The Clickinks Blog | How Does a Printer Work

How Does a Printer Work

14. July 2011 10:36 by Danielle in   //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

We use our desktop printers every day, but do you really know what happens to deliver an image from your computer to that piece of paper? No matter what type of document you are printing, whether it is a letter, spreadsheet, PDF or a photo, and no matter what type of printer you are using, whether it’s a Xerox Work Center or HP Photo Smart printer, there are some similarities in how your printer works. There is software responsible for sending the data to the printer; this software is known as the printer 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 main types of printers, the laser printer and the inkjet printer.

How a Laser Printer works:

The laser printers functions are based on static electricity. A revolving drum unit receives an electrical charge from a wire that is called a charge corona, while it spins a tiny laser beam shining across its surface to discharge at various points to create the image on the drum.

Once the image is set, the printer puts positively charged toner powder 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 through the fusers, which are just heated rollers.  As the paper passes through, 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 minuscule 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 an actual print head which has several nozzles that spray drops of ink.

There are two types of inkjet printers:

Bubble Jet Printer:  The resistors create heat, which 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 crystals are 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 about your printer?  Just let us know!

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