ARCHIVED: What are the most common types of printers?

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Note: For help solving common printer problems, see the ARCHIVED: printer troubleshooting guide.

  • Ink jet and bubble jet The print head in these types of printers sprays drops of liquid ink onto the page. Ink jet and bubble jet printers have good image quality and are fast; however, printouts have a tendency to smear if they get wet.
  • Laser These work in a manner similar to a photocopier. A roller is charged with electricity, and a laser is used to remove the charge from portions of the roller. Powdered ink (toner) sticks to the parts of the roller that were hit by the laser and is transferred from the roller to the paper. Then the ink is baked into the paper using a heater. Laser printers produce very high quality output and are very fast.
  • Dot-matrix (impact) In a dot-matrix printer, a print head moves across the page. Characters or graphics are created by using a cluster of pins. These pins press an inked ribbon to the paper to create a dot. Each character or image is made out of a series of dots. These printers are usually cheap and durable, so they are still used by many businesses as invoice printers. They tend to be slow and noisy, and the output quality is the lowest of all types of printers.
  • Dye diffusion thermal transfer Also known as thermal dye sublimation, dye sub, or thermal dye transfer, this is a process used by color printers. A colored wax film or crayon is moved across the page. The pigment is heated and deposited on the page. The paper frequently goes through the printer four times, one time for each color.

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:21:31.