December 20, 2012
Epson notes that consumer inkjet printers are “undeniably convenient in almost all but one way: they have been too large to fit comfortably in homes with limited space”, and adds that it listened to the consumer in designing its Expression Premium range, with the devices made to be 40 percent smaller than those released previously.
This was achieved by researching where users tend to want to install printers and the dimensions of “commonly-sold shelving”, which yielded the 40 percent figure. Epson said that “the target was extremely ambitious and fraught with obstacles”, with the printer’s main board shrunk to squeeze inside the housing, with a space located in the “smaller printer body” determining the size of the board.
The designers then next increased the number of layers on the board for a 30 percent smaller footprint, with components on the board rearranged so “they did not bump up against any internal parts”. The next challenge was to relocate inkjet cartridges to the top of the print head, in an on-carriage design, which Epson notes are “mechanically simple” but due to integration “there is no way to avoid increasing the size and weight” of the unit.
The team responded to this by redesigning both the print head and the cartridges, with a redrawing of the ink channels and IC board, as well as a limit on the height of the inkjet cartridges through “simplifying their internal structure and increasing their volumetric efficiency”. Thus, the printer’s height was lessened even with an on-carriage inkjet framework.
Finally, the components within the printer were all redesigned after examination to see if they could be shrunk down, so that paper-feeding and printing tasks could still be carried out in the smaller machine. Epson added that “in this way, Epson’s design team worked closely together to share ideas and fundamentally rethink the design of inkjet units”, making them smaller “so they can be set up where users want them”.
Categories : Products and Technology