Types of Printers

Topics: Thermal printer, Inkjet printer, Dot matrix printer Pages: 7 (1413 words) Published: December 27, 2013

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A printer is an output device that produces text and graphics on paper.

Major types of printer Printers can be divided into two main groups, impact printer and non-impact printer.

Impact printer produces text and images when tiny wire pins on print head strike the ink ribbon by physically contacting the paper. 

E.g. Dot matrix printer, Daisy wheel printer.

Non-impact printer produces text and graphics on paper without actually striking the paper.

E.g. Laser printer, Inkjet printer, Thermal printer.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet Printers Inkjet printers are non-impact printers which print text and images by spraying tiny droplets of liquid ink onto paper. They are the most popular printers for home use. Currently, most inkjet printers use either thermal inkjet or piezoelectric inkjet technology. Thermal inkjet printer uses heating element to heat liquid ink to form vapor bubble, which forces the ink droplets onto the paper through the nozzle. Most inkjet manufacturers use this technology in consumer inkjet printers. The inkjet head design is also divided into two main groups: fixed-head and disposable head. Fixed-head is built into the printer and should last for the whole life of the printer. It produces more accurate output than cheap disposable head. The ink cartridges for fixed head printers are also cheaper as the print head does not need to be replaced. However, if the head is damaged, the entire printer has to be replaced. Disposable head is included in replacement ink cartridge. It is replaced each time an ink cartridge runs out of ink.

1. Low cost.
2. High quality of output, capable of printing fine and smooth details. 3. Capable of printing in vivid color, good for printing pictures. Disadvantages:
1. Print head is less durable, prone to clogging and damage. 2. Expensive replacement ink cartridges.
3. Not good for high volume printing.

Laser Printers

Laser printers are non-impact printers which can print text and images in high speed and high quality resolution, ranging from 600 to 1200 dpi. Unlike inkjet printers, laser printer use toner (black or colored powder) instead of liquid inks. A laser printer consists of these major components: drum cartridge, rotating mirror, toner cartridge and roller. The drum cartridge rotates as the paper is fed through. The mirror deflects laser beam across the surface of the drum. Laser beam creates charge that causes the toner to stick to the drum. As the drum rotates and presses on paper, toner is transferred from the drum to paper, creating images. Rollers then use heat and pressure to fuse toner to paper. Colored laser printers add colored toner in three additional passes.

1. High resolution.
2. High print speed.
3. No smearing.

1. More expensive than inkjet printers.
2. Except for high end machines, laser printers are less capable of printing vivid colors and high quality images such as photos. 3. The cost of toner replacement and drum replacement is high.

Thermal Printers

Thermal printers use two types of printing technologies: direct thermal and thermal transfer printing. Traditional thermal printers use direct thermal method by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper (thermal paper). The coating on the thermal paper turns black in the areas where it is heated, producing characters or images. Direct thermal printers have no ink, toner or ribbon. These printers are durable, easy to use and cost less to print than other printers. However, the thermal paper is sensitive to heat, light, water, and abrasion and the text and images may fade over time. In thermal transfer printing, a thermal print head applies heat to a heat-sensitive ribbon, which melts ink onto paper and a wide range of materials to form text and images. The printouts can be extremely durable and can be stored...
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