Getting the right tool for the right job is very important and saving costs is also important, but we need to also look at all the different types of printer technologies that are used. We can obviously go into all the different printer technologies like dot-matrix printing, thermal printing or even dye-sublimation ink, but then this article would become a series on printing history and the evolution of printing since the year 200AD with the introduction of woodblock printing.

Rather, we would like to focus more on the major printing technologies that are more prevalent in the business and home industries today. These include: Ink-Jet technology, Laser technology, LED Technology and Gel Jet Technology.

Ink-Jet Technology.

Ink-Jet printers are the most commonly used type of printer, and range from small inexpensive consumer models to expensive professional machines using liquid colored ink to produce a printed image on to the page. They are preferred for their ability to print finer, smoother details through higher printer resolution and many consumer inkjets with photographic-quality printing are widely available. Most common Printer makes are: Epson, HP, Brother and Canon

Laser Technology.

Laser printing is an electrostatic digital printing process. It produces high-quality text and graphics (and moderate-quality photographs) by repeatedly passing a laser beam back and forth over a negatively charged cylinder called a “drum” to define a deferentially-charged image. The drum then selectively collects electrically charged powdered ink (toner), and transfers the image to paper, which is then heated in order to permanently fuse the text and/or imagery. Most common Printer makes are: HP, Lexmark, Brother and Canon

LED Technology.

An LED printer is a type of computer printer similar to laser printer. LED technology uses a light-emitting diode array as a light source in the print-head instead of the laser used in laser printers and, more generally, in the xerography process. The LED bar pulse-flashes across the entire page width and creates the image on the print drum or belt as it moves past.

LED’s are more efficient and reliable than conventional laser printers, since they have fewer moving parts, allowing for less mechanical wear. Depending on design, LED printers can have faster rates of print than some laser-based designs, and are generally cheaper to manufacture. In contrast to LED printers, laser printers require combinations of rotating mirrors and lenses that must remain in alignment throughout their use. The LED print-head has no moving parts. Most common Printer makes are Kodak and Oki

Gel-jet Technology

This technology is a rather exciting new frontier in printing technology as it is a hybrid between both laser and inkjet printers. This has been developed by Ricoh. This technology attempts to offer maximum print speed and printing quality at a more affordable cost.

GelJet printers use liquid gel which produces more affordable waterproof and sunlight-resistant prints thanks to long-yield cartridges. These enable the printers to not only offer uninterrupted printing, they continue to print even when cartridges are empty (a small reservoir at the print heads ensure greater longevity).

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Ink-Jet Technology: Click here
Laser Technology: Click here
LED Technology: Click here
Gel-Jet Technology: Click here