Let’s face it: The world of office equipment can be confusing. Most people have no idea how anything works until they have to use it. So when you need to print something, where do you find a laser printer, anyway? Do you even know what a laser printer is? But wait… What exactly is the difference between a dot matrix printer and an inkjet printer? How does a fax machine send and receive documents by phone? Where do document scanners fit into all this? Fortunately for you, we at COEND cannot stand idle in the face of such ignorance. In fact, we take great pleasure in breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-digest explanations that will change your life from now on. Keep reading to understand everything about how laser printers work!
How Does Laser Printer Work
- The printing process begins when an image is an input into the printer. This can be done by a person using the computer keyboard or by scanning a document from a scanner.
- The input is then sent to the printer’s processor, which converts it into a series of codes that it can understand and act upon.
- The processor then sends this information to the laser, which uses this data to create an image on the drum inside of its cartridge.
- The drum then rotates under two mirrors, which reflect light onto another mirror that shines onto paper through a lens attached to it.
- Light bounces off of paper and strikes a photo-sensitive receptor, where it produces an electrical signal that can be translated into pixels on your monitor or paper copy (depending on what you’re printing from).
- A toner cartridge containing black ink is then moved towards one side of the drum and heats up so that its ink becomes melted, causing it to adhere to the drum’s surface and creating text, graphics, or images for printing (the actual process is called “fusing”).
- Once fusing has occurred, heat from a second cartridge containing color ink melts its ink as well so that it too sticks to the drum’s surface (this process is called “melting”). It then moves away from the drum so as not to interfere with any further printing processes in progress (you’ll see why in just a moment).
- More light strikes the drum and is reflected onto the paper, creating a color image on your page (the paper is moved by the printer’s mechanism underneath the drum).
- A paper tray is then moved into place underneath the drum so that it can be fed through the printer and out of its slot to complete your print job.
- The toner cartridges are then returned to their original positions, ready for another print job to begin.
- You bask in your newfound laser printing knowledge!
How Do Laser Printers Print?
- A laser beam is used to make an image on a rotating drum.
- The drum is then moved under a mirror that reflects light onto paper.
- Light from the laser printer reflects off of the paper and strikes a receptor, which creates an electrical signal that can be translated into pixels on your monitor or paper copy (depending on what you’re printing from).
- A second mirror moves the light back onto the drum, which has been coated with ink by this time. The ink sticks to the surface of the drum, creating text, graphics, or images for printing (the actual process is called “fusing”).
- Another cartridge containing color ink melts its ink as well so that it too sticks to the drum’s surface (this process is called “melting”). It then moves away from the drum so as not to interfere with any further printing processes in progress (you’ll see why in just a moment).
- More light strikes the drum and is reflected onto paper, creating a color image on your page (the paper is moved by the printer’s mechanism underneath the drum).
- The toner cartridges are then returned to their original positions, ready for another print job to begin!
- You bask in your newfound laser printing knowledge!
Why Are Laser Printers So Popular?
- They can produce high-quality text and graphics with a lot of speed.
- They can produce color images with a lot of speed.
- They are pretty quiet most of the time (although the noise level does vary from model to model).
- They are more energy efficient than older models, and newer models use less energy than ever before (some even have a sleep mode that allows them to suspend power consumption when they aren’t in use).
- They don’t require complicated maintenance and are generally very reliable (but they do tend to be a bit more expensive than their inkjet counterparts).
- You can print right from your computer without having to worry about losing ink or toner (some newer models even allow you to print directly from your computer via Wi-Fi or USB).
- Many different types of paper stock can be used in laser printers, including recycled paper, envelopes, labels, card stock, transparencies, and even some plastics!
- They tend to be more compact than their inkjet counterparts (although this varies from model to model).
- They have a higher duty cycle (how much they can handle before they need to cool down) than most inkjets.
- They are available in more sizes and shapes than ever before, including very large and very small printers that can be used for things like signage and digital billboards!
Difference Between Laser Printing And Inkjet Printing
- Laser printers use toner, while inkjet printers use ink.
- Laser printers are faster than inkjet printers, but they tend to be more expensive (although there are some cheaper models available).
- Laser printers tend to be more compact than most inkjet printers (again, this varies from model to model).
- The quality of laser printing tends to be higher than the quality of inkjet printing (although some newer high-end inkjets can produce very high-quality images as well).
- Inkjets have been around longer than laser printers, and their technology has improved a lot over the years (currently there are some very good models available).
- Inkjets are generally more versatile than laser printers since they can produce color graphics and text (although some laser printers can do this as well).
- Inkjets tend to be a bit more expensive than laser printers (again, this varies from model to model).
- Inkjets tend to be noisier than most laser printers (although this is becoming less of an issue with each new generation of inkjet models).
- Inkjet cartridges are consumable items, while toner cartridges in laser printers generally last the life of the printer itself (but you do have to replace them periodically).
- Both inkjets and laser printers require maintenance from time to time, but in general they are much easier to maintain than older types of printing technology (such as dot-matrix or daisy wheel models).
Laser printers have been a mainstay in the office for decades. If you are looking for a printer for personal or business use, a laser printer is a great option. Laser printers are fast and efficient and are great for printing on thicker paper, such as reports that will be bound together.
Q: What is a laser printer?
A: A laser printer is a computer printer that uses lasers to produce text and images on paper.
Q: What is the difference between a laser printer and an inkjet printer?
A: An inkjet printer uses liquid ink to print text and images on paper, while a laser printer uses toner (dry powder) to print text and images on paper. Inkjets tend to be lower cost than lasers, but lasers tend to be faster, more efficient, more reliable, and more durable.
Q: How much faster are laser printers than inkjet printers?
A: In general, lasers are faster than inks because they don’t have as many moving parts (lasers use mirrors instead of cartridges filled with liquid). The fastest laser printers can print about 32 pages per minute. Inkjets typically print about 8 pages per minute.
Q: Are there any disadvantages of using a laser printer?
A: The biggest disadvantage of using a laser printer is that the toner cartridges can be very expensive over time. Laser printers also tend to make more noise than their inkjet counterparts (although this varies from model to model).