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Title:
DRIVE MODULES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/147273
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In one example, drive module can include an enclosure that includes an alignment feature, a drive motor coupled to a first drive axis positioned inside the enclosure, and a second drive axis coupled to the first drive axis and positioned outside the enclosure to interact with a printing device drive axis when the drive module is coupled to the printing device.

Inventors:
HAN, Michael (Columbia Tech Center, 1115 SE 164th AveColumbia Center, Suite 21, Vancouver WA, 98683, US)
BHIDE, Saurabh (Columbia Tech Center, 1115 SE 164th AveColumbia Center, Suite 21, Vancouver WA, 98683, US)
BRINKLY, Richard, Lee (Columbia Tech Center, 1115 SE 164th AveColumbia Center, Suite 21, Vancouver WA, 98683, US)
LONGUST, Tim (Columbia Tech Center, 1115 SE 164th AveColumbia Center, Suite 21, Vancouver WA, 98683, US)
Application Number:
US2018/015552
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 26, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P. (10300 Energy Drive, Spring, TX, 77389, US)
International Classes:
B41J29/38; F16H3/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014198483A12014-12-18
WO2015040545A12015-03-26
Foreign References:
US20080264277A12008-10-30
US20090010678A12009-01-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOOPES, Benjamin et al. (HP Inc, 3390 East Harmony RoadMail Stop 3, Fort Collins CO, 80528, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A drive module, comprising:

an enclosure that includes an alignment feature;

a drive motor coupled to a first drive axis positioned inside the enclosure; and

a second drive axis coupled to the first drive axis and positioned outside the enclosure to interact with a printing device drive axis when the drive module is coupled to the printing device.

2. The drive module of claim 1 , wherein the alignment feature aligns the second drive axis with the printing device drive axis.

3. The drive module of claim 1 , wherein the drive motor is coupled to the first drive axis with a worm gear.

4. The drive module of claim 1 , wherein the first drive axis is coupled to the second drive axis with a cylinder that protrudes through an aperture of the enclosure.

5. The drive module of claim 1 , wherein the printing device drive axis is coupled to a heated pressure roller of the printing device.

6. A system, comprising:

a drive module, comprising:

an enclosure that includes a first plurality of alignment features positioned on an exterior portion of the enclosure;

a first drive motor positioned at an interior portion of the enclosure and coupled to drive a gear of a first drive axis positioned at the interior portion of the enclosure;

a second drive motor positioned at the interior portion of the enclosure and coupled to drive the gear of the first drive axis positioned at the interior portion of the enclosure; and

a second drive axis coupled to the first drive axis and positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure; and a drive module bay of a printing device, comprising:

a second plurality of alignment features that correspond to the first plurality of alignment features; and

a third drive axis coupled to a roller of the printing device to receive the second drive axis.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the second plurality of alignment features receive the first plurality of alignment features to align the second drive axis with the third drive axis when the drive module is positioned within the drive module bay.

8. The system of claim 8, wherein the first plurality of alignment features include an interface alignment pin, an alignment slot, and an alignment tab positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure.

9. The system of claim 8, comprising:

a circuit positioned at the interior portion of the enclosure; and an electrical connection coupled to the circuit and positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure, wherein the electrical connection is coupled to the printing device to receive electrical energy from the printing device.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the circuit provides electrical energy to the first drive motor and the second drive motor.

11. The system of claim 8, wherein the first drive motor includes a first worm gear coupled to a first side of the gear of the first drive axis and the second drive motor includes a second worm gear coupled to a second side of the gear of the first drive axis.

12. The system of claim 11 , wherein the first drive motor and the second drive motor are synchronized to drive the gear of the first drive axis.

13. A printing device, comprising:

a module bay comprising:

a first drive axis to drive a speed of a heated pressure roller; a second drive axis to drive a pressure of the heated pressure roller;

a third drive axis to drive a tension of print media at an output of the heated pressure roller; and

a removable drive module coupled to the module bay, wherein the drive module comprises:

an enclosure;

a plurality of gears positioned on an exterior portion of the enclosure to interact with the first drive axis, the second drive axis, and the third drive axis; and

a plurality of motors positioned within an interior portion of the enclosure to drive the plurality of gears positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure.

14. The printing device of claim 13, wherein one of the plurality of motors is coupled to:

a first gear of the plurality of gears coupled to the second drive axis to drive the pressure of the heated pressure roller; and

a transmission device coupled to a second gear of the plurality of gears coupled to the third drive axis to drive the tension of the print media at the output of the heated pressure roller

15. The printing device of claim 14, wherein the plurality of gears includes a third gear comprising:

a shaft coupled to the interior portion of the enclosure; and a pitch ring coupled to a side of the third gear, wherein the pitch ring freely rotates on the shaft and prevents a corresponding gear of the third drive axis from exceeding a threshold distance between the third gear and the corresponding gear of the third drive axis.

Description:
DRIVE MODULES

Background

[0001] Printing systems, such as printers, copiers, etc , may generate text or images on to print media (e.g., paper, plastic, etc ). Printing systems, generally include a stacking region for the collection of print media. The stacking region may be an output region where a user may receive the print media. In some examples, printing systems may include a finishing device where print media may be collected for a finishing process, such as stapling, three-hole punching, etc. The printing systems may be connected by a media pathway to a finisher that may perform a finishing process on the printable media.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0002] Figure 1 illustrates an example drive module.

[0003] Figure 2 illustrates an example system for a drive module.

[0004] Figure 3 illustrates an example system for a drive module.

[0005] Figure 4 illustrates an example drive axis.

Detailed Description

[0008] In some examples, printing devices can utilize a plurality of drive motors to move or rotate a plurality of corresponding devices. For example, the drive motors can be coupled to: rollers to move print media along a media pathway, tensioners to apply pressure on the print media, and/or heated pressure rollers to apply heat and pressure on the print media. In some examples, the plurality of drive motors can be independently coupled to the printing devices and aligned with the plurality of corresponding devices in these examples, when a drive motor fails, the drive motor may be replaced by a technician capable of aligning a new drive motor with a corresponding drive axis coupled to the corresponding device, Therefore, there may be interest in a drive module that includes a plurality of drive motors that can be received and aligned with a drive module bay to align with the drive axes of the corresponding devices. In this way, the drive module and drive module bay can be utilized to align a plurality of drive motors with the corresponding devices

[0007] A number of systems and devices for a drive module are described herein. In some examples, drive module can include an enclosure that includes an alignment feature, a drive motor coupled to a first drive axis positioned inside the enclosure, and a second drive axis coupled to the first drive axis and positioned outside the enclosure to interact with a printing device drive axis when the drive module is coupled to the printing device in some examples, the drive module can be utilized to rotate a number of rollers and/or provide a drive axis for other devices of the printing device in some examples, the drive module can include an enclosure that can be removable from the printing device to provide easier maintenance for the drive motors of the printing device. That is, the drive modules described herein can be removable drive modules that can be inserted and/or removed from a drive module bay of a printing device.

[0008] The printing device can be an inkjet printing device that can include a print zone to deposit a printing fluid on a print media. The print zone of the inkjet printing device can deposit the printing fluid to generate partially dried inkjet media in some examples, the partially dried inkjet media can provide difficulties when stacking, aligning, and/or finishing. For example, the partially dried Inkjet media can have distorted properties such as a curl, a cockle, a reduction in stiffness, increased surface roughness, extruding or protruding fibers from the surface, misaligned fibers, and/or increased sheet to sheet friction of the media. In some examples, these distorted properties can be caused by printing fluid deposited on the media and the media absorbing the printing fluid. For example, the printing fluid can be in a liquid state that can be absorbed by a media such as paper. In this example, the liquid state of the printing fluid can cause the distorted properties of the media in a similar way that other liquids may distort the properties of the media

[0009] In some examples, the printing device can include devices to reduce or remove the distorted properties. For example, the printing device can include a heated pressure roller, a tensioner roller, and/or other rollers to reduce or remove the distorted properties caused by the printing fluid in some examples, the devices can be motorized to move the print media from a first location to a second location. For example, the devices can be utilized to move the print media from a print zone to an output zone of the printing device. In some examples, the drive motors for the devices can be difficult to maintain and/or replace due to area constraints, alignment of drive axis associated with a drive motor, and/or mounting devices for the drive motor or drive axis.

[0010] In some examples, the drive modules described herein can be utilized to replace a plurality of drive motors from the printing device without having to decouple the plurality of drive motors and/or align corresponding drive axes for the plurality of drive motors. In some examples, the drive modules described herein can be inserted into a drive module bay of the printing device. In these examples, the drive modules can include an enclosure with a number of external drive axes that are aligned with corresponding drive axes of the printing device. For example, the drive modules described herein can include alignment features to align a drive module within a drive module bay such that the external drive axes of the drive module are aligned with the corresponding drive axes of the printing device. Thus, the drive motors of a printing device can be removed from the printing device without having to decouple the drive motors or re-align a corresponding drive axis.

[0011] The figures herein follow a numbering convention in which the first digit corresponds to the drawing figure number and the remaining digits identify an element or component in the drawing. Elements shown in the various figures herein may be capable of being added, exchanged, and/or eliminated so as to provide a number of additional examples of the present disclosure. In addition, the proportion and the relative scale of the elements provided in the figures are intended to illustrate the examples of the present disclosure, and should not be taken in a limiting sense.

[0012] Figure 1 illustrates an example drive module 100-1 , 100-2 consistent with the present disclosure. In some examples, the drive module 100-1 can illustrate a first side of a drive module and the drive module 100-2 can illustrate a second side of the drive module.

[0013] In some examples, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can include an enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 that includes an alignment feature 108-1 , 108-2, 110-1 , 110- 2 a drive motor 104-1 coupled to a first drive axis 106-1 positioned inside the enclosure 102-1 , and a second drive axis 112-2 coupled to the first drive axis 106- land positioned outside the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 to interact with a printing device drive axis when the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 is coupled to the printing device. As described herein, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can be inserted into a drive module bay of a printing device within corresponding alignment features to align the second drive axis 112-2 with a corresponding drive axis of the printing device.

[0014] In some examples, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can include an enclosure 102-1 , 102-2. As used herein, the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 can be utilized to enclose a number of devices and/or separate a number of devices from devices within the printing device. In some examples, the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 can be utilized to enclose a drive motor 104-1 and a drive axis 106-1 coupled to the drive motor 104-1. in some examples, the drive motor 104-1 and the drive axis 106-1 can be removed from a printing device by removing the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 from a drive module bay of the printing device.

[0015] In some examples, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can include a drive motor 104-1. As used herein, a drive motor 104-1 can include an electric motor that can rotate a drive shaft. For example, the drive motor 104-1 can be an actuator to rotate a worm gear coupled to the drive motor 104-1. As used herein, a worm gear includes a gear in the form of a screw. In some examples, the drive motor 104-1 can be coupled to an interior portion of the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 and aligned with a drive axis 106-1 positioned within the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2. For example, the drive motor 104-1 can be directly coupled to a worm gear that is aligned with a number of gears of the drive axis 106-1. As used herein, drive axis 106-1 includes a mechanical machine that can include gears or cogwheels for transmitting torque from a first device to a second device. For example, the drive axis 106-1 can include a plurality of gears that can interact with a worm gear coupled to the drive motor 104-1 to rotate the plurality of gears. As used herein, gears include external or internal circular gears such as spur gears, helical gears, double helical gears, bevel gears, and/or other types of external or internal gears.

[0016] In some examples, the drive axis 106-1 can be positioned within the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2. In some examples, the drive axis 106-1 can be coupled to a shaft that extends from the inferior of the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 to an exterior of the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2. In some examples, the drive axis 106-1 can be utilized to rotate the shaft that extends form the interior to the exterior of the enclosure. In these examples, a drive axis 112-2 can be coupled to the shaft at the exterior of the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2. In some examples, the drive axis 112-2 can be utilized to drive a corresponding drive axis of the printing device.

[0017] In some examples, the corresponding drive axis of the printing device can be coupled to a number of devices. For example, the number of devices can include a heated pressure roller, a plurality of drive rollers, and/or other devices that can be motorized by a drive motor described herein. As used herein, a heated pressure roller includes a heated roller and pressure roller to apply heat and pressure to print media. For example, a heated pressure roller can apply heat to a first side of the print media and apply pressure to a second side of the print media. In some examples, the number of devices can be driven by a corresponding drive axis that can be aligned with the second drive axis 112-2.

[0018] In some examples, the drive axis 112-2 can be aligned with the corresponding drive axis of the printing device utilizing a number of alignment features 108-1 , 108-2, 110-1 , 110-2. in some examples, the number of alignment features 108-1 , 108-2, 1 10-1 , 110-2 can include an interface alignment pin, an alignment slot, and/or an alignment tab positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure. In some examples, the alignment feature 108-1 , 108-2 can be a tab alignment feature. As used herein, a tab alignment feature can include a protrusion that can be received by an aperture or slot when the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 is aligned within a drive module bay of a printing device as described herein. In some examples, the alignment feature 110-1 , 110-2 can be a slot alignment feature. As used herein, a slot alignment feature can include an aperture or slot in the enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 that can receive a protrusion when the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 is aligned within a drive module bay of a printing device.

[0019] As described herein, the alignment features 108-1 , 108-2, 110-1 , 110-2 can be utilized to align the drive axis 112-2 with a corresponding drive axis of a printing device in some examples, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can be inserted into a drive module bay of the printing device and the alignment features 108-1 , 108- 2, 110-1 , 110-2 can align the drive axis 112-2 with the corresponding drive axis of the printing device. In some examples, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can be utilized to drive a number of devices within an enclosure of the printing device when the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 is inserted into the drive module bay of the printing device. In this way, the drive module 100-1 , 100-2 can be utilized to remove or replace a drive motor 104-1 of a printing device without having to align the drive motor 104-1 with a drive axis 106-1 , 112-2.

[0020] Figure 2 illustrates an example system 220 for a drive module 200 consistent with the present disclosure in some examples, the drive module 200 can be the same or similar device as drive module 100 as referenced in Figure 1. For example, the drive module 200 can include an enclosure 202 to enclose drive motors 204, 222-1 , 222-2 and corresponding drive axes 206, 224. In some examples, the system 220 can include a drive module 200 and a corresponding drive module bay 228 of a printing device 230.

[0021] In some examples, the drive module can include a drive motor 204 coupled to a drive axis 206. As described herein, the drive motor 204 can be coupled to a worm gear that is aligned to rotate the drive axis 206. in some examples, the worm gear can interact with a gear of the drive axis 206 to drive the drive axis 206. in some examples, the drive axis 206 can be utilized to drive a shaft that extends from the interior to the exterior of the enclosure 202. in some examples, the drive axis 206 can be utilized to rotate the shaft and the shaft can be coupled to a drive axis 212-1 , 212-2 that are positioned at the exterior of the enclosure 202 In this way, the drive motor 204 can drive the drive axis 206 and thus drive the drive axis 212-1 , 212-2 at the exterior of the enclosure 202. In some examples, a single drive motor 204 can be utilized to drive a first drive axis 212-1 and a second drive axis 212-2 positioned at the exterior of the enclosure 202.

[0022] In some examples, the drive module 200 can Include a first drive motor 222-1 and a second drive motor 222-2 coupled to a drive axis 224 positioned within the enclosure 202. For example, the first drive motor 222-1 can be coupled to a first worm gear and the second drive motor 222-2 can be coupled to a second worm gear in this example, the first worm gear can be aligned to drive a gear of the drive axis 224 and the second worm gear can be aligned to drive the gear of the drive axis 224. That is, the first drive motor 222-1 and the second drive motor 222-2 can be positioned to drive the same gear of the drive axis 224.

[0023] In some examples, the first drive motor 222-1 can include a first worm gear coupled to a first side of the gear of the drive axis 224 and the second drive motor 222-2 can include a second worm gear coupled to a second side of the gear of the drive axis 224. For example, the first drive motor 222-1 can include a first worm gear positioned on a top side of the gear of the drive axis 224 and the second drive motor 222-2 can include a second worm gear positioned on a bottom side of the gear of the drive axis 224. In some examples, the first drive motor 222-1 and the second drive motor 222-2 can be synchronized to drive the gear of the drive axis 224. For example, the first drive motor 222-1 and the second drive motor 222-2 can rotate a corresponding worm gear at the same speed and frequency.

[0024] In some examples, the drive axis 224 can be coupled to a shaft that extends from the interior of the enclosure 202 to an exterior of the enclosure 202. In some examples, the shaft coupled to the drive axis 224 at the interior of the enclosure 202 can be coupled to a drive axis 228 at the exterior of the enclosure 202. In this way, the first drive motor 222-1 and the second drive motor 222-2 can simultaneously drive the drive axis 228.

[0025] In some examples, the drive module 200 can include a number of alignment features 208, 210, 214 that can be utilized to align the drive axes 212-1 , 212-2, 226 positioned at the exterior of the enclosure 202 with corresponding drive axes of the computing device 230 when the drive module 200 is inserted into the drive module bay 228. in some examples, the alignment features 208, 210, 214 can align the drive module 200 in a plurality of directions. For example, each of the alignment features 208, 210, 214 can align the drive module in a corresponding direction such that the drive axes 212-1 , 212-2, 226 are aligned with corresponding drive axes of the printing device 230.

[0026] In some examples, the alignment feature 208 can be a tab alignment feature that can align the drive module 200 in a first direction (e.g., lateral direction as illustrated by system 220). in some examples, the alignment feature 210 can be a slot alignment feature that can align the drive module 200 in a second direction (e.g , vertical direction as illustrated by system 220). in addition, the alignment feature 214 can align the drive module 200 in a third direction (e.g., rotational direction as illustrated by system 220). In some examples, each of the alignment features 208, 210, 214 can interact with a corresponding alignment feature of the printing device 230 and/or a corresponding alignment feature of the drive module bay 228.

[0027] Figure 3 illustrates an example system 320 for a drive module 300 consistent with the present disclosure. In some examples, the drive module 300 can be the same or similar device as drive module 100 as referenced in Figure 1 and/or drive module 200 as referenced in Figure 2. For example, the drive module 300 can include an enclosure 302 to enclose drive motors 304, 322-1 , 322-2 and

corresponding drive axes 306, 324. In some examples, the system 320 can include a drive module enclosure 302 and a corresponding drive module bay 228 of a printing device 330

[0028] In some examples, the drive module 300 can include a drive motor 304 coupled to a drive axis 306. As described herein, the drive motor 304 can be coupled to a worm gear 340 that is aligned to rotate the drive axis 306. in some examples, the drive axis 306 can include a plurality of gears 342, 344, 346, 343. In some examples, the worm gear 340 can interact with a gear 342 of the drive axis 306. In these examples, the gear 342 can interact with gear 344. In these examples, the gear 344 can interact with gear 346 and gear 346 can interact with gear 348. in some examples, gear 346 can be a transmission device coupled to a gear 348 of the plurality of gears 342, 344, 346, 348 coupled to a drive axis312-1 to drive the tension of print media at an output of a heated pressure roller of the printing device 330. in some examples, the drive axis 326 can be utilized to drive the heated pressure roller of the printing device 330. in some examples, the drive axis 312-2 can be utilized to drive a pressure adjuster that can adjust a pressure applied to the print media by the heated pressure roller.

[0029] In some examples, the gear 344 can be coupled to a shaft within the enclosure 302. in these examples, the shaft can extend from the inferior of the enclosure 302 to the exterior of the enclosure 302. In these examples, the shaft coupled to gear 344 can be coupled to drive axis 312-2 at the exterior of the enclosure 302. That is, the rotation of the gear 344 can rotate the shaft at the interior of the enclosure 302, which can rotate the drive axis 312-2 at the same rotational speed

[0030] In some examples, the gear 348 can be coupled to a shaft that extends from the interior of the enclosure 302 to the exterior of the enclosure 302. In these examples, the shaft coupled to the gear 348 can extend to the exterior of the enclosure 302 and be coupled to drive axis 326. In this way, the drive motor 304 can be utilized to drive the plurality of gears 342, 344, 346, 348 within the interior of the enclosure 302 and utilized to drive the drive axis 312-1 and the drive axis 312-2 at the exterior of the enclosure 302.

[0031] In some examples, the drive module 300 can include a first drive motor 322-1 and a second drive motor 322-2 coupled to a drive axis 324 positioned within the enclosure 302. For example, the first drive motor 322-1 can be coupled to a first worm gear 338-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 can be coupled to a second worm gear 338-2. In this example, the first worm gear 338-1 can be aligned to drive a gear 332 of the drive axis 324 and the second worm gear 338-2 can be aligned to drive the gear 332 of the drive axis 324. That is, the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 can be positioned to drive the same gear 332 of the drive axis 324.

[0032] In some examples, the first drive motor 322-1 can include a first worm gear 338-1 coupled to a first side of the gear 332 of the drive axis 324 and the second drive motor 322-2 can include a second worm gear 338-2 coupled to a second side of the gear 332 of the drive axis 324. For example, the first drive motor 322-1 can include a first worm gear 338-1 positioned on a top side of the gear 332 of the drive axis 324 and the second drive motor 322-2 can include a second worm gear 338-2 positioned on a bottom side of the gear 332 of the drive axis 324. In some examples, the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 can be synchronized to drive the gear 332 of the drive axis 324. For example, the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 can rotate a corresponding worm gear 338-1 , 338-2 at the same speed and frequency.

[0033] In some examples, the first drive motor 322-1 , the second drive motor 322-2 and/or the drive motor 304 can be power by an electrical connection with the system 320. For example, the drive module 300 can include a circuit positioned at the interior portion of the enclosure 302. in some examples, the circuit can be a printed circuit board (RGB) that includes electrical connections to the first drive motor 322-1 , the second drive motor 322-2, and/or the drive motor 304. In some examples, the circuit can be positioned within the interior of the enclosure 302 to protect the circuit from damage.

[0034] In some examples, the drive module 300 can include an electrical connection coupled to the circuit and positioned on the exterior portion of the enclosure 302. in some examples, the electrical connection can include a pin electrical connector that can be electrically and/or communicatively coupled to the system 320. For example, the electrical connection can be coupled to a printing device (e.g., system 320, etc.) to receive electrical energy from the printing device. In some examples, the system 320 can include a computing device to send

communication signals to the drive module 300 via the electrical connection. For example, the system 320 can be utilized to alter a rate of speed for the drive motor 304 by sending a signal to the electrical connection. In some examples, the system 320 can include a corresponding electrical connection that can be coupled to the electrical connection coupled to the exterior portion of the enclosure 302. In some examples,

[0035] In some examples, the gear 332 of the drive axis 324 can interact with a gear 334, which can alter a radius or diameter of the gear 334. For example, the gear 334 can include a first gear of a first size (e.g., first radius, first diameter, etc.) that interacts with the gear 332 and can include a second gear of a second size that interacts with the gear 336. In some examples, the gear 336 can be coupled to a shaft that extends from the interior of the enclosure 302 to an exterior of the enclosure 302. in some examples, the shaft coupled to the gear 336 at the interior of the enclosure 302 can be coupled to a drive axis 326 at the exterior of the enclosure 302. In this way, the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 can simultaneously drive the drive axis 326. In some examples, the system 320 can utilize an electrical connection of the drive module 300 to synchronize the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 by sending signals to the first drive motor 322-1 and the second drive motor 322-2 as described herein.

[0036] In some examples, the drive module 300 can be inserted into a drive module bay 328 of a printing device 330. in some examples, the drive axes 312-1 , 312-2, 326 can interact with corresponding drive axes of the system 320. For example, the drive axis 312-1 can be a gear as described herein. In some examples, the drive axis 312-1 can interact with a drive axis 335 of the system 320. in some examples, the drive axis 335 can be coupled to a heated pressure roller, tensioner, and/or other system of the system 320. In some examples, the drive axis 312-1 can interact with the drive axis 335 to drive the system of the system 320 coupled to the drive axis 335. For example, a drive motor 304 positioned within the enclosure 302 can drive a drive axis 306 within the enclosure in this example, the drive axis 306 can drive the drive axis 312-1 positioned outside the enclosure 302 to drive the system coupled to the drive axis 335 of the printing device. In this example, the drive motor 304 can be utilized to drive the system coupled to the drive axis 335.

[0037] In some examples, the drive axis 312-1 can include a pitch ring 350 coupled to a side of the drive axis 312-1 or gear of the drive axis 312-1. in some examples, the pitch ring 350 can freely rotate on the shaft that is coupled to the drive axis 312-1 and prevent a corresponding gear (e.g., drive axis 335, etc.) of the from exceeding a threshold distance between the drive axis 312-1 and the corresponding gear (e.g., drive axis 335, etc.) of the printing device 330.

[0038] In some examples, the drive module 300 can include a number of alignment features 308, 310, 314 that can be utilized to align the drive axes 312-1 , 312-2, 326 positioned at the exterior of the enclosure 302 with corresponding drive axes (e.g., drive axis 335, etc.) of the printing device 330 when the drive module 300 is inserted into the drive module bay 328. In some examples, the alignment features 308, 310, 314 can align the drive module 300 in a plurality of directions. For example, each of the alignment features 308, 310, 314 can align the drive module 300 in a corresponding direction such that the drive axes 312-1 , 312-2, 326 are aligned with corresponding drive axes of the printing device 330.

[0039] In some examples, the alignment feature 308 can be a tab alignment feature that can align the drive module 300 in a first direction (e.g., lateral direction as illustrated by system 320). in some examples, the alignment feature 310 can be a slot alignment feature that can align the drive module 300 in a second direction (e.g., vertical direction as illustrated by system 320). in addition, the alignment feature 314 can align the drive module 300 in a third direction (e.g., rotational direction as illustrated by system 320). In some examples, each of the alignment features 303, 310, 314 can interact with a corresponding alignment feature of the printing device 330 and/or a corresponding alignment feature of the drive module bay 328.

[0040] Figure 4 illustrates an example drive axis 460 consistent with the present disclosure in some examples, the drive axis 460 can be the same or similar drive axis as drive axis 212-1 as illustrated in Figure 2 and/or drive axis 312-1 as illustrated in Figure 3. For example, the drive axis 460 can be a drive axis positioned at the exterior of an enclosure 402 (e.g., enclosure 102-1 , 102-2 as illustrated in Figure 1 , enclosure 202 as illustrated in Figure 2, enclosure 302 as illustrated in Figure 3, etc.) of a drive module as described herein. That is, the drive axis 460 can interact with a corresponding drive axis 435 of a printing device.

[0041] In some examples, the drive axis 460 can include a drive axis 412-1 coupled to a shaft 462. As described herein, the shaft 462 can extend from an interior of the enclosure 402 to the exterior of the enclosure 402 In some examples, the shaft can be a cylinder that protrudes through an aperture of the enclosure. In some examples, the drive axis 412-1 can be an external or internal circular gear such as a spur gear, helical gear, double helical gear, bevel gear, and/or other types of external or internal gears in some examples, the drive axis 412-1 can interact with a drive axis 435 (e.g., corresponding gear, etc.) of a printing device when a drive module is aligned by alignment features as described herein. In some examples, a drive motor coupled to the drive axis 412-1 can drive the drive axis 412- 1 and the drive axis 435 when the drive module is coupled within a drive module bay as described herein.

[0042] In some examples, a pitch ring 450 can be coupled to the shaft 462 to lower a center to center dimensional variation between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435. In some examples, the center to center dimensional variation can include an alignment between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435. in some examples, a misalignment between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435 can cause transmission errors, acoustic issues, and/or torque load issues. In some examples, it can be difficult to lower a dimensional variation across a plurality of interfaces without the pitch ring 450. For example, the drive module described here can include three drive axes at the exterior of the enclosure 402. In this example, the alignment features of the enclosure can align the three drive axes including the drive axis 412-1 with corresponding drive axes of the printing device as described herein. However, the alignment features may not be able to lower the dimensional variation between the drive axis 435 and the drive axis 412-1. In this example, the pitch ring 450 provide a relatively smaller separation between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435.

[0043] In some examples, the pitch ring 450 can freely rotate on the shaft 462 while the drive axis 412-1 can rotate with the shaft 462. in some examples, the pitch ring 450 can be a circular disk or wheel without cogs (e.g., interaction surface of a gear, etc.). In some examples, the pitch ring 450 can be a circular disk that interacts with a ring 439 that can be molded or coupled to an edge of the drive axis 435. That is, cogs of the drive axis 412-1 can interact with corresponding cogs of the drive axis 435 while the pitch ring 450 can interact with the ring 439. In this way, a relatively lower distance between the cogs of the drive axis 412-1 and the cogs of the drive axis 435 can be achieved.

[0044] In some examples, the drive axis 460 can include a swing arm 464 that can pivot on a pivot point 466. in some examples, the pivot point 466 can be a bolt or screw that can be positioned within an aperture of the swing arm 464. in some examples, the swing arm 464 can include a gear 468 that can interact with drive axis 412-2 and rotate in a clockwise direction under gear forces as illustrated in Figure 4. in these examples, the swing arm 464 can provide a force on the drive axis 412-1 toward the drive axis 435. in this way, a force can push the drive axis 412-1 into the drive axis 435 to lower a distance between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435.

[0045] In some examples, the pitch ring 450 can rotate freely or separately from the drive axis 412-1. For example, contact can occur between the pitch ring 450 and the ring 439. in this example, sliding friction can occur if the pitch ring 450 does not rotate freely or separately from the drive axis 412-1. In this example, the tangential linear velocities at touch points between the pitch ring 450 and the ring 439 can create the sliding friction if the pitch radius of the pitch ring 450 and the ring 439 are unequal or when the pitch ring 450 is not separated from the drive axis 412- 1. Thus, the pitch ring 450 is a separate ring from the drive axis 412-1 and rotates freely or separately from the drive axis 412-1 to allow a greater variation of rotational speed separate from the drive axis 412-1 rotational speed and/or eliminate the sliding friction between the pitch ring 450 and the ring 439.

[0048] In some examples, a diameter of the pitch ring 450 can be greater than a diameter of the drive axis 412-1 and/or a diameter of a gear of the drive axis 412-1. in some examples, the pitch ring 450 can include a greater diameter than the drive axis 412-1 to protect the cogs or teeth of the drive axis 412-1. In some examples, the pitch ring 450 can prevent a distance between the drive axis 412-1 and the drive axis 435 from exceeding a threshold distance. For example, the pitch ring 450 can prevent the distance from becoming lower than a threshold distance.

[0047] The above specification, examples and data provide a description of the method and applications, and use of the system and method of the present disclosure. Since many examples can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the system and method of the present disclosure, this specification merely sets forth some of the many possible example configurations and implementations.




 
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