Printers are output devices that produces a hard copy of document stored in electronic form (soft copy). There are various types of printers available like thermal printers laser printers, Bubble-jet printers and impact printers
Impact printers: Impact printers are the oldest printing technologies, which make use of inked ribbon to imprint on paper. There are very noisy compared to other printers. Common impact printers:
- Dot Matrix: Dot matrix printer consist of covers, platen knob, sheet guide assembly and print head.
- Daisy-wheel printers which works on the same principle as ball-head typewriter. The printer rotates the disk to print character until the desired letter is facing the paper. The disadvantages of this printer is that they make noise when printing. The advantage is that they are not expensive and produces letter-quality text..
Advantages of Dot Matri is that they print multi-part stationary, lower printing costs compared to laser and inkjet, these can withstand dusty or unclean environment, suitable for traction fed paper, requires negligible operator training. These printers cost less. The main disadvantages is that they are noisy, quality of print is not as good as inkjet and laser, they cannot be used for producing good quality images and they are slow compared with laser printers.
Solid-Ink Printers: They use ink in a waxy solid form than liquid which avoids problems like spillage. They print one line at a time and are best suitable for graphic companies. They print is of good quality, generate less waste and ease of use. The disadvantages include more odour of wax and power consumptions. Solid ink printers are less sensitive to paper fibers and thickness which allows printing on a number of diverse surfaces including handmade and recycled paper.
Thermal Printers: Thermal printers are of two kinds. Direct thermal uses a heated print head to burn dots into surface of special heat sensitive paper. It function the same way as old fax machines. The disadvantage is that the paper used darkens early thus making it hard to read. We have Epos, Epson and Zkteco thermal printers. On the other hand, thermal wax-transfer printer use heat sensitive ribbon instead of heat sensitive paper. The printhead melts the wax-based ink. The disadvantage with thermal transfer printers are that the cooling and the heating of the print head determines their speed.
Inkjet Printers: Inkjet printers places an extremely small droplet of ink onto paper to create an image. The have a storage for aqueous ink, an ink nozzle and pump to accomplish this. The dots are very small with diverse colors combined to create a phot-quality images. They are essentially by shooting onto paper. Both lase printers and inkjet are non-impact in the sense that they lack the capacity that touch the paper physically in order to create an image. Howbeit, unlike laser printers, inkjet uses aqueous ink that colors the paper.
Parts of a typical inkjet include: edge guide, sheet feeder, paper support, feeder guard, document cover, output tray, output tray extension, scanner unit and on button
Print head: The core part of inkjet is the print head that contains sequence of nozzles that spray dots into paper. There are two basic mechanism that generate spraying ink. The first mechanism is reliant on thermal bubble. Current flows through nozzles and heat up resistor. The heat then evaporates the ink and generate the bubble. As the bubble expands, ink is sprayed from the nozzle then the current subsides and bubble pops. The older mechanism reduces rely on the inkject printer from their nozzles.
Ink Cartridge: They come in diverse combinations such as separate color and black cartridges or even a cartridge for each ink color.
Print head Motor: Moves the print jead back and forth across the paper.
Belt: used to attach the print head to the stepper motor.
Stabilizer bar: Uses a stabilizer to ensure the movement is controlled and precise.
Paper feed assembly
- Paper tray/feeder
- Paper feed stepper motor
Advantages and Disadvantages
The high quality of print and low cost that are offered by the inkjet is suitable for daily tasks and thus can be used in offices and homes. They have no warm up time and the cost per page is low with little noise. The ink cartridges are however very expensive. So, if you are in Nairobi and thinking of purchasing an inexpensive inkjet printer, you may visit almiriatechstores.co.ke. Inkjet can print on diverse paper as they work on shooting printer ink on the paper.
Laser printers: The laser printer are the most popular and fastest of printers in the market today since they produce extremely high quality images. The main principle of laser printer is static electricity since they use electro photography or electrophotostatic to form image on paper. The principle involved is the science of atoms since opposite atoms are attracted to one another. The basic part of a laser printer consist of fuser assembly, transfer corona, primary corona, erase lamp, photosensitive drum and toner cartridges
The drum is the main component and oftentimes located near the middle. It has highly photoconductive material that can be discharged or charged by light. The drum interface directly with the paper and place the toner at the correct locations to produce images. The functionality of the drum is that it is given an initial charge to begin with. As the drum rotates, the laser shines upon specific areas of the drum. The areas of the drum get exposed to the laser and the charge changes. For instance, the drum is given strong negative electrostatic charges which makes the exposed areas to change from negative to a positive charge. The laser generates an electrostatic image in this way.
Thus, the printer exposes the rotating drum, the particles of the toner are attracted to the positive areas of the drum. In essense, an electromagnetic image is developed on the drum surface that is transferred to the paper later. The paper is then given much stronger positive charge and is placed below the drum. Since there are stronger positive charge on the paper, it takes the toner off so that the pattern is translated on the paper. Then the paper goes through the fuser.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Laser printers produces much better quality black text than inkjets and they turn out more pages per minute at a lower cost. They are faster and can handle massive volumes. They are not messy as inkjet since there is no ink spillage as the ink is created from powder and they can printer on any type of paper. However, they are relatively expensive.
Best Printers on the market
For a comparative analysis of these printers, please visit our website almiriatechstore.co.ke
Choosing between an Inkjet or Laser Printers
When it comes to making a purchase, the needs of a customer are best served by laser or inkjet printer. The difference between image, color and speed between the two used to be the stark, howbeit, the technological weakness of each has caught up with the strength of the other. The question now is not about choosing between sharpness and color of the inkjet versus the ruggedness and speed of the laser, but in selecting a printer with higher pages per month with lower cartridge placement. A lot of your choices come down to the imagey that you work with. For print proofs for in house review, low material cost of laser one may appeal especially when the printer is being shared. In the same vein, most of the recommended photo printers are inkjet. As you get closer to photo quality, there is a likelihood that you will buy an inkjet.
Individual Ink tanks: Individual inkjet printer should have individual ink tank for each color. There is a higher change of clogging when you the one cartridge has all the three colors, however, the chances of clor bleeding is higher. If you need high quality images in your design, choosing a photo inkjet with diverse colors will improve the sharpness and color of your images.
Inexpensive toner and ink cartridges: Cartridges replacement is a major expense that many people do not consider when purchasing a new printer. Understanding the number of pages you prospect from each cartridge and price. Laser toners produce more pages but quite inefficient.
Pigmented and Dye based inks for inkjets: Dye based ink are less expensive and more vibrant in color than the pigmented ink. However the dye fade quicker than pigmented inks. The difference between dye based and pigmented inks means they are not interchangeable.
Size: Unless your print exhibit sized media, chance are you will not need a 44 inch format for an average presentation. Not every proof is A2 size. While laser printers have a higher quality, they often handle 8.5 inch width. Individual needs will vary depending on the size and affordability.Paper: The printer must accept double sized, heavy and light pages easily which allows you to run your drafts in a cost effective light stock. Front feed printer don’t accept heavier grade paper stock and therefore not ideal. Many laser printer are limited to the weight of the paper
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