The world of printing on rigid materials often demands skew requirements that are difficult to achieve in
non-true flat belt printers. This requirement has its origin in the need of customers to optimize printing
processes, saving post-processing and media waste.
Often, clients must print full bleed or leave blank margins if they want to have an image printed on all
support. Both strategies can be avoided if the printer has a good skew compensation strategy with the
consequent savings for the client.
Total skew on images printed on rigid medias is the sum of three contributors: media orthogonality, media
load accuracy, and the alignment of the print axis and the media advance direction. This last contributor is
a parameter particular for each printer since is caused by its manufacturing tolerances.
The scope of this invention is correcting the last contributor by using and algorithm to mitigate this defect
using a calibration process and a compensation when printing.
Roll to roll printers have some strategy to correct the media advance direction by using some fiducials that
are printed next to the image and used in real time to reposition the image. This procedure needs to be done
live since media advance direction changes as the material is loaded into the printer.
Hybrid printers based on a belt conveyor can optimize this strategy using a different approach. Media
advance direction is a constant parameter due to the alignment of structural parts, that can be calibrated
once and applied straight to each plot, resulting in an optimized printing process and no downtime.
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INC, HP, "ALGORITHM TO COMPENSATE SKEW FOR RIGID MEDIAS", Technical Disclosure Commons, (July 22, 2021)