The type of printer that is best for you depends greatly on how you plan to use it. Do you print documents in mass quantities? More than 3 pages a day, or more than 20 pages a week? If so, you it would be worth switching to a laser printer.
Laser printers also produce high quality text documents, although if you are printing primarily color photos you may want to stick with a good inkjet printer.
Laser printers have a higher cost initially, and use toner cartridges that are priced higher than most inkjet, however you will notice the toner cartridges have a much higher yield, which will save you time and money in the long run.
In the Recycler’s article Cost effectiveness of laser versus inkjet discussed David Connett had a good point about duplexing as well, “Some laser printers automatically print on both sides”, which is another time and money saver that you will find in laser printers over inkjet.
Laser toner cartridges can cost around $91, on average, however the laser toner cartridge is able to print 1,500 to 3,500 pages, whereas a standard inkjet cartridge may only costs $23, but only produces approximately 200 pages. Per print you are looking at a significant savings long term with a laser printer.
Should you buy a Laser Printer? If you are printing documents in high quantity, the answer is a resounding yes.
No matter what type of document you are printing, whether if it’s a letter, spreadsheet, PDF or a photo, and no matter what type of printer you are using there are some similarities in how your printer works. The software is responsible for sending the data to the printer; this software is known as the driver. The driver translates the data from the application into a format that the printer understands, the driver also checks to see if the printer is connected, turned on, and functioning properly. There are two major types of printers, the laser printer and the inkjet printer.
How a Laser Printer works:
For the laser printer there is a basic principle which is static electricity. A revolving drum which is known as a photoreceptor which is made out of conductive materials that sends light photons, as it revolves it receives an electrical charge from a wire that is called a charge corona, while it spins a tiny laser beam shines across it surface to discharge at various points to create the image on the drum.
Once the image is set, the printer puts a positively charged toner on the drum. The toner then will only stick to the negatively charged areas.
After the toner is adhered to the image on the drum, the paper is moved into position. The paper encounters the transfer of the corona wire and receives a negative charge. The negatively charged paper has a stronger pull than the static electric charged toner that is holding to the drum, the paper pulls the toner powder from the drum transferring the image to the paper once the image is transferred from the drum; a detac corona wire zaps the paper to remove it from the drum.
Finally the paper is ready for the fuser. The fuser permanently bonds the image into the paper. The paper passes threw the fusers which are just heated rollers. As the paper passes threw the fuser heats up the toner powder and bonds it with the paper, then the fusers sends the paper out of the printer.
How an Inkjet Printer works:
For the inkjet printer, it uses miniscule droplets of ink to create the image. The ink comes from an ink cartridge that is placed in the print head assembly, inside the print head assembly there is actual print head which has several nozzles that spray drops of ink. An Inkjet printer also contain a print head stepper motor which a mechanism that moves the print head across the paper.
There are two types of inkjet printers:
Bubble Jet Printer: The resistors create heat, which the heat vaporizes the ink into tiny little bubbles and the bubble is pushed out onto the paper. The bubble jet print head can contain 600 nozzles and they all can fire a drop of ink simultaneously.
Piezoelectric printer: Piezo crystal is found at the back of the ink reservoir which vibrates when it receives an electric charge. The vibration from the crystal will force the ink out of the nozzle.
This is a quick and simplistic view on how the most common printers work. Do you have questions on your printer? Just let us know!
Have you heard the buzz on 3D Printing? Maybe you read about the evolution of printing devices lately. More and more 3D printers are coming out on the market, and are ingenious for "printing", or manufacturing, a wide variety of products. With 3D printing you can mass produce custom or personalized products without incurring a significant price increase. We are talking about significantly lowering the cost and risk of manufacturing, transforming many sectors of the manufacturing industry.
Many more sectors are able to utilize 3D printing as we progress; new materials like stainless steel, glass, and in the last month, silver are added to the Shapeways line, an online marketplace offering personalized production via 3D printers spun out of of Royal Philips Electronics. Looking for more fun? FigurePrints, a Seattle company, makes 3D replicas of Xbox Live avatars and World of Warcraft characters. Larger manufacturers are also coming on board, including Clark’s, the British shoe brand, which this month began using Z Corp’s 3D printers for prototyping. More than 20% of the output from 3D printers is actually final products, according to Terry Wohlers, who runs a research firm specializing in the field, and this number is sure to grow substantially. 3D printing is also used for quite remarkable production, like medical implants that are more likely to stay put than conventional ones.
One day I am sure you will own something manufactured by a 3D printer, whether it is a custom made shoe, a replica of your avatar, or a femur implant.