You are on page 1of 12


1 Overview of Thermography Technologies

As explained in figure 5.1-4, the NIP technology of thermography can be in the main di ided into thermal transfer and thermal sublimation. In both processes, the in! is applied to a donor "sheet or #eb$ and then transferred to the substrate by the application of heat "or, depending on the system, first to an intermediate carrier #hich subse%uently transfers it to the substrate$. &igure 5.'-1 adds to the illustration in figure 5.1-4 by sub-di iding thermography into direct thermography and transfer thermography. (ransfer thermography is further sub-di ided into thermal transfer and thermal sublimation.

)irect (hermography. In direct thermography the substrate is treated #ith a special coating, #hich changes its color #hen sub*ected to heat. (his !ind of special paper is often used for applications in fax machines and for labeling and coding "e.g., bar codes$. +achines using thermal printing systems "thermal printers$ are label printers or receipt printers. )irect thermal printing #ill not be dealt #ith in detail here, those processes are described that are largely independent of the substrate and #here the in! is supplied ia the system. (ransfer (hermography. In thermal transfer, in contrast to direct thermography, the in! is stored on a donor and is transferred to the substrate by the application of heat. Put simply, part of the in! layer is released from the donor and transferred to the substrate "a large %uantity of in! is transferred$. (he in! on the donor may be #ax or a special polymer "resin$. &or this reason thermal transfer is sometimes also called "thermal mass transfer? In thermal sublimation, on the other hand, the in! is transferred from the donor to the substrate by diffusion. (he heat melts the in! and initiates a diffusion process onto the paper. (his re%uires a special coating on the substrate to ta!e on the diffused colorants. (he physically and chemically precise term for thermal sublimation is "dye diffusion thermal transfer',' #hich is shortened to )-(-. In! )onor. &igure 5.'-- sho#s the structure of the in! donors. It sho#s the importance of selecting a suitable combination of coating on the printing material and in! layer on the donor material, particularly in thermal sublimation ")-(-$. .hereas in thermal transfer the donor material is al#ays in contact #ith the substrate during transfer, there may be a small gap bet#een the recei ing layer and the in! layer in thermal sublimation. (his can be achie ed by spacers, for instance, #hich are integrated into either


Direct Thermography

Tansfer Thermography |

Thermal Transfer ;

fhermal Sublimation

Mass/Ink Transfer (constant ink film thickness/ color #ensity in pi$el 'onstant )i$el Si*e (ariable )i$el Si*e

Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2 ! Sublimation or "blation (%ariable ink film thickness/ color #ensity in pi$el & appro$imately 'onstant )i$el Si*e

+ig, -,./& 0%er%ie1 of thermographic processes in thermography


5 Printing Technologies without a Printing Plate !"P Technologies#

Ink carrier (#onor Substrate

2eat supply

)rotecti%e layer )olyester carrier material )rimer Ink layer (1a$! resin )aper Impression cylin#er

,)rotecti%e layer 5i6'arrier material 57 Ink layer

$ig. 5.6%3 )rinciple of ink transfer onto the substrate in thermal transfer (mul/ tipass system


5 Diffusion layer

2eat supply

Ink carrier (#onor Substrate (image carrier


'oating )aper

$ig. 5.6%2 Structure of ink #onor material, a Thermal transfer; b Thermal sublimation4 coating of paper 1ith #iffusion layer (ink recei%ing layer

the recei ing layer or the in! donor "e. g., spherical particles, forming a special surface structure$. Printing Unit. A simplified illustration of the fundamental principle of a thermography-based printing unit is gi en in figure 5.'-/. In multicolor printing, for example, the colors blac!, yello#, magenta, and cyan are applied to a donor. A thermal printing head is in contact #ith the donor material. 0y controlling the heating elements in this head in accordance #ith the image "systems #ith a resolution of '11 dpi are a ailable$ the in! is transferred from the donor to the paper. As mentioned pre iously, the donor is in direct contact #ith the paper "or other substrate$. &igure 5.'-/ sho#s ho# multicolor printing is carried out by the thermographic transfer of color separations onto the substrate. (he different in!s are positioned on the in! donor ribbon one after the other. In multipass principle the color separations are collected on the paper. &igures 5.'-4 and 5.'-5 gi e a simplified illustration of the principles of thermal transfer and thermal sublimation.

Thermal Transfer. As sho#n in figure 5.'-4, thermal transfer is based on the in! melting onto the carrier film #hen heated. (he li%uefied in! is transferred to the substrate under lo# pressure. In the simple binary process, the optical density of the print is set in ad ance by producing the donor #ith a specified thic!ness of layer, pigment concentration, and hue. (his is the original ersion of thermal transfer, a binary in! transfer process - illustrated in figure 5.' -4 - that consists of controlling the heating element of the printing head and transferring the entire in! layer per pixel onto the paper. .hen the heating element is s#itched off there is no in! transfer. (he use of micromechanical and microelectronic techni%ues in the mechanical design of the thermal head facilitates finely controlled heating of the image area. (his ma!es it possible to transfer different %uantities of in!. )ue to the composition of the in! layer, ho#e er, the in! concentration of the transfer remains constant, although the dot si2e may ary. (his means that smaller or larger amounts of in! can be transferred by defined melting. (his ariant of thermal transfer is also called 3)( (variable dot thermal transfer - see also the o er ie# in fig. 5.'-1$. Thermal Sublimation. &igure 5.'-5 sho#s the principle of thermal sublimation. In thermal sublimation, the in! e aporates locally through the application of heat, #hich triggers sublimation. In physical terms, sublimation is the apori2ation of a solid #ithout the intermediate formation of a li%uid. (his is not necessarily the case #ith thermal sublimation - the better, or generally more accurate, term for the flo#ing process is defined by diffusion effects (dye diffusion thermal transfer, D2T2 . )epending on the thermal energy supplied

5.6 Thermography


Thermal print hea# Ink #onor ribbon Transferre# image element Melte# inkla> er ?nmelte# area ink

llnii Thermal hea# "maging signal Ink #onor ribbon

"maging signal

'arrier ribbon 'olorant/ink layer

2eating /element (resistor 2eat/sensiti%e Ink #onor ribbon image element Thermal print hea# / 'arrier layer Ink 1hich has penetrate# the #iffusion layer Diffusion layer I Special paper



+or1ar#/re%erse motion for multicolor printing @ibbon

Impression roller

Thermal print hea# $ig. -,./Thermal sublimation (or D2T24 #ye #iffusion thermal transfer , a )rinciple of #ot formation (3ote4 The thermal system can be in #irect contact 1ith the ink #onor! e,g,! 1ith thermal print hea#s or 1ithout contact by using thermal laser light sources ; b )rinciple of multicolor printing 1ith cyan! magenta! an# yello1 (Tektroni$ $ig. 5.6%& Thermal transfer, a )rinciple of ink transfer in thermal transfer printing; b Thermal transfer for printing 1ith page/1i#e imaging unit; c ;$ample of transfer system #esign configuration <-,./&=

on the %uantity of in! diffused. (he process is controlled by the temperature and4or the duration of the heating signal. In contrast to thermal transfer #ith

to the pixel4dot, a different amount of in! "pigment4 dyes in the in! layer$ is transferred to the substrate. (he printing material must be treated #ith a special coating, as already illustrated in figure 5.'--, into #hich the in! penetrates by means of diffusion. .ith this method se eral gray alues can be produced per dot depending

ariable pixel si2e as explained abo e, here the diameter of the dot remains roughly the same although the color density changes. Ink Donor Transfer and Configuration. As illustrated in figures 5.'-4-b and 5.'-5, a complete section of the donor material is used for each color in the format, #hich is designed specifically for the e%uipment. After the in! has been transferred, the remaining surface of the donor sheet can no longer be used for printing, #hich means a relati ely poor utili2ation of donor sheets is achie ed. (he in! donors "fig. 5.'--$, in the form of sheet or #eb material, typically ha e a thic!ness of around 11 5 6im,


5 Printing Technologies without a Printing Plate !"P Technologies#

the in! layer itself has a thic!ness of around / 57m. In addition to this there is a protecti e layer of around - "#m. (he protecti e layer has the tas! of ensuring good heat transfer from the imaging system and simultaneously facilitating secure handling of the thin material. &urther information on the structure of the material is gi en in figure 5.'--. As explained abo e, the $eb material is configured in such a #ay that the indi idual colors are arranged behind one another on a #eb. As sho#n in figure 5.'-/ the colors are transferred onto the printing substrate successi ely in a printing unit. (hermal transfer for multicolor printing is also done #ith only the three colors cyan, magenta, and yello#, blac! is produced subse%uently by o erprinting. (he in! donors are also a ailable in the form of sheet material and are fed into the printing process using a special de ice "figs. 5.'-8 and 5.'-11$. (he substrate must be fed into the printing unit se eral times "multipass system$. As detailed later, there are also multicolor printing options that use the unit design principle in order to raise producti ity "fig. 5.'-9$. :omparison of (hermography Processes. In figure 5.'-' sections of printed images produced by thermal transfer and thermal sublimation are compared. It becomes apparent that in thermal transfer only t#o gray alues can be produced #hile in thermal sublimation "fig. 5.'-'b$ arious gray alues are possible per dot of the same si2e. "(he possibility of transferring arious dot si2es in thermal transfer is not sho#n, see fig. 5-'-8b.$ A sur ey of the current state of thermography is gi en by #ay of example in ;5.'-1< and ;5.'--<.

5.6.2 Thermal Transfer Printing 'ystems

(he follo#ing contains some obser ations on the technical e%uipment based on the illustrations of the principle of thermal transfer gi en in figures 5.'-1 and 5.'-4. In thermal transfer the printing ta!es place in a simple manner by transferring all the in! from the donor to the substrate. (he in! donor is in contact #ith the thermal print head and the substrate. &or multicolor printing #ithin a multipass system the colors are located behind one another on the in! donor "fig. 5.'-/$. &or a four-color printed image, four in! transfer processes are needed. (o raise producti ity,

$ig 5.6%6 )rinte# #ots pro#uce# by thermography, a Image section for multicolor printing 1ith thermal transfer (pro#uce# at :AA #pi an# screen ruling of 2B lines per cm/appro$, .A Ipi ; b Image section for magenta in multicolor printing using thermal sublimation (D2T2 ; resolution :AA #pi (screen ruling &2A lines per cm/appro$, :AA Ipi ; c Multifunction proofing machine (thermal transfer or thermal sub/ limation (D2T2 mo#e ; :AA #pi! format ":C (Duo)roof! "D+"

5.6 Thermography


e%uipment designed in unit design is also a ailable, as sho#n in figure 5.'-9. In the digital printing systems illustrated in figure 5.'-9 four separate thermal transfer printing units (singlepass system, unit design transfer each color separation onto the substrate "sheet material$. (he %uality of the multicolor image is determined by the %uality of the in!s, the register precision of the o erprinting, and the resolution. Page-#ide imaging systems "around /-1 mm$ are a ailable #ith resolutions of up to '11 dpi. (he system sho#n in figure 5.'-9 is e%uipped for printing #ith /11 dpi and a printing speed of -1 A4 pages per minute. In figure 5-'=9b an early ersion of the printing system is sho#n to clarify the principle. In figure 5.'-> another thermal transfer printing system is sho#n. It is designed for printing larger formats. (he printing is carried out using four printing stations #ith a resolution of 411 dpi on $eb material #ith an image #idth of up to 811 mm. &igure 5.'-8 sho#s a digital proofing system for the A/? format that produces a four-color image by thermal transfer "fig. 5.'-8:$ #ith a ariable pixel4dot si2e "fig. 5.'-8b$. (he color separations are successi ely

$ig. 5.6%( Thermal transfer printing system for large/format multicolor print/ ing; unit #esign! resolution BAA #pi! printing spee# & m/min! image 1i#th EAAmm (MS) :.! Matan

$ig. 5.6%7 Digital multicolor printing system in unit #esign base# on the 3I) technology of thermal transfer; resolution :AA #pi! printing spee# 2A "B pages per minute! ": format, a Mo#el '>Ma$ :2BA (",F, Dick/Datametrics ; b Mo#el G"?@" (Datametrics


5 Printing Technologies without a Printing Plate !"P Technologies#

transferred from a color ribbon onto an intermediate carrier at a resolution of /11 dpi. In a subse%uent process the image is then transferred from the intermediate carrier to the paper through the application of pressure and heat. (he system sho#n in figure 5.'-8 has a resolution of /11 dpi. )ots of arying si2e can be produced by special screening, #hich is carried out in steps in the paper transport direction that are smaller than the pixel distance related to the resolution "called 3@, variable resolution screening by &u*i, fig. %.&-gb .

A higher %uality of image reproduction is possible than #ith a t#o-dimensional resolution of /11 dpi. (he technical implementation is also based on special donor material ;5.'-/<. (he %uantity of in! transferred is fixed by controlling the duration of the heat impulses, in particular in con*unction #ith a thin in! layer of only 1./ 5*.m "thin-layer thermal transfer material, /(, fig. 5.'-8:$. (his de ice is an example of the thermal transfer ariant sho#n in figure 5.'-1 $ith variable dot'pi#el si(e.

$ig. 5.6%) +aterials use, Digital multicolor proofing system base# on the 3I) technology of thermal transfer +irst )roof ink ribbon 1ith %ariable #ot si*e; resolution :AA #pi! +inishe# proof )eel/off of the ":C format, +irst )roof interme#iate carrier | pK ( r ecei %er The image is transferre# in the laminator onto the printing paper, a )rocess steps for pro#ucing proofs; * ;$ample of %ariable #ot si*e; c Structure layers of #onor ribbon an# interme#iate carrier (recei%er sheet ! (+irst )roof! +uHi +ilm <-,./:=

Transfer onto the interme#iate carrier )ape r +inishe# B/color

on printing paper carrier material

Thermal hea#4 I- urn JA urn t Micro/scanning pitch4 & urn Dot/6 )i$el/ cell


Thermal imaging hea# )ee Donor ribbonK Ink l i off layer/L I )i$el pitch4 J- urn @ecei%er sheet 'ushion layer4 2A um @ecei%er layer4 2 um /K

Ink layer4 A,: urn

Facking layer

K Fase support 1eceiver sheet

0onor ri**on c

5.6 Thermography


&igure 5.'-11 sho#s a system for digital proofing #ith the highest resolution. (his system, as already sho#n in figure /.--9', images #ith a multibeam thermal laser system "around >/1 nm, --1 beams$ using thermal transfer color sheets on an intermediate carrier "fig. 5.'-ioa$. (his intermediate carrier "transfer base material$ is fixed onto a drum in the form of a sheet. (he system can transfer the indi idual color separations onto the intermediate carrier #ith a resolution of up to /-11 dpi. (he process is based on thermal transfer, #here the dots are transferred in a binary fashion. (he halftone dot is built up from se eral indi idual pixels "similar to the illustration in fig. 5.'-'a, only #ith much higher resolution$. In the system sho#n in figure 5.'-11 the heat is supplied #ithout contact by laser light "thermal, about >/1 nm$.

.ith this high resolution the screen structure of multicolor printing can be reproduced, as it is in the offset process for producing the print *ob #ith high run length. "(he system sho#n in fig. 5.'-ioc is a multi-function system and can also be used for imaging printing plates #ith the same data file.$ (o transfer the indi idual color separations to the image carrier, the operator inserts the corresponding donor sheets into the system one by one. (he donor sheets are fixed to the drum by a separate acuum system. (he color image on the intermediate carrier is transferred onto paper in a separate machine "laminator$ by the application of pressure and heat. In the system sho#n in figure 5.'-11 the image is first transferred to an intermediate carrier and then onto paper. (his substrate is specially conditioned to ensure

$ig. 5.6%12 Digital thermal transfer proofing system for multicolor halftone proofing; resolution up to :2AA #pi! format4 "&C (J "B pages ! 2A minutes per "& four/color print, a Gayer transfer by thermal transfer; b 2alftone structure 1ith four color separations; c )roofing system (Tren#Setter Spectrum4 multifunctional system for platemaking an# proofing! 2ei#elberg/'reo/lmation


5 Printing Technologies without a Printing Plate !"P Technologies#

stability and %uality. It is not possible to directly use the con entional production paper as it is used in a #ide range in offset printing. (here are in! donor structures that do allo# transfer onto this paper "as for example in the PolaProof process by Polaroid, see fig. /.--99$. Ao#e er, a special laminate is later imposed onto the printed image to stabili2e the transferred in!. &oils "colorless$ #ith arious surface structures are a ailable to create or imitate different gloss effects.

5.6.3 Thermal 'u*limation Printing 'ystems

(he principle of thermal sublimation #as gi en in figure 5.'-5. In thermal sublimation a large number of different gray values can be produced through controlled diffusion per dot of the in!ing materials "see also fig. 5.'-'b$. As in thermal transfer the imaging can be car-

ried out using arrays of indi idually controllable heat elements, but also through heat transfer #ith thermal laser light sources. Bince both thermal transfer and thermal sublimation are based on in! transfer using thermal energy, the systems can, in principle, be used multifunctionally for both processes #hen using suitable in!s. In the e%uipment example in figure 5.'-' it is possible to #or! #ith a system follo#ing either the thermal transfer or the thermal sublimation process. 3arious donor materials are combined #ith the same imaging system "thermal print head$ depending on the process. In! donors coated #ith #ax are used for thermal transfer. In thermal sublimation high %uality, multi-layer treated in! donors are employed, enabling production of different gray alues #ith the same dot si2e in the diffusion process. &igure 5.'-11 sho#s one of the first large-format thermal sublimation proofing systems. In this highly automated system the color separations are transferred to an

$ig. 5.6%11 Digital color proofing system base# on thermal sublimation, a +unction principle of the "ppro%al system; resolution &JAA #pi! ":Cformat; b )roofing system 1ith laminator ("ppro%al! Mo#ak ; c )roofing system for "2C format; resolu/ tion 2BAA #pi; color #ensity for each color application can be set at 22 le%els per color separation for %arious #ensities! &minutes per "2 )roof ("ppro%al N)B! Mo#ak )olychrome Draphics

)rinting #rum (co%ere# 1ith the interme#iate sheet Spent #onors Imaging hea#/ Image interme# iate proof 'utter




" O O 'ompact compressor (for suction


@ecei%ing hopper +ilm han#ling system (#onors an# interme#iate carrier

5.6 Thermography


intermediate carrier by thermal laser e#posure ia donor

sheets cut from #ebs. (he material for the intermediate carrier is also housed in the storage system for the donor reels of the process colors cyan, magenta, yello#, and blac!. Cne position is designated for a special color. (he intermediate carrier sheet is fixed onto a drum by acuum. (he color separations are transferred onto the intermediate carrier one by one in precise register ia the four donor sheets. (hese are held on the carrier drum by means of a separate suction system. (he printed image is transferred from the intermediate carrier onto normal paper by a laminator "in fig. 5.'- 11b, sho#n in the bac!ground next to the proofing system$. 0y controlling the energy supplied to the dots by laser, arious %uantities of in! can be diffused to produce dots of the same si2e #ith ariable color density "optical density, chroma$. (o be able to use this system to produce proofs for the offset process, an imaging mode is of ad antage that creates pixels #ith identical color densities "basically the same principle as #ith con entional offset printing processes$ and the halftone dots made up of se eral pixels of the same density. (he sys-

tem can be operated as a Dthermal transfer e%uipmentD for this purpose. (he system sho#n in figure 5.'-na has a resolution of 1>11 dpi, #ith #hich a good replication of the dot structure is possible. &urther de elopments ha e ta!en place on the principle of the system sho#n in figure 5.'-11. Bystems #ith an addressability4resolution of 4111 dpi are a ailable for the A-? format. .ith the system sho#n in figure 5.'-nc a four-color proof in A- format #ith a resolution of -411 dpi is produced in about 15 minutes. In principle, the system can also be operated as a thermal transfer or as a thermal sublimation system #ith the ad antage of thermal sublimation to generate se eral gray alues per pixel to reproduce continuoustone color images. (he appropriate in! donor sheets, intermediate carriers, and recei er paper sheets ha e to be used. (he laser imaging system must also be controlled at the appropriate energy le els "-5' le els4> bits is possible$. &igure 5.'-1- sho#s the layer structure of the donor sheet for thermal sublimation and the transfer to the intermediate carrier and later to the production paper

$ig. 5.6%12 Thermal sublimation 1ith interme#iate carrier, a Gayer structure of ink #onors! interme#i/ ate carrier! transfer process onto pro/ #uction paper; b )rocess steps for in#irect thermal subli/ mation (printing %ia interme#iate carrier onto substrate ; b&4 onto interme#iate carrier! b24 laminating onto pro#uction paper ("ppro%al! Mo#ak <-,./B=

Sublimation/ #iffusion

Gaser imaging (thermal

)olyester support 'olor #ye C I@ #ye C bin#er


0 f 000Spacerbea#s000
)eel off polymer #ye recei%er layer

aluminum renecu%e layer / )olyester support /


Separation area 6 Substrate 'olor separation Separation area Interme#iate carrier

Ink #onor Image of the /S8 color separationK Interme#iate carrier 1ith peel/ off polymer

)rint pro#uction paper )eeR off polymer #ye recei%er layer 'ushion layer "luminum reflecti%e layer )olyester support

5 Printing Technologies without a Printing Plate !"P Technologies#

;5.'-4<. In figure 5.'-1- small spacer beads are sho#n bet#een the in! donor layer and the surface of the carrier "E 1 5-un$. A sublimation process ta!es place in this gap bet#een the t#o layers and the in! subse%uently diffuses into the recei ing layer of the intermediate carrier. In the later transfer process onto the paper the recei ing layer "thic!ness of approximately - urn$ is also transferred onto the paper. Bmall-format Applications. (here are arious types of high-performance small-format thermal sublimation printers a ailable "A4 and A/ format$. F en #ith relati ely lo# resolution of /11 dpi a ery good color reproduction can be achie ed due to the ability to produce se eral gray alues "in general #ith > bits, that means -5' specified gray alues, #hich applies to electronic dri es and potentially results in a fine gradation in the printed image$. (his corresponds in many cases to photographic )uality "continuous tone$. A thermography printer is sho#n in figure 5.'-1/. .ith a resolution of /11 dpi an A/ proof is produced in three minutes using three colors "donor sheets are also a ailable for four colors, including blac!$. (his system is a ailable as a thermal transfer printer or as a thermal sublimation printer. In figure 5.'-14 a further example is sho#n. (his proofing system #as also sho#n in figure /.--91 in con*unction #ith a computer to press4direct imaging printing system. (hermal sublimation printers are used particularly often #ith digital photography. Aigh-performance e%uipment is a ailable for small formats of, for example, approximately 11 cm x 15 cm. (he e%uipment can produce high %uality reproductions of images "corresponding to the so-called Dphoto %ualityD$, a resolution of up to '11 dpi and for example 111 gray alues per pixel can meet the highest photographic standards #ith thermal sublimation. (hermal transfer and in particular thermal sublimation methods are already used for printing on plastic cards, such as credit cards, membership cards, and similar small-format documents #ith high %uality image reproduction. (he example in figure 5.'-15 sho#s clearly ho# membership cards are produced #ith in! donors on #eb material and a thermal imaging head. @esolutions of /11 dpi and more than one hundred gray alues per pixel are standard. +ultifunctional F%uipment. As mentioned abo e it is, in principle, possible to construct e%uipment that is

0peration panel

Thermal hea#

Ink #onor


)aper cassette

$ig. 5.6%13 Multicolor thermography printing systems, a ;Tuipment #iagram for thermal transfer printing system (Mitsubishi ;lectronic ; resolution :AA #pi! (2-. a##ressable gray %alues ! +ormat ":C! : minutes per ": print; b Thermal sublimation printer; :AA #pi! 2-. a##ressable gray %alues (S..AA/:A! Mitsubishi ;lectric

suitable for both thermal sublimation "dye diffusion thermal transfer$ and thermal transfer, using the appropriate in! donor material. 3arious %uantities of in! can be transferred in ariable dot si2e. :omparison #ith Cther NIP-Bystems. Admittedly, the price of the donor material re%uired for thermal sublimation and thermal transfer is a disad antage compared to toners used in electrophotographic non-im-

5.6 Thermography


$ig3 5.6%1& Digital proofing system base# on thermal sublimation (D2T2 pro/ cess ; resolution :AA #pi! 2-. gray %alues! ":C format! appro$, - minutes per ": proof (D') E-AA )roofer! Mo#ak )olychrome Draphics

$ig. 5.6%15 Digital thermal sublimation printer for plastic car#s (:AA #pi! appro$, t1o car#s per minute for printing 1ith four colors an# a##itional coating film; can also be a#Huste# for operation as ther/ mal transfer printer (T0)! +U0 ;lectronic Systems

pact systems and to in! used in in! *et systems. Ao#e er, the higher cost of in! is to some extent compensated by the fact that certain components, such as a deeloping unit for supplying toner in electrophotography, is no longer re%uired and that the thermal printing heads are of a simpler design than is the case #ith in! *et systems. Printing systems based on thermal transfer ha e a relati ely simple structure.
@eferences in -,. ;5.'-1< 0IB Btrategic )ecisions "Fd.$G (hermal Printing in the 1881s. C er ie# and Cutloo!, Nor#ell "+A$ 188-.

;5.'--< 0IB Btrategic )ecisions "Fd.$G (hermal Printing 1885 Ne# Products, Applications, and Cpportunities. Nor#ell "+A$ 1885. ;5.'-/< Na!amura, A. et al.G Aigh Huality Aalftone (hermal Imaging (echnology by D(hin-layer (hermal (ransferD "/($ (echnology Ised for &I@B( P@CC&J. NIP 1/G International :onference on )igital Printing (echnologies "Proceedings$, (he Bociety for Imaging Bcience and (echnology "IBK($, Bpringfield "3A$ 1889, pp. 9'8-99-;5.'-4< )e0oer, :G Laser (hermal +edia - (he Ne# Mraphic Arts Paradigm. Nournal of Imaging Bcience and (echnology, ol. 4-,188>, pp. '/-'8.