolor LED 135 is set to indicate that attention is required and the controller does not attempt to commence printing. Alternatively, if paper sensor 192 indicates the presence of a print media then controller board 82 responds by rotating rotor element 60 to a predetermined position for printing. In this regard, upon detection of a printing mode of operation at start-up or during a maintenance routine, rotor element 60 is rotated so that its blotting face is located in the ink ejection path of printhead 52. The blotting surface can then act as a type of spittoon to receive ink from the print nozzles, with the ink received ink being drawn into the body of rotor element 60 due to the absorbent nature ofthe material provided on the blotting surface. Since rotor element 60 is part ofthe printer cartridge 6, the rotor element is replaced at the time of replacing the cartridge thereby ensuring that the blotting surface does not fill with ink and become messy. Subsequent to detecting a print command at USB port 130 and confirming the presence of print media, controller board 82 drives motor 110 so that drive roller 96 begins to rotate and, in cooperation with pinch roller 98, draws the print media past printhead 52. Simultaneously, controller board 82 processes print data from the external computational device in order to generate control signals for printhead 52. The control signals are applied to the printhead via cradle interfaces 84A, 84B, carriage interfaces 58A, 58B andflex PCB contacts at either end of printhead chip 52. Printhead chip 52 is bilithic, i.e. has two elongate chips that extend the length ofthe printhead, data is provided at either end ofthe printhead where it is transferred along the length of each chip to each individual nozzle. Power is provided to the individual nozzles ofthe printhead chips via the busbars that extend along the length ofthe chips. In response to received data and power, the individual nozzles ofthe printhead selectively eject ink onto the print media as it is drawn over the platen face of rotor element 60 thereby printing the image encoded in the data signal transmitted to USB port 130. Operation of motor 110 causes air compressor 122 to direct air into the cartridge base molding. The air is channeled via fluid delivery paths in cartridge base molding 20 into the space behind air filter 51. Upon the air pressure building up to a sufficient level to overcome the resistance ofthe air filter 51, air is directed out through pores in air filter 51 along the length ofthe bottom ofthe cartridge base molding. The directed air is received between printhead chip 52 and air coveφlate 54 whilst the printer is operating and is directed past the printhead chip surface, thereby serving to prevent degradation ofthe printhead by keeping it free of dust and debris. Referring now to Figure 40, the first step ofthe ink refilling procedure is initiated by refill sensor 35 indicating to controller board 82 that there is a deficiency of printing fluid in storage reservoirs 28, 30, 32, 34. In response to the signal from refill sensor 35, controller board 82 activates indicator LED 135. Alternatively, the detection of whether there is a deficiency of printing ink might instead be calculated by the electronics ofthe controller board. As the volume of ink per nozzle injection is known and is consistent throughout the operation ofthe printhead (approximately 1 picolitre) the amount of ink delivered by the printhead can be calculated as well as the consumption of each color or type of ink. In this regard controller board 82 is able to monitor the consumption of each printing fluid and once this level has reached a predetermined level, the tricolor indicator LED can be asserted to indicate to a user that there is a need to replenish the printing fluids. Light from the indicator LED is transmitted by lightpipe 136 in order for an external indication to be presented to an operator ofthe printer at indicator port 138 of cradle 4. This indication can convey to the user the color or type of ink that requires replenishing. The controller board can also send a signal via USB port
130 to the remote computational device to display to the user via the computational device the type of ink that requires replenishment. In order for the refilling procedure to proceed, printer cartridge 6 must be in place in printer cradle 4. An ink refill cartridge 160 ofthe required type of ink is then brought into position over the ink refill port 8 that is situated on the upper surface of printer cartridge 6. As previously described, ink refill port 8 includes a series of inlets 42A-42E protected by a sealing film 40. Beneath sealing film 40 there are located a number of printing fluid conduits 42A-42E which provide direct access to ink storage reservoirs 28, 30, 32, 34. An ink inlet is provided for each ofthe printing fluids, namely C, M, Y, K and Infrared and fixative where required. The position ofthe inlet for each ofthe different fluids is strategically placed laterally along inlet port 8 so that the ink outlet pin 182 of refill cartridge 160 automatically aligns and communicates with the particular one of inlets 42A-42E for the specific printing fluid that cartridge 160 contains and which is to be is to be replenished. The second step ofthe ink refilling stage is shown in Fig 41. In this figure, refill cartridge 160 has been docked into refill port 8 in the cartridge unit. Upon docking of refill cartridge 160 into refill port 8, ink refill QA chip 176 automatically aligns with QA contact 132 on the cradle unit. Controller board 82 interrogates the various codes stored in QA chip 176 in order to verify the integrity and authenticity of ink refill cartridge 160. If controller board 82 determines that QA chip 176 verifies the presence of authentic ink, namely from the appropriate manufacturer and ofthe required color or type, then it sets indicator LED 135 to show yellow, thereby indicating that refill cartridge 160 is accepted. Alternatively, controller board 82 may determine that an error state exists and in response set LED 135 to red in order to indicate that there is a problem with the refill cartridge. For example, an error state may be determined to exist if QA chip 176 failed to pass the verification step. Furthermore, it will often be the case that only one of reservoirs 28, 30, 32, 34 is in need of replenishment. For example, a reservoir that is assigned to store cyan colored ink may require refilling. In that case, should QA chip 176 indicates that ink refill cartridge 160 contains non-cyan ink then controller board 82 will set indicator LED 135 to red in order to flag an error state. It will be realized that in order for a QA assured refill to occur, communication between all parts of the printer unit is required. That is, printer cartridge 6 must be positioned in printer cradle 4 and ink refill cartridge 160 must be docked with cartridge 6 so that ink refill QA chip 176 is in contact with ink QA chip contact 132. This ensures that each refilling action is controlled and reduces the potential for incorrect refilling which may damage the working of the printer. As shown in Fig. 41, when ink refill cartridge 160 is docked in refill port 8 of cartridge unit 6, ink outlet pin 28 penetrates sealing film 40 and one of apertures 42A-42E ofthe refill port to communicate with a corresponding one of ink inlets 24. Ink inlet 24 is provided as an elastomeric molding so that penetration of ink seal 32, which is located over ink refill cartridge outlet pin 28, occurs automatically. As a consequence, self-sealing fluid communication is ensured between the ink stored in refill cartridge 160, ink delivery conduits 43 A-43E and storage reservoirs 28-34. The self-sealing fluid communication results in a pressurised fluid flow of ink into one of reservoirs 28, 30, 32, 34 occurring upon outer molding 162 being depressed. As shown in Figure 42, the third stage ofthe ink refilling procedure occurs when top cover molding 162 is depressed thereby expelling the ink present within the ink refill cartridge 160 into one of printer cartridge reservoirs 28-34. Following depressing of outer molding 162 it is apparent to an operator that the ink refill cartridge 160 has been spent and can therefore be removed from printer cartridge 6 as the refill stage is now complete. Upon completion ofthe refill stage refill sensor 35 generates a signal indicating that the printing fluid level in each of reservoirs 28-34 is greater than a predetermined level. In response to the signal from the refill sensor, controller board 82 sets indicator LED 135 to shine green thereby indicating to the operator that the refill process has been successfully completed. The force with which ink is expelled from ink refill cartridge 160 is determined by the degree of plunging force applied to the top cover molding 162 by an operator. Accordingly top cover molding 162 acts as an operation handle or plunger for the ink refill cartridge. Consequently it is possible that if the refilling step is not done carefully or done in haste, that the ink may be delivered to printer cartridge 6 at an unduly high pressure. Such a pressure could cause the ink stored within printer cartridge 6 to burst the ink storage membrane 26 and hence cause an ink spill within the cartridge unit that might irreparably damage the printer cartridge. The internal spring molding 164 prevents inadvertent bursting ofthe membrane by providing a safety mechanism against over pressurizing the ink being expelled from the refill unit. In this regard spring molding 164 is designed to limit the maximum force transmitted from the plunging of top cover molding 14 to deformable ink membrane 26. Any force applied to top cover molding 14 which would cause ink to be expelled at a pressure above a maximum allowable level is taken up by spring molding 164 and stored within the spring members 180. Spring molding 164 is suitably designed to prevent undue force being instantaneously applied to refill ink membrane 166. That is, its deformation and or elastic characteristics are selected so that it limits pressure in the membrane to a predetermined level. As shown most clearly in Figures 38 and 39 a retaining protrusion 168 is located on the side of base molding 170. Whilst ink cartridge 160 is in its pre-plunged state, retaining protrusion 168 mates with pre- plunge recess 165. Engagement of protrusion 168 with the pre-plunge recess provides an additional measure of security during the refill process. This is because the engagement prevents unintended forces being applied from the top cover molding onto the internal ink membrane 166 and so prevents inadvertent plunging ofthe top cover during transport or delivery. Subsequent to docking of ink refill cartridge 160 with refill port 8, top cover 162 is plunged with sufficient force to overcome the engagement of retaining protrusion 168 by pre- plunge recess 165. Plunging top cover molding 162 causes platform 178 ofthe spring assembly 164 against ink membrane 166 thereby expelling the ink through outlet pipe 182 and into printer cartridge ink reservoir membrane 166. In order to overcome the initial engagement of retaining protrusion 168, an initial high force may have to be applied. Spring member 164 momentarily acts to protect ink membrane 166 from being over pressurized for this instance. Following the initial application of force normal plunging proceeds. As shown in Figure 38, upon completion ofthe refilling step, retaining protrusion 168 comes into engagement with a locking feature in the form of post-plunge recess 169 which is located towards the top ofthe inside wall of ink cartridge outer molding 169. Mating of retaining protrusion 168 -with upper recess 169 locks ink cartridge outer molding 169 to base molding 170 subsequent to discharging ofthe ink. It will be realized that this arrangement overcomes the potential for a user to attempt to replenish ink refill cartridge 162 with an inferior ink which could cause damage to the nozzles ofthe printer cartridge as well as the ink refill cartridge. In its post-plunged configuration, the spent ink refill cartridge may be returned to a supplier. The supplier will be provided with a tool to unlock the refill cartridge and return the top cover to its upper position wherein authentic ink can be refilled into the refill unit for re-use and QA chip 176 reprogrammed to verify the authenticity ofthe ink. It will, of course, be realized that the above has been given only by way of illustrative example ofthe invention and that all such modifications and variations thereto, as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit ofthe invention as defined by the following claims. While the present invention has been illustrated and described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof various modifications will be apparent to and might readily be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit ofthe present invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the scope ofthe claims appended hereto be limited to the description as set forth herein, but, rather, that the claims be broadly construed.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:-
1. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; and a pagewidth printhead in communication with said printing fluid storage means.
2. A printer cartridge according to claim 1 , wherein the pagewidth printhead is arranged to generate a print of at least 8 inches in width.
3. A printer cartridge according to claim 1 , wherein the printing fluid storage means is housed within a body that includes means for replenishing of printing fluid from an external source.
4. A printer cartridge according to claim 1 , wherein the pagewidth printhead includes at least 20,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means.
5. A printer cartridge according to claim 4, wherein the pagewidth printhead includes at least 30,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means.
6. A printer cartridge according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the printing fluid storage means includes one or more storage reservoirs for storing an ink for printing.
7. A printer cartridge according to claim 6, wherem the one or more storage reservoirs separately store a set of colored inks sufficient for color printing.
8. A printer cartridge according to claim 7, wherein the one or more storage reservoirs also separately store an ink fixative to aid in fixing the ink delivered by the pagewidth printhead.
9. A printer cartridge according to claim 8, wherein the one or more storage reservoirs separately store an infra-red ink for printing.
10. A printer cartridge according to claim 9, wherein a first electrical connector is provided in electrical communication with the pagewidth prmthead and disposed adjacent a first end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a first corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer.
11. A printer cartridge according to claim 10, wherein a second electrical connector is provided in electrical communication with the pagewidth printhead and disposed adjacent a second end of the pagewidth printhead for mating with a second corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer.
12. A printer cartridge according to claim 10 or 11, wherein when the cartridge is received in the inkjet printer power and data is transmitted to the pagewidth printhead from the inkjet printer by said mating relationship between the first and second electrical connectors and the corresponding connectors ofthe inkjet printer.
13. A printer cartridge according to claim 12, wherein the cartridge includes an assembly arranged to direct air over said pagewidth printhead.
14. A printer cartridge according to claim 13, wherein the assembly includes a filter for filtering the air prior to said air being directed over said pagewidth printhead.
15. A printer cartridge according to claim 14, wherein the assembly includes an inlet for receiving air from an external source.
16. A printer cartridge according to claim 15, wherein the external source is located in the inkjet printer.
17. A method for facilitating maintenance of an inkjet printer of a type having a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing the inkjet printer in at least first and second portions detachable from each other, the first portion requiring replacement more frequently than the second portion in use; wherein the first portion includes the pagewidth printhead.
18. A method according to claim 17, wherein the first portion further includes a printing fluid storage means for storing printing fluids to be delivered by the pagewidth printhead.
19. A method according to claim 18, wherein the first portion is a printer cartridge removably received within said second portion.
20. A method according to claim 19, wherein said second portion is a printer cradle unit having a cavity adapted to receive said printer cartridge.
21. A method according to claim 20, wherein the printer cradle unit includes an electrical control unit to control operation of said printer cartridge.
22. A method according to claim 21 , wherein the printer cradle unit includes power and data connectors to mate with corresponding data and power connectors provided on said printer cartridge to facilitate operational control of said printer cartridge by said electrical control unit.
23. A method according to claim 22, wherein the printer cradle unit includes a print media handling system for supplying print media to the printhead ofthe printer cartridge for printing.
24. An inkjet printer cartridge including: a body including, a printing fluid storage means, and a printhead including at least 20,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means.
25. A printer cartridge according to claim 24, wherein the printhead includes at least 30,000 printing fluid delivery nozzles in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means.
26. A printer cartridge according to claim 25, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
27. A printer cartridge according to claim 26, wherein the printing fluid storage means includes one or more storage reservoirs for separately storing one or more printing fluids for printing.
28. A printer cartridge according to claim 27, wherein the one or more printing fluids is a set of coloured inks sufficient for colour printing.
29. A printer cartridge according to claim 28, wherein the one or more printing fluids includes an ink fixative for facilitating fixing of ink following delivery by said fluid delivery nozzles.
30. A printer cartridge according to claim 29, wherein the one or more printing fluids includes an infrared ink.
31. An inkjet printer including: a cradle; an inkjet printer cartridge releasably engaged by the cradle and including at least first and second storage means for storing an ink and an ink fixative respectively; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the first and second storage means; and means to control application ofthe ink and ink fixative by said printhead in order to facilitate fixing ofthe ink onto a print media following delivery by said printhead.
32. An inkjet printer according to claim 31 , wherein the inkjet printer cartridge includes further storage means to separately store a set of colored inks sufficient for color printing.
33. An inkjet printer cartridge arranged to be releasably engaged by an inkjet printer, said cartridge including: at least first and second storage means containing an ink and an ink fixative respectively; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the first and second storage means.
34. A method for operating an inkjet printer of a type including a printer cartridge according to claim 33, the method including the steps of: controlling the pagewidth printhead to print upon a media with the ink; and facilitate fixing ofthe ink to the media by controlling the pagewidth printhead to apply the ink fixative to the media.
35. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: one or more inks for printing; and a printhead in fluid communication with the one or more inks; wherein at least one ofthe one or more inks is an infra-red ink.
36. A printer cartridge according to claim 35 further including a body arranged to store the one or more inks for printing wherein the printhead is attached to the body.
37. A printer cartridge according to claim 35 or claim 36, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
38. A printer cartridge according to claim 37, wherein the one or more inks include a set of colored inks to enable color printing.
39. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means for storing one or more printing fluids; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a refill port in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means.
40. A printer cartridge according to claim 39, further including a body in which the printing fluid storage means is located and to which the pagewidth printhead and the refill port are attached.
41. A printer cartridge according to claim 39 or claim 40, wherem me printing fluid storage means includes separate printing fluid storage reservoirs for each ofthe one or more printing fluids.
42. A printer cartridge according to claim 41, wherein the refill port includes one or more inlets corresponding to, and in communication with, each ofthe separate printing fluid storage reservoirs.
43. A removable printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and an assembly arranged to direct air over the printhead, the assembly including a filter.
44. A removable printer cartridge according to claim 43, wherein the assembly includes an inlet for receiving air from a source located in the inkjet printer.
45. A removable printer cartridge according to claim 43, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
46. A method for preventing degradation of a printhead of a removable printer cartridge including the steps of: generating a stream of air; filtering particulate matter from the stream of air by means of a filter attached to said cartridge in order to produce filtered air; and directing the filtered air over the printhead.
47. A method according to claim 46 wherein the step of generating a stream of air is undertaken by a means located remote of said cartridge.
48. A method according to claim 46, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
49. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; an air inlet; and one or more conduits arranged to direct air from the air inlet over the printhead.
50. A printer cartridge according to claim 49, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
51. A printer cartridge according to claim 50, wherein the air inlet is configured to mate with a complementary formation ofthe inkjet printer.
52. A printer cartridge according to claim 51 , wherein the air is supplied to the air inlet by said complementary formation ofthe inkjet printer, which is in communication with an air supply source.
53. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a printing fluid blotter arranged to blot the printhead.
54. A printer cartridge according to claim 53, wherein the printing fluid storage means and the printhead are fast with a body ofthe printer cartridge and wherein the printing fluid blotter is coupled to the body.
55. A printer cartridge according to claim 54, wherein fhe printing fluid blotter includes engagement means to engage an assembly for selectively bringing the printing fluid blotter into cooperation with the printhead.
56. A printer cartridge according to claim 55, wherein the printing fluid blotter includes an absoφtive material arranged to absorb printing fluid ejected from the printhead while not printing to a print medium.
57. A printer cartridge according to claim 56, wherein the printing fluid blotter is rotationally coupled to the body.
58. A printer cartridge according to claim 57, wherein the printing fluid blotter is also slidingly coupled to the body.
59. A printer cartridge according to claim 53, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead and wherein the blotter extends along the pagewidth printhead.
60. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a body containing at least one printing fluid reservoir; a printhead attached to the body and in fluid communication with the at least one printing fluid reservoir; a printing fluid blotter rotatably coupled to the body; and an engagement means located on the printing fluid blotter to engage an assembly for selectively causing cooperation ofthe printing fluid blotter with the printhead.
61. A printer cartridge according to claim 60, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead and wherein the blotter extends along the pagewidth printhead.
62. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a printing fluid storage means; a printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and an assembly auxiliary to the printhead arranged to selectively perform a number of different functions in respect ofthe printhead.
63. A printer cartridge according to claim 62, wherein the differing functions include at least one of: blotting the printhead, capping the printhead, acting as a platen in respect ofthe printhead.
64. A printer cartridge according to claim 63, wherein the assembly auxiliary to the printhead includes a rotatable member coupled to the printer cartridge adjacent the printhead.
65. A printer cartridge according to claim 64, wherein the rotatable member includes a number of faces each configured to perform a corresponding one of said differing functions.
66. A printer cartridge according to claim 65, including engagement means fastened to the rotatable member for engagement by a mechanism ofthe inkjet printer for selectively bringing the operational faces into cooperation with the printhead.
67. A printer cartridge according to claim 66 further including biasing means arranged to normally bias a face ofthe rotatable member against the printhead.
68. A printer cartridge according to claim 62, wherein the printhead comprises a pagewidth printhead.
69. A prmter cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a first electrical connector in electrical communication with said printhead and disposed adjacent a first end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a first corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer.
70. A printer cartridge according to claim 69 further including a second electrical connector disposed adjacent a second end ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with a second corresponding connector ofthe inkjet printer.
71. A printer cartridge according to claim 69, wherein the printing fluid storage means, pagewidth printhead and first and second electrical connectors are attached to a body ofthe printer cartridge.
72. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: an elongate body adapted to be received within the inkjet printer and including printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead attached to the body and in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and first and second electrical connectors in electrical communication with said printhead, said first and second connectors attached to the elongate body and disposed adjacent opposite ends ofthe pagewidth printhead for mating with corresponding first and second electrical connectors ofthe inkjet printer.
73. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: an ink storage reservoir; a printhead in communication with said ink storage reservoir; a refill port in communication with the ink storage reservoir and arranged to receive refill ink for replenishing the ink storage reservoir; and an integrated circuit assembly arranged to store information relating to the properties of at least one ofthe refill ink and the ink stored in the ink storage reservoir.
74. A printer cartridge according to claim 73, wherein the information relating to the properties ofthe refill ink or the ink stored in the ink storage reservoir includes any of: the amount of ink remaining in the ink storage reservoir; the origin ofthe refill ink; the rheological properties ofthe refill ink; and the color ofthe refill ink.
75. A printer cartridge according to claim 73, wherein the integrated circuit assembly includes an electrical contact mounted upon the inkjet printer for connection with an integrated circuit of a refill cartridge containing the refill ink.
76. A printer cartridge according to claim 73, wherein the printhead is a pagewidth printhead.
77. A method for maintaining the authenticity of an ink supply of an inkjet printer of a type including a removable printer cartridge containing an ink storage means in communication with a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing an ink refill cartridge including an intergrated circuit assembly that stores information relating to the properties ofthe refill ink; connecting the ink refill cartridge to the printer cartridge; and performing a test to compare the properties ofthe refill ink with the properties ofthe ink stored in the ink storage means.
78. A prmter cartridge for an inkjet printer including: a number of storage reservoirs each dedicated to store a predetermined printing fluid; a printhead in communication with said storage reservoirs; a refill port arranged to mate with a corresponding connector of a refill cartridge, the refill port including inlets corresponding to, and in fluid communication with, each ofthe storage reservoirs.
79. A printer cartridge according to claim 78, wherein the printhead is a pagewidth printhead.
80. An inkjet printer refill system including: a printer cartridge having a refill port including inlets corresponding to, and in fluid communication with, each of a number of storage reservoirs, said reservoirs each dedicated to store a predetermined one of a number of printing fluids; and at least one refill cartridge containing one ofthe number of printing fluids and including a connector arranged to mate with fhe refill port, the connector having an outlet located to communicate with a particular one ofthe refill port inlets in communication with a particular one ofthe number of storage reservoirs dedicated to store the printing fluid contained -within said refill cartridge.
81. An inkjet printer refill system according to claim 80, wherein the printer cartridge includes a printhead in communication with the ink storage reservoirs.
82. An inkjet printer refill system according to claim 81 , wherein the printhead is a pagewidth printhead.
83. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with said printing fluid storage means, said printhead including two print chips which extend the length ofthe printhead.
84. A printer cartridge according to claim 83 wherein the two print chips abut together to extend the length ofthe printhead.
85. A printer cartridge according to claim 84 having an elongate body adapted to be received within a printer cradle.
86. A printer cartridge according to claim 85 including electrical connectors located at opposing ends of the printhead and in electrical communication with the two printhead chips.
87. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer including: printing fluid storage means; a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the printing fluid storage means; and a shield extending the length of the printhead arranged to protect the printhead from contact with paper upon insertion ofthe cartridge into a cradle ofthe inkjet printer.
88. A printer cartridge accordmg to claim 87 further including an elongate body housing the printing fluid storage means and adapted to be received within the cradle ofthe inkjet printer.
89. A printer cartridge for an inkjet printer according to claim 87, wherein the shield is further arranged to act as a cover plate to seal an air duct ofthe printer cartridge.
90. An inkjet printer cartridge including: an elongate body adapted to be received within a printer cradle; at least one printing fluid storage reservoir housed within the elongate body; a pagewidth printhead attached to the elongate body and in fluid communication with the at least one printing fluid storage reservoir; and a shield extending the length of the printhead and arranged to protect the printhead from contact with paper upon insertion ofthe cartridge into an inkjet printer cradle and further arranged to seal an air duct ofthe inkjet printer cartridge.
91. An inkjet printer cartridge including: an elongate body housing a printing fluid storage means and adapted to be received within an inkjet printer cradle; a pagewidth printhead attached to said body and in fluid communication with said printing fluid storage means; and an air distribution assembly arranged to evenly distribute compressed air along the pagewidth printhead.
92. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 1 , wherein the air distribution assembly includes: a compressed air inlet; a channel formed in the elongate body in communication with said inlet and disposed along the pagewidth printhead; and a filter sealing the length ofthe channel and arranged to direct air along its length to said printhead upon air pressure within the channel attaining a threshold level.
93. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 91, wherein the filter includes a plurality of pores sized to determine the threshold level.
94. An inkjet printer cartridge including: one or more printing fluid reservoirs; a printing fluid delivery member defining one or more printing fluid delivery channels; and a pagewidth printhead in fluid communication with the one or more printing fluid reservoirs by means ofthe one or more printing fluid delivery channels.
95. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 94 including an elongate body housing the one or more printing fluid reservoirs.
96. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 95, wherein the pagewidth printhead is attached to the elongate body.
97. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 96, wherein the printing fluid delivery member extends the length ofthe printhead.
98. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 95, wherein the pagewidth printhead is attached to the elongate body by means ofthe printing fluid delivery member.
99. An inkjet printer cartridge according to claim 97, wherein the printing fluid delivery member defines a plurality of printing fluid delivery channels.
100. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply; a data connection point fast with the body for receiving data signals defining images for printing from an external data source; and processing means coupled to the data connection point and arranged to operate the pagewidth printhead in response to the data signals to print said images.
101. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 100 wherein the body defines a recess to receive the removable inkjet cartridge.
102. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 100 further including a power connection point for receiving operative power from an external power source.
103. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to each of a number of removable inkjet cartridges each of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply and each having different performance characteristics; and a controller arranged to determine the performance characteristics of each of said number of cartridges once coupled to said cradle and to operate each said cartridge in response to the determined performance characteristics.
104. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 103 wherein the controller is arranged to operate each of a number of removable inkjet cartridges having performance characteristics which differ by one or more of: optimum printing speed; ink capacity.
105. An inkjet prmter cradle according to claim 103 wherein the body includes a recess to receive any one ofthe number of removable inkjet cartridges.
106. A method for facilitating the upgrade of an inkjet printer of a type including a pagewidth printhead, the method including the steps of: providing the inkjet printer as a complementary cradle and starter cartridge wherein the cradle is arranged to operate a number of cartridges having differing performance characteristics; facilitating replacement ofthe starter cartridge with another of said number of cartridges having an improved performance characteristic.
107. A method according to claim 106, wherein the differing performance characteristics ofthe cartridges includes one or more of: printing speed; ink capacity; number and types of inks.
108. A method according to claim 107, wherein the printing speeds ofthe cartridges varies between 15 ppm to 60 ppm.
109. A method according to claim 107, wherein the ink capacity ofthe cartridges varies between 150ml of ink to 300ml of ink.
110. A method according to claim 107, wherein the number and types of inks includes black, cyan, magenta, yellow, infrared and an ink fixative.
111. An inkjet printer system including: a plurality of inkjet printer cartridges; and a number of inkjet printer cradles each including a body defining a recess and arranged to receive and operate each of a set of supported inkjet printer cartridges ofthe plurality of inkjet printer cartridges; wherein those inkjet cartridges of said plurality not belonging to the set of supported inkjet printer cartridges, in respect of a particular one of said number of inkjet printer cradles, are shaped to prevent their reception into the recess of said particular inkjet printer cradle.
112. An inkjet printer system according to claim 111, wherein the inkjet printer cartridges are of a type having a pagewidth printhead.
113. An inkjet printer system according to claim 112, wherein the inkjet printer cartridges are of a type having an internal ink store in fluid communication with the pagewidth printhead.
114. An inkjet printer system according to claim 111, wherein an inkjet printer cartridge not supported by a particular inkjet printer cradle is formed with a protrusion, or an indentation, that interferes with an indentation, or a protrusion, ofthe particular inkjet printer cradle upon attempting to insert said cartridge into said cradle.
115. An inkjet printer system according to claim 111, wherein indicia are present on the inkjet printer cartridges and on the inkjet printer cradles to indicate whether a particular inkjet printer cartridge is supported by a particular inkjet printer cradle.
116. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an ink supply; and an integrated circuit assembly arranged to test an authentication device of said cartridge.
117. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 116, wherein the authentication device comprises a quality assurance chip.
118. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 117, wherem the body defines a recess to receive the removable inkjet cartridge.
119. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 118, wherein the integrated circuit assembly includes a connector mounted upon the body at a location to connect with the quality assurance chip upon insertion of the removable inkjet cartridge into the recess.
120. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 119, wherein the integrated circuit assembly comprises a portion of a control circuit ofthe inkjet printer cradle, said control circuit arranged to indicate a failure to verify the authentication device.
121. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; and terminals positioned upon the body to contact corresponding terminals located upon the removable inkjet cartridge upon insertion of said cartridge into the recess thereby facilitating electrical communication between said cradle and said cartridge.
122. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 121, wherein the terminals are located upon one or more walls of the recess.
123. An inkjet printer according to claim 122, wherein the recess is elongate and wherein the terminals are located on at least one end wall ofthe recess.
124. An inkjet printer according to claim 122, wherein the recess is elongate and wherein the terminals are located on opposing end walls ofthe recess.
125. An inkjet printer according to claim 121, wherein the terminals comprise data and power terminals.
126. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining an elongate recess dimensioned to mate with a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; and power and data terminals positioned upon opposing end walls ofthe recess to contact corresponding terminals located upon the removable inkjet cartridge upon insertion of said cartridge into the recess thereby facilitating electrical communication between said cradle and said cartridge.
127. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge; a retaining means arranged to retain said cartridge within the recess; and one or more resilient members arranged to hold the cartridge fast with the retaining means and the body in use.
128. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 127, wherein the one or more resilient members are arranged to bias said cartridge against the retaining means in use.
129. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 127, wherein the one or more resilient members are arranged to bias said cartridge against the body in use.
130. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 128, wherein the removable inkjet cartridge is of a type having a pagewidth printhead.
131, An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 130, wherein the retaining means includes a latch.
132. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 127, wherein the one or more resilient members comprise one or more springs.
133. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 128, wherem the recess includes a shelf upon which the one or more resilient members are positioned.
134. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess having a shelf and dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead; a latch arranged to retain said cartridge within the recess; and one or springs positioned on the shelf and arranged to bias said cartridge against the latch in use.
135. A method for stabilizing an inkjet printer cartridge within an inkjet printer cradle, the method including the steps of: locating said cartridge within a recess defined by a body of said cradle; retaining said cartridge within the recess by way of a latch; and holding said cartridge fast with the latch and the body by means of one or more resilient members.
136. A method according to claim 135, wherein the step of holding said cartridge fast comprises biasing the inkjet printer cartridge against the latch.
137. A method according to claim 135, wherein the step of holding said cartridge fast comprises biasing the inkjet printer cartridge against the body.
138. A method according to claim 135, wherein the step of retaining said cartridge with the recess comprises latching said cartridge.
139. An inkjet printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead, said cradle including: a number of mechanisms auxiliary to said cartridge; a single motor; and a transmission assembly coupling the single motor to each ofthe number of mechanisms.
140. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 139, wherein the number of mechanisms include an air compressor and a print media transport assembly.
141. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 140, wherein the transmission assembly includes a direct drive coupling between the compressor and a spindle of the motor.
142. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 140, wherein the transmission assembly includes a worm gear extended from a spindle ofthe motor and meshed with a cog ofthe print media transport assembly.
143. An inkjet printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead, said cradle including: an air compressor for producing air to be directed over the pagewidth printhead; a print media fransport assembly arranged to convey print media across the printhead; a single motor; and a transmission assembly arranged to couple the single motor to the air compressor and to the print media fransport assembly; wherein the transmission assembly includes a direct drive coupling from a spindle ofthe single motor to the air compressor and a geared coupling from the spindle to the print media transport assembly.
144. A printer cradle complementary to an inkjet printer cartridge of a type including a pagewidth printhead and a printhead auxiliary member arranged to selectively perform a number of different functions in respect ofthe printhead, said cradle including: a transmission assembly arranged to selectively engage and drive the printhead auxiliary member.
145. A printer cradle according to claim 144, wherein the transmission assembly includes a drive shaft and is arranged to engage and disengage with the printhead auxiliary member upon rotation ofthe drive shaft in first and second directions respectively.
146. A printer cradle according to claim 144, wherein the transmission assembly includes a flipper gear assembly for selective engagement with a drive shaft for the printhead auxiliary member, the flipper gear assembly comprising: a first gear fixed to the drive shaft; a second gear radially displaced from the first gear; and a locating member retaining the second gear and the first gear in a meshed configuration.
147. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body complementary to a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an air inlet port; and an air compressor having an air outlet pipe positioned to couple with the air inlet port upon mating ofthe inkjet printer cradle with said cartridge.
148. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 147, wherein the body defines a recess dimensioned to locate the removable inkjet cartridge.
149. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 148, wherein the air outlet pipe terminates within the recess.
150. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 149, wherein the air outlet pipe traverses a portion ofthe body defining an internal shelf of the recess.
151. An inkjet printer cradle according to claim 147, wherein the air outlet pipe has a termination configured to assist piercing of a seal over the air inlet port.
152. An inkjet printer cradle including: a body defining a recess dimensioned to locate a removable inkjet cartridge of a type having a pagewidth printhead and an air inlet port; and an air compressor having an air outlet pipe arranged to traverse a portion ofthe body defining an internal shelf of the recess, said pipe positioned to couple -with the air inlet port upon insertion ofthe inkjet printer cradle into the recess and configured to assist in piercing of a seal over the air inlet port.
153. A printing fluid dispenser including: an ink reservoir having an ink outlet; means for applying pressure to said ink reservoir in order to force ink through the outlet; and means for limiting the pressure of said ink forced through the outlet to a predetermined level.
154. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 153, wherein the means for limiting pressure comprises a means for limiting applied pressure to said ink reservoir.
155. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 154, wherein the ink reservoir comprises a deformable membrane.
156. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 154, wherein the means for applying pressure comprises a handle.
157. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 154, wherein the means for limiting applied pressure to said ink reservoir includes a resilient member having deformation characteristics selected to limit said pressure to a predetermined level.
158. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 157, wherein the resilient member is located between the ink reservoir and the means for applying pressure to the ink reservoir.
159. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 158, wherein the resilient member comprises a spring.
160. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 159, wherein the reservoir and the spring are located within a portion ofthe handle.
161. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 154, wherein in use the dispenser is coupled to an external reservoir and said ink forced through the outlet is delivered to said external reservoir.
162. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 161, wherein said external reservoir is provided in a removable inkjet cartridge and the predetermined pressure level relates to the pressure required to rupture said external reservoir.
163. A printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container of printing fluid having an outlet; a handle arranged to apply pressure to said container in order to force ink through the outlet; and a resilient member arranged to limit pressure applied to the deformable container by the handle in order to prevent rupture of an external reservoir coupled to said dispenser in use.
164. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 163, wherein the deformable container comprises an membrane.
165. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 163, wherein the resilient member comprises a spring.
166. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 165, wherein the spring includes a platform arranged to abut the membrane.
167. A printing fluid dispenser system comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers each including: one of a number of printing fluids; a feature configured to locate the dispenser at predetermined location upon an inkjet printer component to be refilled; and an outlet located at one of a number of predetermined positions relative to the feature depending upon the type of printing fluid within said dispenser .
168. A printing fluid dispenser system according to claim 167, wherein the inkjet printer component is a removable inkjet printer cartridge.
169. A printing fluid dispenser system according to claim 168, wherein the removable inkjet printer cartridge includes a pagewidth printhead.
170. A printing fluid dispenser system according to claim 167, wherein the feature configured to locate the dispenser at a predetermined location comprises a connector arranged to mate with a refill port ofthe inkjet printer component.
171. A printing fluid dispenser system according to claim 170, wherein the number of predetermined positions ofthe outlet lie within a region defined by the connector.
172. A printing fluid dispenser system according to claim 171, comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers wherein the number of printing fluids include a range of inks colored to facilitate color printing.
173. A printing fluid dispenser system comprising a number of printing fluid dispensers each including: a colored ink; connector arranged to mate with a refill port of an inkjet printer cartridge to be refilled, the refill port including a number of discretely positioned inlets; and an outlet positioned to mate with one ofthe discretely positioned inlet ports depending upon the color ofthe colored ink .
174. A printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir of printing fluid responsive to relative motion ofthe first and second portions and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein in use bringing the first and second portions towards each other causes egress ofthe printing fluid through the outlet.
175. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 174, wherein the reservoir comprises a deformable container located within the housing and wherein bringing the first and second portions towards each other causes compression of said container.
176. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 174, wherein the first and second portions ofthe housing are arranged to slide over each other.
177. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 175, further including a resilient member disposed between the deformable container and either or both ofthe first and second portions ofthe housing.
178. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 177, wherein the resilient member has characteristics selected to limit pressure in the deformable container to a predetermined level in use.
179. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 178, wherein the resilient member comprises a spring.
180. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 179, wherein the first and second portions ofthe housing comprise a base and plunger.
181. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 180, wherem the spring is located between the deformable container and the plunger.
182. A printer fluid dispenser according to claim 181, wherein the deformable container comprises a membrane.
183. A printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising a base and a plunger; a deformable container located within the housing for storing printing fluid; an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; and a spring located between the deformable container and the plunger having characteristics selected to limit pressure in the deformable container to a predetermined level in use; wherein in use, bringing the plunger towards the base causes compression ofthe deformable container between the spring and the base and egress ofthe printing fluid through the outlet.
184. A printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir of printing fluid responsive to relative motion ofthe first and second portions and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the first and second portions include mated features arranged to prevent motion of said portions relative to each other until a predetermined level of operative force is applied across said portions.
185. Aprinting fluid dispenser according to claim 184, wherein the reservoir comprises a deformable container located within the housing and wherein bringing the first and second portions towards each other causes compression of said container.
186. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 184, wherein the first and second portions comprise a base and plunger.
187. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 186, wherein the mated features comprise one or more complementary protrusions formed into opposing walls ofthe base and plunger.
188. A printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container containing a full complement of printing fluid; a housing including a base slidingly engaging a plunger and locating the deformable container; and an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the first and second portions include mated features arranged to prevent motion of said portions relative to each other until a predetermined level of operative force is applied across said portions.
189. A printing fluid dispenser including: a housing comprising first and second portions movable relative to each other; a reservoir for storing printing fluid responsive to movement ofthe first and second portions relative to each other and having an outlet arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the first and second portions include locking features arranged to prevent disengagement of said portions relative to each other subsequent to operation ofthe dispenser.
190. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 189, wherein the reservoir comprises a deformable container located within the housing and wherein bringing the first and second portions towards each other causes compression of said container.
191. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 189, wherein the first and second portions comprise a base and plunger.
192. A printing fluid dispenser according to claim 191, wherein the locking features comprise one or more complementary protrusions and indentations formed into opposing walls ofthe base and plunger.
193. A printing fluid dispenser including: a deformable container for printing fluid; a housing locating the deformable container between a base slidingly engaging a plunger; and an outlet coupled to the deformable container and arranged to convey the printing fluid to a point external to the housing; wherein the base and plunger engage each other by means of one or more complementary protrusions and indentations formed into opposing walls ofthe base and plunger and positioned to prevent disengagement ofthe plunger from the base subsequent to operation ofthe dispenser.
194. A method for refilling a removable inkjet cartridge including the steps of: mating the removable inkjet cartridge to a complementary inkjet cradle; mating a refill cartridge to the removable inkjet cartridge; verifying the authenticity ofthe removable inkjet cartridge; verifying the authenticity ofthe refill cartridge; and subsequently operating the cradle on the basis ofthe verification steps.
195. A method according to claim 194, wherem the step of mating the removable inkjet cartridge to a complementary inkjet cradle includes facilitating electrical communication between an authentication device of said inkjet cartridge and a controller of said cradle.
196. A method according to claim 194, wherein the step of mating the refill cartridge to the removable inkjet cartridge includes facilitating electrical communication between an authentication device of said refill cartridge and a controller of said cradle.
197. A method according to claim 194, wherein the step of subsequently operating the cradle on the basis ofthe verification steps includes indicating to a user a failure to authenticate either the refill cartridge or the removable inkjet cartridge.
198. An inkjet printer including a controller arranged to verify authenticity devices of a removable inkjet printer cartridge of said printer and a refill cartridge coupled to the removable inkjet printer cartridge.
199. An inkjet printer according to claim 198, wherein the controller is located within a cradle of said printer and coupled to electrical contacts mounted on a body ofthe cradle at positions to establish electrical communication with said authenticity devices.
200. An inkjet printer according to claim 198, wherein the authenticity devices comprise integrated circuits.
PCT/AU2004/000072 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge WO2005070675A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/AU2004/000072 WO2005070675A1 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge

Applications Claiming Priority (19)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2004314461A AU2004314461B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge
DE200460026924 DE602004026924D1 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Ink jet printer system with removable cartridge
CNB2004800407775A CN100564039C (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 The print cartridge that is used for ink-jet printer
AT04703723T AT465875T (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Ink jet printer system with removable cartridge
CA 2550777 CA2550777C (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge
EP20040703723 EP1706267B1 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge
JP2006549766A JP2007534518A (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge
PCT/AU2004/000072 WO2005070675A1 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge
AU2008221546A AU2008221546B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2008-09-19 Method for facilitating maintenance of inkjet printer
AU2009202996A AU2009202996B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge refill dispenser with security lock for spent refill
AU2009202983A AU2009202983B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge with fixative delivery capabilities
AU2009202986A AU2009202986B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge with integral maintenance station
AU2009202994A AU2009202994B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cradle with compressed air delivery system
AU2009202995A AU2009202995B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge refill dispenser
AU2009202991A AU2009202991B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Method for facilitating the upgrade of an inkjet printer
AU2009202990A AU2009202990B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge with ink refill port having multiple ink couplings
AU2009202993A AU2009202993B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cradle with integrated cartridge engaging mechanism
AU2009202985A AU2009202985B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Inkjet printer cartridge with infrared ink delivery capabilities
AU2009202998A AU2009202998B2 (en) 2004-01-21 2009-07-24 Secure method of refilling an inkjet printer cartridge

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2005070675A1 true WO2005070675A1 (en) 2005-08-04

Family

ID=34800083

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/AU2004/000072 WO2005070675A1 (en) 2004-01-21 2004-01-21 Inkjet printer system with removable cartridge

Country Status (8)

Country Link
EP (1) EP1706267B1 (en)
JP (1) JP2007534518A (en)
CN (1) CN100564039C (en)
AT (1) AT465875T (en)
AU (12) AU2004314461B2 (en)
CA (1) CA2550777C (en)
DE (1) DE602004026924D1 (en)
WO (1) WO2005070675A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1960207A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2008-08-27 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd Printhead cartridge interface having power regulation
EP1960204A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2008-08-27 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd Inkjet printer with printhead cartridge and cradle that interengage via an overcentre mechanism
WO2009114019A1 (en) * 2008-03-14 2009-09-17 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Secure access to fluid cartridge memory
JP2011507737A (en) * 2008-01-15 2011-03-10 ジュハイ ナインスター マネージメント カンパニー リミテッド Print head chip protection device and ink cartridge used in combination therewith
US9039137B2 (en) 2012-09-01 2015-05-26 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Image forming apparatus

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA2705402C (en) * 2007-11-13 2012-12-11 F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ag Replaceable cartridge for consumables having integrated air filter for analysis devices
JP2018103593A (en) * 2016-12-28 2018-07-05 ブラザー工業株式会社 Printing fluid cartridge, printing fluid cartridge set, and system

Citations (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4985710A (en) * 1989-11-29 1991-01-15 Xerox Corporation Buttable subunits for pagewidth "Roofshooter" printheads
US5160945A (en) * 1991-05-10 1992-11-03 Xerox Corporation Pagewidth thermal ink jet printhead
US5221397A (en) * 1992-11-02 1993-06-22 Xerox Corporation Fabrication of reading or writing bar arrays assembled from subunits
US6017117A (en) * 1995-10-31 2000-01-25 Hewlett-Packard Company Printhead with pump driven ink circulation
US6270177B1 (en) * 1998-11-09 2001-08-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer unit for PC disk drive bay
US6382769B1 (en) * 1997-07-15 2002-05-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Method of tab alignment in an integrated circuit type device
US6554398B2 (en) * 2001-03-08 2003-04-29 Agfa-Gevaert Ink-jet printer equipped for aligning the printheads
WO2003086770A1 (en) * 2002-04-12 2003-10-23 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd. High volume pagewidth printing
US6652082B2 (en) 1998-10-16 2003-11-25 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printhead assembly for an ink jet printer
US6672706B2 (en) * 1997-07-15 2004-01-06 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Wide format pagewidth inkjet printer

Family Cites Families (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5572245A (en) * 1994-03-10 1996-11-05 Hewlett-Packard Company Protective cover apparatus for an ink-jet pen
US5852459A (en) * 1994-10-31 1998-12-22 Hewlett-Packard Company Printer using print cartridge with internal pressure regulator
US6067906A (en) * 1997-06-10 2000-05-30 Walter Stobb Assoicates, Inc. Method and apparatus for dispensing ink to a printing press
US6158850A (en) * 1998-06-19 2000-12-12 Lexmark International, Inc. On carrier secondary ink tank with memory and flow control means
AUPP996099A0 (en) * 1999-04-23 1999-05-20 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd A method and apparatus(sprint01)
KR100358341B1 (en) * 1999-09-13 2002-10-25 삼성전자 주식회사 Apparatus for decision of cartridge type in the printer for micro injecting device
US6347864B1 (en) * 2000-06-30 2002-02-19 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Print engine including an air pump
US6496654B1 (en) * 2000-10-20 2002-12-17 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Method and apparatus for fault tolerant data storage on photographs
US6550882B2 (en) * 2000-11-17 2003-04-22 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Ink jet printing apparatus
US6488368B2 (en) * 2001-01-26 2002-12-03 Hewlett-Packard Company Manifold for providing fluid connections between carriage-mounted ink containers and printheads
US6908179B2 (en) * 2001-04-04 2005-06-21 Eastman Kodak Company Ink level and negative pressure control in an ink jet printer
US6481829B1 (en) * 2001-09-18 2002-11-19 Lexmark International, Inc. Manually actuated carrier latch mechanism
US6585348B2 (en) * 2001-10-29 2003-07-01 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Inkjet printer cartridge adapted for enhanced cleaning thereof and method of assembling the printer cartridge
US6799610B2 (en) * 2002-09-20 2004-10-05 Kenneth Yuen Method and apparatus for refilling an ink cartridge
US6749298B1 (en) * 2003-02-27 2004-06-15 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Power transmission arrangement
US7306320B2 (en) * 2003-11-12 2007-12-11 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd High speed digital printer unit

Patent Citations (11)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4985710A (en) * 1989-11-29 1991-01-15 Xerox Corporation Buttable subunits for pagewidth "Roofshooter" printheads
US5160945A (en) * 1991-05-10 1992-11-03 Xerox Corporation Pagewidth thermal ink jet printhead
US5221397A (en) * 1992-11-02 1993-06-22 Xerox Corporation Fabrication of reading or writing bar arrays assembled from subunits
US6017117A (en) * 1995-10-31 2000-01-25 Hewlett-Packard Company Printhead with pump driven ink circulation
US6679584B2 (en) * 1997-07-15 2004-01-20 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd. High volume pagewidth printing
US6382769B1 (en) * 1997-07-15 2002-05-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Method of tab alignment in an integrated circuit type device
US6672706B2 (en) * 1997-07-15 2004-01-06 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Wide format pagewidth inkjet printer
US6652082B2 (en) 1998-10-16 2003-11-25 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printhead assembly for an ink jet printer
US6270177B1 (en) * 1998-11-09 2001-08-07 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Printer unit for PC disk drive bay
US6554398B2 (en) * 2001-03-08 2003-04-29 Agfa-Gevaert Ink-jet printer equipped for aligning the printheads
WO2003086770A1 (en) * 2002-04-12 2003-10-23 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd. High volume pagewidth printing

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
See also references of EP1706267A4 *

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1960207A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2008-08-27 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd Printhead cartridge interface having power regulation
EP1960204A1 (en) * 2005-12-05 2008-08-27 Silverbrook Research Pty. Ltd Inkjet printer with printhead cartridge and cradle that interengage via an overcentre mechanism
EP1960207A4 (en) * 2005-12-05 2009-04-08 Silverbrook Res Pty Ltd Printhead cartridge interface having power regulation
EP1960204A4 (en) * 2005-12-05 2013-10-30 Zamtec Ltd Inkjet printer with printhead cartridge and cradle that interengage via an overcentre mechanism
JP2011507737A (en) * 2008-01-15 2011-03-10 ジュハイ ナインスター マネージメント カンパニー リミテッド Print head chip protection device and ink cartridge used in combination therewith
WO2009114019A1 (en) * 2008-03-14 2009-09-17 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Secure access to fluid cartridge memory
US8474943B2 (en) 2008-03-14 2013-07-02 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. Secure access to fluid cartridge memory
US9039137B2 (en) 2012-09-01 2015-05-26 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Image forming apparatus

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU2009202985B2 (en) 2010-05-27
AU2009202986A1 (en) 2009-08-13
EP1706267B1 (en) 2010-04-28
AU2009202991B2 (en) 2010-06-03
CN1906038A (en) 2007-01-31
AU2008221546B2 (en) 2009-05-28
AU2009202996B2 (en) 2010-06-03
CN100564039C (en) 2009-12-02
AU2009202986B2 (en) 2010-05-27
AU2009202995B2 (en) 2010-06-03
AU2009202995A1 (en) 2009-08-13
EP1706267A1 (en) 2006-10-04
CA2550777A1 (en) 2005-08-04
AT465875T (en) 2010-05-15
AU2009202990B2 (en) 2010-06-03
AU2009202991A1 (en) 2009-08-13
EP1706267A4 (en) 2008-07-02
AU2004314461A1 (en) 2005-08-04
AU2009202998A1 (en) 2009-08-13
AU2009202990A1 (en) 2009-08-13
AU2009202996A1 (en) 2009-08-13
AU2004314461B2 (en) 2008-08-07
AU2009202994A1 (en) 2009-08-13
AU2009202983A1 (en) 2009-08-13
JP2007534518A (en) 2007-11-29
DE602004026924D1 (en) 2010-06-10
AU2008221546A1 (en) 2008-10-09
AU2009202985A1 (en) 2009-08-13
AU2009202993B2 (en) 2010-06-03
AU2009202998B2 (en) 2010-06-03
AU2009202993A1 (en) 2009-08-13
CA2550777C (en) 2010-05-11
AU2009202994B2 (en) 2010-06-03
AU2009202983B2 (en) 2010-06-03

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US9346276B2 (en) Removable printhead cartridge having plurality of printhead chips
US9044956B2 (en) Pagewidth printhead assembly having ink distribution member
US20150375512A1 (en) Ink cartridge and ink jet printing apparatus
US7712880B2 (en) Valve assembly with a pressure regulator for a printhead cartridge
US8382268B2 (en) Ink cartridge with high flow rate supply to printhead
EP1934054B1 (en) Printhead maintenance assembly comprising maintenance roller and cleaning mechanism
US8109621B2 (en) Printer with mutually engaging ink cartridge, printhead cartridge and printer body
US7971960B2 (en) Printhead integrated circuit having longitudinal ink supply channels reinforced by transverse walls
US7524016B2 (en) Cartridge unit having negatively pressurized ink storage
US7367650B2 (en) Printhead chip having low aspect ratio ink supply channels
US7431440B2 (en) Ink reservoir with air bag
US7306320B2 (en) High speed digital printer unit
US7845781B2 (en) Printer with cartridge dock for rupturing seal on cartridge
US8100502B2 (en) Printer cartridge incorporating printhead integrated circuit
US7524023B2 (en) Ink reservoir with constant hydrostatic pressure outlet
US8118416B2 (en) Valve assembly for a printer ink cartridge having a spring-biased pressure regulator
US8007092B2 (en) Air tight ink cartridge with unobstructed ink outlet
US8360552B2 (en) Carriage for carrying a fluid ejector cartridge
US8100518B2 (en) Inkjet printer with resilient connection between printhead cartridge and ink cartridge
US8087763B2 (en) Inkjet printer with printhead cartridge and cradle that interengage via an overcentre mechanism
US8011758B2 (en) Printer with ink cartridge for sealed connection with inlet valve prior to valve actuation
US20070126822A1 (en) Printhead cartridge with bracing for reducing structural deflection
US20090015641A1 (en) Printer arrangement incorporating a printhead maintenance station
US8292406B2 (en) Inkjet printer with releasable print cartridge
CN100564039C (en) The print cartridge that is used for ink-jet printer

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated states

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): AE AG AL AM AT AU AZ BA BB BG BR BW BY BZ CA CH CN CO CR CU CZ DE DK DM DZ EC EE EG ES FI GB GD GE GH GM HR HU ID IL IN IS JP KE KG KP KR KZ LC LK LR LS LT LU LV MA MD MG MK MN MW MX MZ NA NI NO NZ OM PG PH PL PT RO RU SC SD SE SG SK SL SY TJ TM TN TR TT TZ UA UG US UZ VC VN YU ZA ZM ZW

AL Designated countries for regional patents

Kind code of ref document: A1

Designated state(s): BW GH GM KE LS MW MZ SD SL SZ TZ UG ZM ZW AM AZ BY KG KZ MD RU TJ TM AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IT LU MC NL PT RO SE SI SK TR BF BJ CF CG CI CM GA GN GQ GW ML MR NE SN TD TG

121 Ep: the epo has been informed by wipo that ep was designated in this application
WWE Wipo information: entry into national phase

Ref document number: 2550777

Country of ref document: CA

WWE Wipo information: entry into national phase

Ref document number: 2004314461

Country of ref document: AU

ENP Entry into the national phase in:

Ref document number: 2004314461

Country of ref document: AU

Date of ref document: 20040121

Kind code of ref document: A

WWP Wipo information: published in national office

Ref document number: 2004314461

Country of ref document: AU

WWE Wipo information: entry into national phase

Ref document number: 200480040777.5

Country of ref document: CN

Ref document number: 2006549766

Country of ref document: JP

Ref document number: 2700/CHENP/2006

Country of ref document: IN

WWE Wipo information: entry into national phase

Ref document number: 2004703723

Country of ref document: EP

WWE Wipo information: entry into national phase

Ref document number: 1020067016495

Country of ref document: KR

WWP Wipo information: published in national office

Ref document number: 2004703723

Country of ref document: EP

WWP Wipo information: published in national office

Ref document number: 1020067016495

Country of ref document: KR