There’s no doubt; printers make our day-to-day activities much more manageable. They boost our productivity by enabling us to obtain all sorts of digital information in output forms such as graphics, text, 3D, and much more.
It can be an overwhelming task to go through all the different types of printers available on the market today because the world of printers consists of features, style, speed, sizes, and much more.
Generally, each printer design meets the specific needs of each user. So, there is always something for everyone. For example, let’s say you need a small printer for your home use; an inkjet printer can be your perfect match. And you may choose to go for a Laser printer if you need a faster and reliable printer for office use.
The Different Types Of Printers
All said, let’s go through different printers to help you decide which one fits your needs.
Laser printers apply laser beam technology to transfer electrical charge to a drum. The drum then moves the electrically charged ink powder known as a toner on paper, resulting in a print. These printers use toners instead of ink cartridges.
Laser printers are lightning-fast because they can apply ink or toner on a large section of the paper at a time, making them popular in offices and for commercial use, especially for those who want to churn out a lot of copies faster. The Laser printers produce excellent high-quality prints, especially for black and white. There are two types of Laser printer models in the market; monochrome and color. The Laser printers have a life-span of about five years. However, they tend to be so expensive, but they are cost-efficient in terms of performance.
Inkjet Printer is known to be one of the best printers in terms of features, speed, and different functions such as office and home use. These printers use a technology known as Inkjet printing, whereby droplets of ink are sprayed on paper to produce a print. Because of their low upfront cost, Inkjet printers tend to be very popular. Unlike Laser printers which use toners, Inkjet printers use ink cartridges. Most of these printers have a print resolution of 300 dpi; thus, they produce high-quality and detailed prints consisting of a wide range of colors.
On the downside, Inkjet printers are not recommended for high volume printing because they have a high running cost compared to Laser printers. Inkjet printers’ print speed is moderate, ranging from 15 ppm to 20 ppm.
Dot Matrix Printer
These are old-fashioned printers. Also known as impact printers, Dot-matrix printers use ribbon and hammers (print-heads) to print images and text by impact. Nowadays, they are not so popular, but they will save a ton of money on operation costs if you can find one.
Dot Matrix printers can produce multi prints simultaneously, so if you’re looking for multi-parts form prints, then these are the printers you should consider. They often have 9 to 24 pinheads, thus producing 100 to 600 characters per second. They don’t produce the highest resolution, though.
In terms of speed, they tend to be slower compared to laser and Inkjet printers. Lastly, the life-span of a Dot matrix printer is not long, so you may be required to replace them more often compared to the other printer types.
All-in-One or Multifunction printer
These printers are popular for small businesses and home offices, mainly because they combine pieces of individual technology into one unit. In return, it saves you room space, and electricity consumption as it replaces like 3 or 4 machines. It also saves you a lot of money because you would have had to purchase the replaced machines separately and maintain each at its own cost.
Most Multifunction printers feature scanning technology and digital copying, fax machine capability, and in-built wireless connectivity. Some of these Multifunction printers also include other tasks like punching holes, folding, stapling, etc.
However, the more features and functions these kinds of printers have, the more expensive they are and the larger they become.
The 3D printer is a new computer printer set in the market whereby a user can print any design of a computing object into a 3D model. The 3D printer is gaining popularity fast due to its ability to produce excellent creative solid object prints.
3D printers work by ejecting molten plastic material through a thin nozzle hole; computer control and 3D printer algorithms handle all printing and materials. Making a 3D model tends to be relatively slower because layers of molten plastic have to dry and take shape.
These printers produce high-quality and detailed images. Although, acquiring the printer is expensive.
Plotter printer prints documents or materials with excellent precision. The kind of precision the likes of printers such as Inkjet or Laser printers won’t match.
They use a mechanism to move pencils, markers, and draw lines on a page. There are two types. Flatbed plotter printers where the paper is stationary and the pen draws left to right. And there’s a drum plotter printer where the paper also moves left to right as the pen draws.
They’re ideal for engineering, architecture, and construction professionals to increase productivity in technical documents, blueprints, CAD drawings and plans, charts, vector designs, and GIS large-format configuration with a perfect axis.
Just as its name suggests, a Line printer is a kind of printer that prints an entire single line on a piece of paper. It’s a cost-efficient and easy-to-use printer. Line printers have excellent features such as high-speed alphanumeric characters, printing about 300 to 3000 lines per minute in a single line.
The only disadvantage is that you cannot print images and desired texts like other traditional printers.
By now, we hope you have a better idea of the different types of printers available out there in the market. From the list of printers above, you can make an informed decision on which printer perfectly suits your needs. You may never get to use some of the advanced models such as the line printers and plotters, but it’s good to know that they exist.
Fascinated by science from an early age, Jason has always been drawn to learning and experiencing technology. From learning about light through his passion for photography, building out PCs, and printing 3D models life couldn’t be better. When he isn’t writing about all things 3D printing related he enjoys reading, watch soccer and enjoy with his family.