Stationary media mobile printing

US 20030063938A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2003/0063938 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Hardisty et al.
(54)
STATIONARY MEDIA MOBILE PRINTING
(76) Inventors: Jaime S. Hardisty, Albany, OR (US);
Apr. 3, 2003
Publication Classi?cation
51
Int. C]7
.
.......................... ..
Mackenzie Williams, Corvallis, OR
B41B 1/04 ;B41B 13/04;
B41B 13/06; B41J 19/64;
(Us)
B41] 3/39
(52)
Correspondence Address:
HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY
Intellectual Property Administration
P.O. BoX 272400
Fort Collins, CO 80527-2400 (US)
(21) Appl. No.:
09/967,071
US. Cl. .............................................................. .. 400/88
(57)
ABSTRACT
Aportable printer includes a top cover, a bottom cover, one
or more rail units located on the inside surface of the top
cover, and a carriage assembly. Media is positionable on the
inside surface of the bottom cover. The carriage assembly is
movably connected to the rail units, such that the carriage
assembly is able to move at least one of horizontally and
vertically over the media, and print on substantially any part
of the media, Wherein the media is capable of being station
(22) Filed:
Sep. 28, 2001
ary during printing.
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Apr. 3, 2003 Sheet 1 0f 10
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Apr. 3, 2003 Sheet 10 0f 10
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FIG. 10
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STATIONARY MEDIA MOBILE PRINTING
single cartridge, or cartridges for each ink color. Aprint head
stepper motor typically moves the print head assembly back
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[0001] This invention relates generally to printers for
and forth horiZontally, or laterally, across the paper, Where a
belt is used to attach the assembly to the motor. The
assembly may use a stabiliZer bar to ensure that print head
computers, and more particularly to such printers that are
mobile in nature.
movement is precise and controlled. Rollers pull paper from
a tray, feeder, or the user’s manual input, and advance the
paper to neW vertical locations on the paper.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[0002]
Mobile computers, commonly called notebook or
laptop computers, have become increasingly popular.
Whereas desktop computers force their users to Work at only
a single location, laptop computers alloW their users greater
freedom in Where the users can Work. Users can, for
instance, bring their laptop computers home from Work and
back again, and can also Work on them in airplanes, trains,
and otherWise While traveling.
[0003]
As notebook computers have become more poW
erful, approaching that of their desktop counterparts, users
have begun to expect the same peripherals that they use With
their desktop computers. For example, many notebook com
puters come equipped With DVD, CD-ROM, and other types
of drives, enabling their users to play movies and install
softWare off optical media no different than if they Were
using desktop computers. With the advent of Wireless net
[0007] The signi?cant difference in existing mobile inkjet
printers from desktop inkjet printers, then, is in the siZe of
their components, Which alloWs the mobile printers to be
more transportable. The print head may be smaller, Which
enables a smaller and less poWerful motor to be used to
horiZontally move the print head across the paper. There
may not be a dedicated tray or paper feeder to supply paper
to the print head, the printer instead relying on the user to
feed the paper to the rollers to push or pull through the
printer. The vast majority of mobile printers still rely on
rollers to alloW the printer to print on different vertically
oriented regions of the paper, With the print head itself
moving horiZontally to print on different horiZontally ori
ented regions of the paper.
[0008] HoWever, the paper-feed mechanism of printers in
general likely prevents this miniaturiZation from continuing
Wireless local-area netWorking (LAN), users can even
to the point Where an optimal mobile printer is designed.
Merely decreasing the siZe of printer components to essen
tially turn a desktop printer into a mobile printer likely does
access netWork resources across broad areas When using
not result in a mobile printer that is as small, lightWeight,
Working, both Wireless Wide-area netWorking
and
their laptop computers.
and able to run off batteries as it could be. For these and
[0004]
other reasons, therefore, there is a need for the present
invention.
One common peripheral that users enjoy having
access to is the printer, Which enables them to print hard
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
copies of documents that they may be Working on With their
laptop computers. Mobile printers, hoWever, have not
[0009]
In one embodiment, a portable printer includes a
advanced to the same degree as laptop computers have.
top cover, a bottom cover, one or more rail units located on
Although mobile printers are frequently smaller than their
non-mobile counterparts, they are still overly complex,
bulky, orientation sensitive, and poWer hungry. Their added
the inside surface of the top cover, and a carriage assembly.
Media is positionable on the inside surface of the bottom
Weight means that users may think tWice before bringing
them along on a trip. Their general inability to run for
extended periods off battery poWer means that users may not
be able to use them as conveniently as they can their laptop
computers.
cover. The carriage assembly is movably connected to the
rail units, such that the carriage assembly is able to move at
least one of horiZontally and vertically over the media, and
print on substantially any part of the media, Wherein the
media is capable of being stationary during printing.
a rethinking of hoW a printer functions, but rather only a
[0010] Still other embodiments, aspects, and of the inven
tion Will become apparent by reading the detailed descrip
tion that folloWs, and by referring to the accompanying
miniaturiZation of the innards of a more conventional
draWings.
[0005] In many instances, mobile printers do not represent
printer. A common printing technology used in mobile
printers is inkjet technology. An inkjet printer is a printer
that places extremely small droplets of ink onto paper to
create an image. Other types of printers include dot matrix
printers, laser printers, and printers that use solid ink, dye
sublimation, thermal Wax, and thermal autochrome tech
nologies. HoWever, inkjet technology is most popular for
mobile printing applications, perhaps because of its rela
tively loW cost, ability to print in different colors, and ability
to have its components miniaturiZed, among other reasons.
[0006] A typical inkjet printer, be it a desktop or a mobile
printer, usually has a number of common components,
regardless of its brand, speed, and so on. There is a print
head that contains a series of noZZles used to spray drops of
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0011] FIG. 1 is a diagram shoWing a side vieW of a
printer and an associated docking station according to an
embodiment of the invention.
[0012] FIG. 2 is a diagram shoWing a cutaWay side vieW
of a printer and an associated docking station according to
an embodiment of the invention.
[0013] FIG. 3 is a diagram shoWing hoW the carriage
assembly of a printer is able to move both vertically and
horiZontally across a stationary media, according to an
embodiment of the invention.
[0014]
FIG. 4A is a diagram shoWing an embodiment of
ink onto paper. Ink cartridges, either integrated into the print
head or separate therefrom, supply the ink. There may be
units enable tWo-dimensional movement of the carriage
separate black and color cartridges, color and black in a
assembly.
the invention in Which a ?xed rail unit and tWo mobile rail
Apr. 3, 2003
US 2003/0063938 A1
FIG. 4B is a diagram showing an embodiment of
a bottom cover 204. A carriage assembly 206 is removably
the invention in Which a ?xed rail unit and one mobile rail
connected to the top cover 202 via one or more rail units 208
unit enable tWo-dimensional movement of the carriage
on the inside surface of the top cover 202, Whereas a media
210 may be positioned in a stationary manner on the inside
surface of the bottom cover 204. The invention is also
[0015]
assembly.
[0016] FIG. 4C is a diagram shoWing an embodiment of
the invention in Which a single ?xed rail unit enables
tWo-dimensional movement of the carriage assembly.
[0017] FIG. 5 is a diagram shoWing a perspective vieW of
the rail units of FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C, according to an
embodiment of the invention.
[0018] FIG. 6 is a diagram shoWing a carriage assembly
according to an embodiment of the invention.
applicable to any media, and not just paper. A slot 212
accepts a connector hardWare card so that the printer 102 is
able to communicate With a host computer, such as a laptop
computer, Which is not speci?cally shoWn in FIG. 2. The
slot 212 may be, for instance, a PC Card slot that accepts PC
Cards, Which are also knoWn as PCMCIA cards. Further
more, the slot 212 generally encompasses all such
approaches by Which the printer 102 is able to communicate
With the printer, such as any other type of Wired communi
[0019] FIG. 7 is a diagram shoWing in detail hoW the
carriage assembly of FIG. 6 engages With the rail units of
FIG. 5, according to an embodiment of the invention.
cation, as Well as Wireless communication.
[0020] FIG. 8 is a diagram shoWing hoW a carriage
assembly accepts ?uid capsules according to an embodiment
[0026] FIG. 3 shoWs hoW the carriage assembly 206 is
HoriZontal and Vertical Motion of Carriage
Assembly
of the invention.
able to move both horiZontally and vertically across the
media 204, Without the need for rollers or a feeder to push
[0021]
or pull the media. Speci?cally, the carriage assembly 206 is
FIG. 9 is a diagram shoWing in detail the Wells of
the carriage assembly of FIG. 8 that accept ?uid capsules,
according to an embodiment of the invention.
[0022] FIG. 10 is a diagram of a maintenance package for
a portable printer according to an embodiment of the inven
tion.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
INVENTION
[0023] In the folloWing detailed description of exemplary
embodiments of the invention, reference is made to the
accompanying draWings that form a part hereof, and in
Which is shoWn by Way of illustration speci?c exemplary
embodiments in Which the invention may be practiced.
These embodiments are described in suf?cient detail to
enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. Other
embodiments may be utiliZed, and logical, mechanical, and
other changes may be made Without departing from the spirit
or scope of the present invention. The folloWing detailed
description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense,
and the scope of the present invention is de?ned only by the
appended claims.
Interaction BetWeen Mobile Printer and Docking
Station
[0024]
FIG. 1 shoWs a side vieW of a system 100 includ
ing a portable printer 102 and a docking station 104 accord
ing to an embodiment of the invention. The printer 102 is
substantially ?at and thin, and can be only 800 mills thick.
The printer 102 removably connects to the docking station
104, such as via bayonet-style connectors for electrical
connection and mechanical positioning. The docking station
104 may be, for instance, the same docking station available
able to move vertically both in the up direction 302 and the
doWn direction 304. The carriage assembly 206 is also able
to move horiZontally both in the right direction 306 and the
left direction 308. The carriage assembly 206 achieves this
horiZontal and vertical motion via removable connection to
the rail units 208, Which are not speci?cally shoWn in FIG.
3.
[0027] FIGS. 4A, 4B, and 4C shoW hoW differing embodi
ments of the invention use differing numbers of rail units
208 to achieve horiZontal and vertical motion of the carriage
assembly 206. In FIG. 4A, a ?xed rail unit 208A is mounted
to the inside surface of the top cover 202 of the portable
printer 102. The rail unit 208A desirably extends from the
top side to the bottom side of the top cover 202, and extends
from one-and-a-half inches from the left side to one-and-a
half inches from the right side of the top cover 202. The rail
units 208B and 208C are conversely not ?xed, but rather
each can move vertically. For instance, the movable rail unit
208B moves vertically in the up direction 402 and the doWn
direction 404, Whereas the movable rail unit 208C moves
vertically in the up direction 406 and the doWn direction
408.
[0028] The carriage assembly 206, not speci?cally shoWn
in FIG. 4A, moves horiZontally substantially via the ?xed
rail unit 208A. Conversely, the assembly 206 moves verti
cally substantially via the rail units 208B and 208C. More
speci?cally, to move vertically, the assembly 206 is posi
tioned over either the rail unit 208B or the rail unit 208C,
Which enables it to move doWn or up, so that it can then
again move horiZontally over the ?xed rail unit 208A. As an
example, the assembly 206 may start in the upper-left hand
corner on the rail unit 208B, and then move horiZontally left
to right across the rail unit 208A to the rail unit 208C, Which
for use With the OMNIBOOK 500 notebook computer,
transports the assembly 206 vertically doWn. The assembly
available from HeWlett-Packard Co., of Palo Alto, Calif. The
docking station houses betWeen one and three conventional
laptop computer batteries, Which in this instance are used to
poWer the printer 102. The docking station 104 may alter
natively be an expansion base that is used With different
types of notebook computers.
206 then is able to move in the opposite direction horiZon
[0025] FIG. 2 shoWs a cutaWay side vieW of the system
100. The portable printer 102 includes a top cover 202 and
tally, right to left, across the rail unit 208A, to the rail unit
208C, Which also transports the assembly 206 vertically
doWn. This process continues until the assembly 206 has
proceeded over substantially the entire media 204, not
speci?cally shoWn in FIG. 4A, as necessary.
[0029] FIG. 4B shoWs an alternative embodiment of the
invention in Which there is only a single movable rail unit
Apr. 3, 2003
US 2003/0063938 A1
208B, such that there is no movable rail unit 208C, as there
is in the embodiment of FIG. 4C. The movable rail unit
208B is able to move vertically in the up direction 402 and
the doWn direction 404, Whereas the rail unit 208A is still
?xed to the inside surface of the top cover 202. In this
embodiment, the carriage assembly 206 moves horiZontally
from a starting position in the upper left hand corner on the
rail unit 208B, across the ?xed rail unit 208A, left to right.
The carriage assembly 206 then moves back to the rail unit
208B across the ?xed rail unit 208A, right to left, Where it
is moved vertically via the rail unit 208B, such that the
process continues as necessary.
[0030] FIG. 4C shoWs another alternative embodiment in
Which there is only the ?xed rail unit 208A mounted to the
inside surface of the inside cover 202. That is, there are no
movable rail units, such as the movable rail unit 208B of the
embodiment of FIG. 4B, or the movable rail units 208B and
208C of the embodiment of FIG. 4A. In this embodiment,
the carriage assembly 206 moves horiZontally substantially
via the ?xed rail unit 208A, and moves vertically by
jumping, or “bumping,” doWn to another part of the ?xed
rail unit 208A. The embodiment of FIG. 4C has one
advantage over the embodiments of FIGS. 4A and 4B in
that it has less moving parts, speci?cally in that the embodi
ment of FIG. 4C does not have the movable rail unit(s)
208B and/or 208C.
desirably one-inch long by 450 mills in diameter, connected
to a Worm gear of ?fteen threads per inch, one-half inch in
diameter, and 250 mills Wide. Alternatively the motor 606
may be a stepper motor, a hall-effect motor, or another type
of motor.
[0033] When horiZontally moving, the carriage assembly
206 approaches either the left or right side of the portable
printer 102. In so doing, the drag-engage mechanism 610
ultimately presses against the side of the printer 102, Which
causes it to be pushed in, Winding the Watch-spring catch
608. This stores energy in the Watch-spring catch 608, such
that When the mechanism 610 is completely pushed in—co
inciding With the movement of the assembly 206 completely
over a movable rail unit—the energy is released, causing the
assembly 206 to move the movable rail unit on Which it is
located up or doWn vertically. Atrip mechanism, speci?cally
not shoWn in FIG. 6, can further be used so that the movable
rail unit is forced to sWitch directions vertically, from the up
direction to the doWn direction, or vice-versa. The Watch
spring catch 608 thus poWers and sets direction for vertical
movement of the movable rail unit and thus the assembly
206 itself.
[0034] FIG. 7 shoWs in detail hoW the carriage assembly
206 engages With the gear teeth of a rail unit, such as the rail
208B, and 208C of FIGS. 4A, 4B, and/or 4C. The rail unit
unit 502. In particular, as indicated by the circles 702 and
704, the assembly 206 has slots 706 and 708 that engage the
rail unit 502. The carriage assembly 206 also has a release
lever 710, that, When pressed by the user, alloWs the user to
remove the carriage assembly 206 from the rail unit 502.
has ?xed gear teeth, such as the roW of ?xed gear teeth 504,
Disengagement and removal of the assembly 206 is desir
and can be at a pitch of ?fteen threads per inch. The gear
teeth can have an angle compatible With a 500 mil diameter
Worm gear, Where a motor having such a gear is the part of
able so that the user can replace the print head 604 of the
[0031] FIG. 5 shoWs a perspective vieW of an example rail
unit 502, that can function as any of the rail units 208A,
the carriage assembly 206 enabling horiZontal movement of
the assembly 206 across the rail unit 502. Rails 506 can be
mounted to the toothed area at a 330 mil pitch, Which is the
print sWath, generally de?ned as the area printed by a print
head of the carriage assembly 206 at one time. The rails have
teeth on top to engage the Worm gear, and have slots on the
side to Which the carriage assembly 206 removably con
nects. Where the rail unit 502 is a movable rail unit, the rail
unit is able to slide one rail pitch perpendicular to the ?xed
rails, and are kept aligned to the ?xed rails by one Wire leaf
spring, relocking the movable rails With the ?xed rails until
the carriage assembly 206 is fully inserted into the ?xed
rails. The rail unit 502 may be fabricated from a long-life
and high-Wear material, such as dense polymer, or metal
coated polymer.
[0032] FIG. 6 shoWs a side vieW of the carriage assembly
206 in more detail, detailing the parts of the assembly 206
that enable it to move vertically on a movable rail unit and
horiZontally on any type of rail unit. The carriage assembly
206 includes a carriage unit 602, a print head 604 on the
bottom surface of the carriage unit 602, Worm-gear motor
606, a Watch-spring catch 608, and a drag-engage mecha
nism 610 that has a member 612 connecting it to the motor
606. All of these components are self-contained Within the
carriage assembly 206 itself. The print head 604 is desirably
an inkjet-type print head, but may also be a thermal-type
print head, or another type of print head. An inkj et-type print
head is more generally referred to as a ?uid-type print head.
The carriage assembly 206 moves horiZontally on the rail
unit 502 via the Worm-gear motor 606. The motor 606 is
assembly 206, or perform other types of maintenance on the
assembly 206.
[0035] The carriage assembly 206 as shoWn in FIGS. 6
and 7 is particularly used in the embodiments of FIGS. 4A
and 4B, Where there is one or tWo movable rail units 208A
and/or 208B in addition to the ?xed rail unit 208A. In the
embodiment of FIG. 4C, the carriage assembly 206 alter
natively can include a solenoid, using a latch With one spring
to hold the assembly 206 in place. Asserting the solenoid in
this instance causes the carriage assembly 206 not to be held
in position, such that it can then jump to the next vertical
position.
Fluid Capsules Within Wells of Carriage Assembly
[0036]
FIG. 8 shoWs hoW ?uid capsules ?t into Wells of
the carriage assembly 206. The components of the carriage
assembly 206 still include the carriage 602, the motor 606,
the Watch-spring catch 608, and the drag-engage mechanism
610 With the member 612. The carriage 602 has on its top
surface a number of Wells 802, 804, 808, and 810. The
diameter of each Well may be about 370 mils. There may be
a Well for each ?uid color needed, such as yelloW, blue, and
red, as Well as one or more Wells for black ?uid. There may
also be a Well for each of tWo tones of red ?uid, and tWo
tones of blue ?uid in some embodiments. As shoWn in FIG.
8, a ?uid capsule 812 is being inserted speci?cally into the
Well 802. The inside surface of each Well preferably has a
sharp edge that cuts a ?uid capsule open When it is inserted
into the Well.
[0037]
The ?uid capsule 812 is speci?cally shoWn as
having a cylindrical shape, such as a cylinder 370 mils in
Apr. 3, 2003
US 2003/0063938 A1
diameter With a 440 mil diameter rim for ease of manual
?nished, the carriage assembly 206 may be disconnected
extraction. Alternatively, the ?uid capsule 812 may have a
from poWer, disconnected from the rail unit, and returned to
triangular, octagonal, or another shape. Each ?uid capsule
the case 1002.
may have the same shape, or they may have different shapes.
Each ?uid capsule may hold 0.6 milliliters of ?uid. The ?uid
contained in each capsule may be in liquid form, knoWn as
Conclusion
free-?uid supply, Which provides the print head 604 (not
speci?cally shoWn in FIG. 8) With substantially 0.25 inches
[0043] Embodiments of the invention provide for advan
tages not found Within the prior art. Unlike eXisting mobile
printers, the inventive mobile printers do not require a media
of head pressure. Alternatively, the ?uid may be contained in
each capsule With a large cell-foam media inside the capsule.
There are typically Zero inches of back pressure Within each
feeder or rollers to feed media into the printer. Vertical
movement over the media is achieved by the print head
capsule.
itself, instead of by having the media moved vertically to a
[0038] FIG. 9 shoWs a top vieW of the carriage assembly
206 depicting three of the Wells 802, 804, and 806 in more
detail. The Wells 802, 804, and 806 are shoWn in FIG. 9 as
having a circular cross-section. The carriage assembly 206 is
further shoWn as engaged With the rail unit 208 attached to
the inside surface of the top cover 202.
Maintenance Package for Portable Printer
[0039]
FIG. 10 shoWs a maintenance package 1000 that
may be sold to consumers to supply and maintain a portable
neW position under the print head. This means that feWer
parts are typically needed, Which saves space and conserves
poWer, enabling the printer to more easily run off battery
poWer as compared to eXisting mobile printers.
[0044] It is noted that, although speci?c embodiments
have been illustrated and described herein, it Will be appre
ciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any arrange
ment is calculated to achieve the same purpose may be
substituted for the speci?c embodiments shoWn. For
eXample, other applications and uses of embodiments of the
invention, besides those described herein, are amenable to at
least some embodiments. This application is intended to
cover any adaptations or variations of the present invention.
printer, such as the portable printer 102 as has been
described herein. The package 1000 includes a case 1002,
Which may have a shape and siZe typical of that used for
Therefore, it is manifestly intended that this invention be
cases to store sun glasses. The case 1002 has an open
limited only by the claims and equivalents thereof.
position, as shoWn in FIG. 10, and a closed position. A
bottom part 1003 is able to snap shut With a top part 1005
of the case in a substantially airtight manner.
We claim:
[0040] The package 1000 includes a replacement carriage
assembly 206. Alternatively, the package 1000 may only
1. A portable printer comprising:
include a replacement carriage 602 With the print head 604
a top cover having an inside surface;
located on the bottom surface thereof, or only a replacement
print head 604, Where the replacement carriage 602 and the
a bottom cover having an inside surface on Which media
replacement print head 604 are not speci?cally shoWn in
FIG. 10. The package 1000 also includes replacement ?uid
capsules 812, 812B, and 812C. There may be one capsule for
each color ?uid and tWo capsules of black ?uid, or another
one or more rail units disposed on the inside surface of the
con?guration.
a carriage assembly movably connected to the one or
[0041] The portable printer for Which the package 1000 is
intended may be hand primed and serviced. Print heads may
clog and may get ?uid on the user. The user seating ?uid
capsules in the Wells of the carriage assembly performs
priming. The user also cleans eXtra ?uid forced out of the
is positionable;
top cover; and
more rail units such that the carriage assembly is able
to move at least one of horiZontally and vertically over
the media, and print on substantially any part of the
media, Wherein the media is capable of being stationary
during printing.
2. The portable printer of claim 1, Wherein the carriage
noZZles or spent ?uid capsules. Therefore, the package 1000
also includes Wipes 1004 and/or 1006. The Wipes 1004 are
assembly comprises:
for the user to clean the print head after service, Whereas the
a carriage unit;
Wipes 1006 are for the user to clean him or herself after
servicing the printer. The Wipes 1006 includes dye reducer
to aid in this self-cleaning.
[0042] The carriage assembly 206 may be stored in the
case 1002 until the user desires to use the portable printer for
printing. The assembly 206 is removed at such time from the
case 1002, loaded With ?uid capsules, attached to the rail
unit on the inside top cover of the printer, and attached to a
a print head disposed on a bottom surface of the carriage
unit;
a motor coupled to the carriage unit to move the carriage
assembly horiZontally; and
a mechanism coupled to the carriage unit to move the
carriage assembly vertically.
poWer connect Where necessary. Paper is positioned on the
inside bottom cover of the printer, such that the paper
3. The portable printer of claim 2, Wherein the print head
is an inkjet-type print head, and the carriage assembly
remains stationary in this position during printer. The top
further comprises one or more Wells in Which corresponding
?uid capsules are insertable.
4. The portable printer of claim 2, Wherein the motor is a
cover of the printer is placed doWn over the bottom cover of
the printer, and the printer is positioned appropriately on a
docking station for poWer and control. Once printing is
Worm-gear motor.
Apr. 3, 2003
US 2003/0063938 A1
5. The portable printer of claim 2, wherein the mechanism
comprises:
a Watch-spring catch mechanism that Winds to store
suf?cient energy to move the carriage assembly verti
cally; and
a drag-engage mechanism that Winds the Watch-spring
catch mechanism as the carriage assembly horizontally
approaches an end of the portable printer.
6. The portable printer of claim 1, Wherein each of the one
or more rail units has a plurality of gear teeth to engage the
carriage assembly.
7. The portable printer of claim 1, Wherein the one or more
rail units comprises a ?xed rail unit and at least one movable
rail unit, each of the at least one movable rail unit situated
to a side of the ?xed rail unit, such that the carriage assembly
moves over the media horiZontally substantially via the ?xed
rail unit and moves over the media vertically substantially
via the at least one movable rail unit.
8. The portable printer of claim 7, Wherein each of the at
least one movable rail unit comprises a Wire leaf spring to
maintain alignment With the ?xed rail unit.
12. The carriage assembly of claim 11, Wherein each of
the one or more Wells is suf?ciently small so that a human
?nger cannot be inserted therein.
13. The carriage assembly of claim 11, Wherein each of
the one or more Wells has a cylindrical shape.
14. The carriage assembly of claim 11, Wherein the
mechanism comprises:
a Watch-spring catch mechanism that Winds to store
suf?cient energy to move the carriage assembly verti
cally; and
a drag-engage mechanism that Winds the Watch-spring
catch mechanism as the carriage assembly horiZontally
approaches an end of the portable printer.
15. The carriage assembly of claim 11, further comprising
a sharp edge on an inner surface of each of the one or more
Wells to open a corresponding ?uid capsule upon insertion
therein.
16. A maintenance package for a portable printer having
a cover With an inside surface and a carriage assembly
horiZontally and vertically movably connected to the one or
more rail units, the maintenance package comprising:
9. The portable printer of claim 1, Wherein the one or more
rail units essentially consists of a ?xed rail unit.
a case positionable in an open position and a closed
10. The portable printer of claim 1, Wherein the portable
printer is removably attachable to a docking station storing
one or more ?uid capsules stored in the case and insert
one or more batteries to poWer the portable printer.
11. Acarriage assembly for a portable printer comprising:
a carriage unit having a top surface and a bottom surface;
a ?uid-type print head disposed on the bottom surface of
the carriage unit to print on a stationery media posi
tioned Within the portable printer;
one or more Wells in the top surface of the carriage unit
and in Which corresponding ?uid capsules are insert
able to supply ?uid to the ?uid-type print head;
a motor coupled to the carriage unit to move the carriage
assembly horiZontally over the stationary media; and
a mechanism coupled to the carriage unit to move the
carriage assembly vertically over the stationary media.
position; and
able into corresponding Wells of the carriage assembly
of the portable printer.
17. The maintenance package of claim 16, Wherein a top
part of the case snaps substantially airtight to a bottom part
of the case in the closed position.
18. The maintenance package of claim 16, further com
prising one or more Wipes stored in the case for user
self-service of the carriage assembly.
19. The maintenance package of claim 16, further com
prising one or more Wipes With dye reducer stored in the
case for user self-cleaning after user self-service of the
carriage assembly.
20. The maintenance package of claim 16, further com
prising a replacement print head stored in the case for the
carriage assembly.
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