ent sized media; to provide such a system which has the FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary rear side eleva
ability to apply multiple color designs to a single dye tional view of the dye plotter apparatus.
receiving medium; to provide such a system in which FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary left side eleva
the dye plotting apparatus and control units therefor tional view of the dye plotter apparatus.
can be disassembled into relatively small parcels or 5 FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the dye plotter apparatus.
sections for convenience in transportation thereof; to FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the dye plotter appa
provide such a system in which the image or design to ratus and illustrates sectional assembly details of a dye
be applied as a dyed image can be optically scanned and medium support bed of the apparatus.
digitized and the image data derived therefrom stored in FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view
a computer; to provide such a system in which the 10 taken on line 7—7 of FIG. 4 and illustrates details of the
image can be composed and manipulated on a com- dye spray head carrier of the dye plotter apparatus.
puter; to provide such a system in which the image data FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view
is used to cause a spray head moved by stepper motors taken on line 8—8 of FIG. 7 and illustrates additional
in two dimensions to reproduce the scanned image on details of the spray head and carrier therefor.
the media; to provide such a system in which the format 15 FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view
of the image data is preferably converted from pixel taken on line 9—9 of FIG. 5 and illustrates details of a
on/off bits to plotter commands in which string of non- fixed guide track of the plotter apparatus.
changing pixels are grouped in sequences of commands FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevational
for the spray head to be moved according to the count view taken on line 10—10 and illustrates details of a
of bits with the spray on or off according to the state of 20 movable guide track for the spray head carrier of the
the pixel bits to expedite application of the image and to plotter apparatus.
minimize wear of the dye application machinery; to FIG. 11 is a right side elevational view of the dye
provide such a system in which the spray head is plotter apparatus at a reduced scale and illustrates the
mounted on a carrier riding along a mobile track which ability to tilt the dye medium support bed.
itself rides along a track perpendicular thereto and af- 25 FIG. 12 is a greatly enlarged longitudinal sectional
fixed to a bed supporting the dye receiving medium, one view of the dye spray head taken on line 12—12 of FIG.
stepper motor being connected to move the mobile 7 and illustrates operational details thereof.
track and the other connected to move the spray head FIG. 13 is a block diagram illustrating a dye control
carrier whereby the spray head is movable in two di- computer and related systems for the dye plotter appa
mensions to cover the medium; to provide such a sys- 30 ratus.
tem with guide tracks having a low profile configura- HFsrRTptton OF Thf
tion and low profile carriers having wheels arranged in TWFOTION
a single plane to ride along the tracks; to provide such ilNVfcJN Iiujn
a system in which the control components and actuat- As required, detailed embodiments of the present
ing components may be off-the-shelf components to 35 invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be un
economize construction of the apparatus of the system; derstood that the disclosed embodiments are merely
to provide such a system in which the dye is sprayed exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in
onto the medium driven by compressed air and in which various forms. Therefore, specific structural and func
the spraying is controlled by the computer; to provide tional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted
such a system with an umbilical handling arrangement 40 as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a
including a hinged arm pivotally connected to the spray representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to
head carrier and to the mobile track, air and dye lines variously employ the present invention in virtually any
being routed through tubular sections of the arm; to appropriately detailed structure,
provide such a system which is particularly adapted for Referring to the drawings in more detail:
a relatively small business to apply dye designs to media 45 The reference numeral 1 generally designates an au
such as floor mats and small rugs; to provide such a tomated dye pattern application system embodying the
system which is adaptable for spraying other materials present invention. The system 1 includes a dye medium
such as inks and paints to other media, such as posters, support structure 2, a dye plotter apparatus 3, a dye
signs, and the like to provide designs and images supply mechanism 4, and a dye plotting controller or
thereon; and to provide such a system for applying dyes 50 computer 5. The support structure 2 includes a support
to media which is economical to manufacture, conve- bed 6 on which a dye receiving medium 7, such as a
nient and precise in operation, and which is particularly mat, is positioned. The dye plotter apparatus 3 generally
well adapted for its intended purpose. includes a dye spray head 8 (FIGS. 2 and 3) mounted on
Other objects and advantages of this invention will a spray head carrier 9, guide members 10 and 11, and
become apparent from the following description taken 55 motors 12 and 13 operable to move the spray head 8
in conjunction with the accompanying drawings • • along a selected scan path over the mat 7. The dye
wherein are set forth, by way of illustration and exam- supply mechanism 4 supplies a dye to the spray head 8
pie, certain embodiments of this invention. and causes it to be sprayed onto the mat 7. The com
The drawings constitute a part of this specification puter 5 stores data representing an image or design to be
and include exemplary embodiments of the present 60 reproduced on the mat 7 and executes a program which
invention and illustrate various objects and features controls the motors 12 and 13 to scan the mat 7 along
thereof. the scan path and controls the dye supply mechanism 4