Laser driven variable dot size thermal wax transfer printing

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Title: Laser driven variable dot size thermal wax transfer printing
Author: Korol, Steven Van Cleve
Abstract: A digital image hardcopy device has been designed using a laser exposure mechanism, a pigmented wax /resin donor ink sheet, and an opaque receiver sheet. The writing system relies on image-wise thermal mass transfer of molten ink to the receiver in order to produce high resolution output. With the receiver media and a specially designed donor ribbon being held to a platen through vacuum pressure, a pulsed solid-state diode pumped near IR NdrYAG laser provides the energy necessary to complete the thermal transfer process. By varying pulse width, dot size variation is possible. A mathematical model was developed to explain the physics of the imaging process and aid further experimentation. In order to maximize photothermal conversion and transfer efficiency while maintaining environmental friendliness, a water/ alcohol based multi-layer donor ribbon was designed. Digital image analysis techniques and processing algorithms were developed specifically to provide a reliable quantification scheme for all variables. A randomized four factor central composite design provided a statistically robust means by which to map measured image quality. Response surface methods of factorial experimental design afforded a means to model the ribbon design space. Utilization of the Downhill Simplex Method (Nelder and Mead, 1965) yielded the optimum point on the estimated image quality response surface. The optimum point represented the final donor ribbon composition. It is primarily the continuously variable dot size capability and high thermal efficiency of the developed system that sets this research apart from other published works related to laser driven thermal transfer.
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Date: 1995-12

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