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In computing, a printer is a peripheral which makes a persistent

human-readable representation of graphics or text on paper or similar
physical media.[1] The world's first computer printer was a 19th-century
mechanically driven apparatus invented by Charles Babbage for
his difference engine.[2] The first commercial printers generally used
mechanisms from electric typewriters and Teletype machines The
demand for higher speed led to the development of new systems
specifically for computer use. In the 1980s were daisy wheel systems
similar to typewriters, line printers that produced similar output but at
much higher speed, and dot matrix systems that could mix text and
graphics but produced relatively low-quality output. The plotter was
used for those requiring high quality line art like blueprints.
The introduction of the low-cost laser printer in 1984 with the first HP
LaserJet, and the addition of PostScript in next year's Apple
LaserWriter, set off a revolution in printing known as desktop
publishing. Laser printers using PostScript mixed text and graphics,
like dot-matrix printers, but at quality levels formerly available only
from commercial typesetting systems. By 1990, most simple printing
tasks like fliers and brochures were now created on personal
computers and then laser printed; expensive offset printing systems
were being dumped as scrap. The HP Deskjet of 1988 offered the
same advantages as laser printer in terms of flexibility, but produced
somewhat lower quality output (depending on the paper) from much
less expensive mechanisms. Inkjet systems rapidly displaced dot
matrix and daisy wheel printers from the market. By the 2000s high-
quality printers of this sort had fallen under the $100 price point and
became commonplace.
The rapid update of internet email through the 1990s and into the
2000s has largely displaced the need for printing as a means of
moving documents, and a wide variety of reliable storage systems
means that a "physical backup" is of little benefit today. Even the
desire for printed output for "offline reading" while on mass transit or
aircraft has been displaced by e-book readers and tablet computers.
Today, traditional printers are being used more for special purposes,
like printing photographs or artwork, and are no longer a must-have

3Daisy wheel printers  printers  2.1Modern print technology  2.1.4Dye-sublimation printers  2. Contents [hide]  1Types of printers  2Technology o ink printers  2.2.1. 3D printing became an area of intense interest. Starting around 2010.2Teletypewriter-derived printers  2.2Obsolete and special-purpose printing technologies  printers  printers  2.5Thermal printers o 2.1Impact printers  2.5Line printers . allowing the creation of physical objects with the same sort of effort as an early laser printer required to produce a brochure.2Liquid inkjet printers  2.1. These devices are in their earliest stages of development and have not yet become commonplace.

and may be connected to only a single computer.9Wireless printers  4See also  5References  6External links Types of printers[edit] Personal printers are primarily designed to support individual users.1Printer control languages o 3.2Printing speed o 3. However.2Liquid ink electrostatic printers  2.2.3Other printers  3Attributes o 3.3Plotters o 2.2. These printers are designed for low-volume. colour and photo printers o 3. they are generally slow devices ranging from 6 to around 25 pages per minute (ppm).7Business model o 3.4Monochrome. requiring minimal setup time to produce a hard copy of a given document.6Cost per page o 3.  2. .3Printing mode o 3.5Page yield o 3. and the cost per page is relatively high. short-turnaround print jobs.8Printer steganography o 3.

It is called a printer by analogy with an inkjet printer which produces a two-dimensional document by a similar process of depositing a layer of ink on paper. A second aspect of printer technology that is often forgotten is resistance to alteration: liquid ink. Some printer technologies don't work with certain types of physical media. becomes absorbed by the paper fibers. high- speed printing. such as from an inkjet head or fabric ribbon. Networked or shared printers are "designed for high-volume. wood. cement. Technology[edit] The choice of print technology has a great effect on the cost of the printer and cost of operation. but which is not connected with a physical computer printer. Cheques can be printed with liquid ink or on special cheque paper with toner anchorage so that alterations may be detected.However. metals. Some printers can print documents stored on memory cards or from digital cameras and scanners. so documents printed with liquid ink are more difficult to alter than documents printed with toner or solid inks. A 3D printer is a device for making a three-dimensional object from a 3D model or other electronic data source through additive processes in which successive layers of material ( including plastics. this is offset by the on-demand convenience. and other materials) are laid down under computer control. such as carbon paper or transparencies. which do not penetrate below the paper surface. [3] The Xerox 9700 could achieve 120 ppm. food. A virtual printer is a piece of computer software whose user interface and API resembles that of a printer driver. [4] The machine-readable lower portion of a cheque must be printed . for example to create a PDF or to transmit to another system or user. A virtual printer can be used to create a file which is an image of the data which would be printed. for archival purposes or as input to another program. speed." They are usually shared by many users on a network and can print at speeds of 45 to around 100 ppm. and noise. quality and permanence of documents.

Liquid inkjet printers[edit] Liquid ink cartridge from Hewlett-Packard HP 845C inkjet printer Inkjet printers operate by propelling variably sized droplets of liquid ink onto almost any sized page. The printhead sprays the ink on a rotating. are a type of thermal transfer printer. Another toner-based printer is the LED printer which uses an array of LEDs instead of a laser to cause toner adhesion to the print drum. laser printers employ a xerographic printing process but differ from analog photocopiers in that the image is produced by the direct scanning of a laser beam across the printer's photoreceptor. They use solid sticks of CMYK-coloured ink. Modern print technology[edit] The following printing technologies are routinely found in modern printers: Toner-based printers[edit] Main article: Laser printer A laser printer rapidly produces high quality text and graphics. The paper then passes over the print . They are the most common type of computer printer used by consumers. oil coated drum. also known as phase-change printers. As with digital photocopiers and multifunction printers (MFPs). Banks and other clearing houses employ automation equipment that relies on the magnetic flux from these specially printed characters to function properly. which are melted and fed into a piezo crystal operated print-head. Solid ink printers[edit] Main article: Solid ink Solid ink printers. similar in consistency to candle wax.using MICR toner or ink.

Also. or transfixed. Solid ink printers can produce excellent results. Previously. and are less well-suited for text. In addition. Xerox. but Tek sold the printing business to Xerox in 2001.drum. at which time the image is immediately transferred. Drawbacks of the technology include high energy consumption and long warm-up times from a cold state. as the wax tends to repel inks from pens. and are excellent at printing on transparencies and other non-porous media. Solid ink printers are most commonly used as colour office printers. Acquisition and operating costs are similar to laser printers. solid ink printers were manufactured by Tektronix. and are difficult to feed through automatic document feeders. While once the province of high-end print shops. including colour photography. this type of printer is only available from one manufacturer. Thermal printers[edit] . Dye-sub printers are intended primarily for high-quality colour applications. manufactured as part of their Xerox Phaser office printer line. dye-sublimation printers are now increasingly used as dedicated consumer photo printers. Dye-sublimation printers[edit] Main article: Dye-sublimation printer A disassembled dye sublimation cartridge. The process is usually to lay one colour at a time using a ribbon that has colour panels. paper or canvas. A dye-sublimation printer (or dye-sub printer) is a printer which employs a printing process that uses heat to transfer dye to a medium such as a plastic card. to the page. some users complain that the resulting prints are difficult to write on. but these traits have been significantly reduced in later models.

Colours can be achieved with special papers and different temperatures and heating rates for different colours. All but the dot matrix printer rely on the use of fully formed characters. The impact printer uses a print head that either hits the surface of the ink ribbon.Receipt printer printing a Twitter timeline Thermal printers work by selectively heating regions of special heat- sensitive paper. hits the back of the paper. gasoline dispensers and some older inexpensive fax machines. Impact printers[edit] Impact printers rely on a forcible impact to transfer ink to the media. letterforms that represent each of the characters that the printer was capable of printing. pressing the ink ribbon against the paper (similar to the action of a typewriter). a popular model of dot-matrix printer in use for many years The following technologies are either obsolete. or.[5] Obsolete and special-purpose printing technologies[edit] Epson MX-80. ATMs. One example is Zink (a portmanteau of "zero ink"). most of these printers were limited to monochrome. these coloured sheets are not required in black-and-white output. printing in a single typeface at one time. at one time. or limited to special applications though most were. less commonly. although bolding and underlining of text could be . in widespread use. or sometimes two-color. In addition. Monochrome thermal printers are used in cash registers. pressing the paper against the ink ribbon (the IBM 1403 for example).

by a mechanism and the selected letter form was struck by a hammer. that is. In either case. Some models used a "typebox" that was positioned. The Friden Flexowriter and IBM Selectric-based printers were the most-common examples.5 characters per second. daisywheel printers. The Flexowriter printed with a conventional typebar mechanism while the Selectric used IBM's well-known "golf ball" printing mechanism. the letter form then struck a ribbon which was pressed against the paper. printing one character at a time. in the X- and Y-axes. Others used a type cylinder in a similar way as the . Teletypewriter-derived printers[edit] Main article: Teleprinter The common teleprinter could easily be interfaced to the computer and became very popular except for those computers manufactured by IBM. An overview of impact printing[6] contains a detailed description of many of the technologies used. The maximum speed of the Selectric printer (the faster of the two) was 15. Typewriter-derived printers[edit] typeball print element from IBM Selectric-type printer Main articles: Friden Flexowriter and IBM Selectric typewriter Several different computer printers were simply computer-controllable versions of existing electric typewriters. printing two or more impressions either in the same character position or slightly offset.done by "overstriking". dot matrix printers and line printers. teletypewriter-derived printers. Impact printers varieties include typewriter-derived printers. Dot matrix printers remain in common use in businesses where multi-part forms are printed.

[7] The advantage of dot matrix over other impact printers is that they can produce graphical images in . By rotating the daisy wheel. each petal containing a letter form at its tip. A hammer strikes a wheel with petals. Dot-matrix printers[edit] Main article: Dot matrix printer sample output from 9-pin dot matrix printer (one character expanded to show detail) The term dot matrix printer is used for impact printers that use a matrix of small pins to transfer ink to the page. Daisy wheel printers[edit] "daisy wheel" print element Main article: Daisy wheel printer Daisy wheel printers operate in much the same fashion as a typewriter. In either case. The letter form strikes a ribbon of ink. These printers were also referred to as letter- quality printers because they could produce text which was as clear and crisp as a typewriter. depositing the ink on the page and thus printing a character. The fastest letter-quality printers printed at 30 characters per second. the "daisy wheel". the letter form then struck a ribbon to print the letterform. Most teleprinters operated at ten characters per second although a few achieved 15 CPS. different characters are selected for printing.Selectric typewriters used their type ball.

This is achieved through the use of a four-colour ribbon mounted on a mechanism (provided in an upgrade kit that replaces the standard black ribbon mechanism after installation) that raises and lowers the ribbons as needed. There was a period during the early home computer era when a range of printers were manufactured under many brands such as the Commodore VIC-1525 using the Seikosha Uni-Hammer system. The angle of the striker would align the dots vertically even though the head had moved one dot spacing in the time. Once the price of inkjet printers dropped to the point where they were competitive with dot matrix printers. Some dot matrix printers. referring to the configuration of the print head. dot matrix printers began to fall out of favour for general use. a single horizontal series of pixels across the page). In the 1970s & 80s. This used a single solenoid with an oblique striker that would be actuated 7 times for each column of 7 vertical pixels while the head was moving at a constant speed. such as for home and small office use. [8][9] 24-pin print heads were able to print at a higher quality and started to offer additional type styles and were marketed as Near Letter Quality by some vendors. Colour graphics are generally printed in four passes at standard resolution. Such printers normally had either 9 or 24 pins on the print head (early 7 pin printers also existed. Dot-matrix printers can be broadly divided into two major classes:  Ballistic wire printers  Stored energy printers Dot matrix printers can either be character-based or line-based (that is. however the text is generally of poorer quality than impact printers that use letterforms (type). thus slowing . The vertical dot position was controlled by a synchronised longitudinally ribbed platen behind the paper that rotated rapidly with a rib moving vertically seven dot spacings in the time it took to print one pixel column. such as the NEC P6300. dot matrix printers were one of the more common types of printers used for general use. which did not print descenders).addition to text. can be upgraded to print in colour.

where a horizontally mounted rotating drum carries the entire character set of . Impact printing.down printing considerably. very high volume applications like invoice printing. Dot-matrix printers were being superseded even as receipt printers after the end of the twentieth century. Print drum from drum printer  Drum printers. As a result. allows the pressure of the print head to be applied to a stack of two or more forms to print multi-part documents such as sales invoices and credit card receipts using continuous stationery with carbonless copy paper. Four principal designs exist. Line printers[edit] Main article: Line printer Line printers print an entire line of text at a time. or up to 8-16 times as long at high resolution mode. or in demanding. low-quality applications such as cash registers. unlike laser printing. colour graphics can take up to four times longer to print than standard monochrome graphics. Dot matrix printers are still commonly used in low-cost.