What is Printer?
A printer is a hardware output device that is used to generate hard copy and print any document. A document can be of any type such as a text file, image, or the combination of both. It accepts input command by users on a computer or on other devices to print the documents. For example, if you have to submit a project report at your college, you need to create a soft copy of your report and print it with the help of the printer.
Printers are one of the common computer peripheral devices that can be classified into two categories that are 2D and 3D printers. The 2D printers are used to print text and graphics on a paper, and 3D printers are used to create three dimensional physical objects.
Types of printer
Although there are different types of printers, nowadays, two types of printers are commonly used, which are inkjet and laser printers. A list of all the various types of printers is given below:
It is widely used by home and business computer users that prints characters by spraying the ink using magnetic plates on the paper. It contains a paper feed assembly, ink cartridge, print head, stabilizer bar, and belt.
It stores the ink in cartridges, and uses separate cartridge to print several types of color documents. These colors are a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black color. These types of printers have the ability to create high-quality pictures with the help of vivid colors. Furthermore, the inkjet printers are more affordable and easier to use as compared to other printers.
Advantages of Inkjet Printers:
Disadvantages of Inkjet Printer:
The laser printer is one of the common personal computer printers. It was introduced in 1971, and after that it was developed at Xerox PARC by Gary Starkweather. It uses the laser or non-impact photocopier technology to print the text and images on the paper. Whenever it gets input to print any document, a laser beam draws the document on the selenium-coated drum with the help of electric charges.
When the document is printed, the excess toner is collected, and an electric charge is removed from the drum. Most of the laser printers are capable of printing only in monochrome. The monochrome laser printer is around ten times cheaper than a color laser printer.
There are many differences between a laser printer and inkjet printer, such as:
Advantages of a Laser printer:
Disadvantages of a Laser printer:
One of the best enhancements in the history of printing technology is the 3d printer, which was developed by Chuck Hull in 1984. It produces 3D objects and items by using quality resin. It uses materials like plastics, polymers, metal alloys, or even food ingredients.
Application of 3D printers
There are many applications where 3D printers are used, such as archaeology, aerospace engineering, information systems, dentistry, and biotechnology. For example, it might be used to reconstruct ancient artifacts of archaeology physically, which have been destroyed with time.
How 3D printer works?
Generally, the design of an object starts in a computer-aided design (CAD) software system where its prototype is created. Then, the computer-aided design system sends this prototype to the printer in STL (stereolithography) file format. The printer then starts the process of recreating the object layer-by-layer after reading the prototype in cross-sections. The below image is a blueprint of 3d printer that is known as FlashForge.
Advantages of 3D printer:
Disadvantages of 3D printer:
The LED printer is mostly like a laser printer. It uses the drum, ink, and fuser system to print the black or colored documents. Initially, Casio and function developed the LED printers by focusing light throughout the whole length of the drum. These types of printers are non-impact, but instead of using a laser in the printhead they use a light-emitting diode. These printers were invented by the manufacturer OKI in 1989.
There is a difference between laser printers and LED printers; the LED printers use a strip of LEDs to create an ink-attracting static charge on the printing drum while laser printers use a laser and mirror. Although LED printers are not more popular as compared to inkjet and laser printer, they are gently gaining popularity as they provide users the unique benefits.
How LED printer works?
LED printers have a photoreceptive drum-like laser printer, which contain surface that is extremely charged with static electricity with the help of high voltage wire. In a laser printer, to draw an image or text from a circuit board, laser uses the data, which is sent to it that needs to be printed into a mirror and moves on its axis for transferring the beam on to the drum.
Whereas, in the LED printer, the negative static charge is produced by LEDs that may be located above or below the drum.The light that comes from the LED strikes the positively charged drum that erases the charge from the drum and produces a negative electrostatic charge. This charge attracts the positively charged toner particles, which stick to the negatively charged surface created by the LEDs.
When the paper enters the printer’s mechanism, it gets positively charged with the help of high voltage wire and draw the toner from the negatively charged parts where it has stuck.Then, the paper moves between two heated rollers, and before it comes out from the printer, it carries the toner on the page.
Advantages of the LED printer:
Solid Ink Printers
A laser class solid ink printer is designed to save space and money on packaging. It uses a unique type of ink technology that is melted into a liquid before being used. As inkjet printers stream the ink directly on the paper, but solid ink printers are different as they stream the ink on the drum. Firstly, transferring the ink to the drum than to the printer is a better way to get a good color combination as a drum can be controlled appropriately than the moving paper. Xerox acquired the color printer division of Tektronix, Inc., in 2000. The solid ink printer was introduced in the market by Tektronix, Inc., with its crayonlike cartridges.
Advantages of solid ink printer:
Disadvantages of a solid ink printer:
Dot Matrix Printers
The dot matrix printers are also known as a pin printer that was released by IBM in 1957. Although, in 1970, Centronics created the first dot-matrix impact printer. It strikes an ink ribbon using print heads that place thousands of little dots to form images and text. Nowadays, as compared to laser and inkjet printers, it is less used, as its printing speed slow and generates lower quality images. However, dot matrix printers are still in use in some sectors like package delivery companies and auto part stores.
Advantages of Dot matrix printer:
Disadvantages of Dot matrix printer:
Multifunction printer is a hardware device that can perform various tasks such as printing, scanning, faxing, and copying. It is also called the All-in-One printer. It is suitable for budget-minded businesses that want to reduce costs, consolidate assets, and improve workflow. Although it is necessary to connect the printer to a computer with the help of a wire or wireless connection, sometimes it can be controlled from their control panel like standalone copiers. Furthermore, no need for more than one unit as it can easily complete multiple tasks within an office or home simultaneously.
Advantages of Multifunction Printers:
Disadvantages of Multifunction Printers:
The thermal printer is invented by Jack Kilby that is also known as an electrothermal printer, thermal transfer printer, or thermal wax-transfer printer. It utilizes heated pins in order to produce the image on paper. These types of printers are widely used in banking, airline, grocery, entertainment, retail, healthcare industries, fax, and calculator machines.These printers are low-cost and print fast, and do not use ink like other printers. They primarily depend on the thermal paper to produce the images.
This technology is useful for an organization as it is reliable as well as cost-effective. Employees can work continuously without getting interrupted because they do not need to change the cartridges or ribbons in this printer.
Advantages of Thermal printer:
Disadvantages of Thermal printer:
A plotter is a hardware device or a printer, which was first invented by Remington-Rand in 1953. It is developed to print vector graphics and uses a pencil, pen, marker, or other writing tools for drawing continuous lines instead of using ink or tonner. It is widely used to print a hard copy of schematics and other similar applications.
There are several types of plotter given in the below list:
Advantages of Plotter:
Disadvantages of Plotter:
Printer interfaces refer to the various ways to connect and communicate the printer to a computer. Nowadays, the common connection types used are Wi-Fi (Wireless) and USB cable (wired). A complete list of cables is given below, which are used to connect a computer with a printer:
USB: It stands for a universal serial bus that was first introduced in January 1996. It allows computers to communicate with peripheral and other devices. There is a wide range of USB-connected devices such as a keyboard, mouse, pendrive, and flash drive. It may also be used to send power to certain devices like tablets, smartphones, including charging their batteries.
USB cable is available with different types of length from 3 feet to 16 feet. Its maximum length is 16 feet 5 inches (5 meters) that is used for high-speed devices, and 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters) used for low-speed devices.
Cat 5: It is a network cable,which includes four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by an RJ-45 connector. It is also known as LAN cable or Ethernet cable. It is used for both business and home networks to offer data transmission speeds of upto 100 MB per second. Its maximum length is 100 meters. If you exceed this length without any network device, can cause network issues, including data transmission speed breakdown and data packet loss.
MPP-1150: It was used with the Atari computer serial interface. It is connected to a 36-pin connector of a printer.
Firewire: It is a digital bus bandwidth of 400-800 Mbps and more, developed by Apple in 1995. It supports plug and play (PnP) devices and can handle up to 63 units on the same bus. It is also called IEEE-1394. The users who are more familiar with USB can think about FireWire that is similar to USB. Like USB, FireWire has various devices such as cameras and removable drives.
SCSI: It stands for Small Computer System Interface, was first completed in 1982. It is mainly used for disk drives and supporting eight devices, or sixteen devices with Wide SCSI. Once it is installed on the computer, it allows several SCSI devices to be installed.
Serial port: It is an asynchronous port on the computer that can transmit one bit at a time. It provides users the option to connect a serial device with a computer. For example, a modem might be connected to COM1, and a mouse might connect to COM2. It can be used with a mouse, modem, printer, and network. Furthermore, it is a part of the motherboard and located on the backside of the computer.
Parallel port: It is widely used to connect printers to the computer. It was originally designed by Centronics company and later developed by Epson. It is a 25-pin computer interface and located on the back of BM compatible computers.
Wi-Fi: It is a wireless networking technology, stands for wireless fidelity. It uses the IEEE 802.11 standard to provide wireless internet and network connections.Wi-Fi is more popular as it provides a wireless connection where to provide a connection via a cable is much difficult because it requires installation and deployment on every computer.
History of various printers
How to buy a printer?
Whenever you are buying a printer, it may be a difficult task for you to select a perfect printer. Below is important information about printer technology that can help you to buy a printer.
While purchasing a printer, the first consideration is technology, which is used by the printer for printing. Nowadays, laser and inkjet printers are more popular printer technologies.
Laser printers are better solution for businesses or network as they provide high-quality resolution, efficiency, and speed.
Inkjet printers are affordable and beneficial for home businesses and home users.
It is one of the main points to keep in mind while purchasing a printer. It is measured on the basis of dots per inch (DPI) printed by a printer.
Before buying a printer, speed is also an important point that must be considered. The speed of a printer means how many pages can be printed by a printer in a minute. It can be rated between 4 and 10+ pages per minute (PPM), which is based on different factors like if a print is a color or black and white, full-page, or text only. You may prefer to buy a laser printer as it has a faster speed of page per minute as compared to the Inkjet printer.
Cost per page
The cost per page is related to the ongoing price of the printer after purchasing it. When you are looking at cost per page, you may have to pay less for a laser printer as compared to an ink printer.
Ink and toner
Whenever you are buying a printer, the toner or ink is an important factor. Read the given below characteristics of the ink that is used with the printer.