The conventional approach to designing an imagesetter is to initially specify the subsystem design parameters
based on experience with similar existing systems. A breadboard model is then built and tested by extensively
inspecting photocopy output samples. Following the results of these image quality performance tests, the system
specification parameters are fine-tuned and a new breadboard model has to be built. Sometimes an additional
breadboard iteration is required for tolerancing.
We have developed an image fidelity simulation software package which, given the design parameters, simulates
the photocopy output to a high degree of agreement with the output of actual imagesetters. Consequently we adopted
a new approach to imagesetter system design in which we investigate the design parameter trade-offs and tolerances
before the first breadboard model is built, thereby significantly reducing development time and cost.
In this paper we define and discuss the image fidelity parameters, as would be measured on photocopy output.
We further describe the image simulation software functionality and analyze the dependence of the image fidelity
parameters on each of the system design parameters. We present a comparison between measured and simulated
results and discuss the design and tolerancing procedure using the simulation approach.