The printers utilizing inkjet technology were first introduced in the late 1980s and since then have gainedmuch popularity...
manufacturers. The thermal bubble technology used by manufacturers such as Canon and Hewlett Packard iscommonly referred t...
not depressed, the inkjet printer lights up the "Out of Paper" LED and sends an alert to the computer. Oncethe paper is fe...
Simon Rogers is a marketing associate for PriceLess-InkJet Cartridges Co., a major reseller of inkjetcartridges, laser ton...
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How Does Your Printer Work


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HP LaserJet 1020 - The HP 1020 LaserJet smoothly process documents containing text, images, and graphics with its speedy 234MHz processor and ample 2 MB of memory. Jobs will print out at a quick 15 pages per minute, and thanks to HP's Instant-on technology, the first page emerges in less than 10 seconds from a cold start. The included FastRes 1,200 dpi effective print quality and HP's Resolution Enhancement technology (REt) ensures professional looking print jobs every time.

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How Does Your Printer Work

  1. 1. The printers utilizing inkjet technology were first introduced in the late 1980s and since then have gainedmuch popularity while growing in performance and dropping in price. They are the most common type ofcomputer printers for the general consumer due to their low cost, high quality of output, capability ofprinting in vivid color, and ease of use. Each printer which works on inkjet technology places extremelysmall droplets of ink onto paper to create a text or an image. In the personal and small business computermarket, inkjet printers currently predominate. Inkjets are usually inexpensive, quiet, reasonably fast, andmany models can produce high quality output. Like most modern technologies, the present-day inkjet isbuilt on the progress made by many earlier versions. Among many contributors, Epson, Hewlett-Packardand Canon can claim a substantial share of credit for the development of the modern inkjet technology.In the worldwide consumer market, four manufacturers account for the majority of inkjet printer sales:Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Epson, and Lexmark. The typical inkjet printer usually includes inkjet printheadassembly, paper feed assembly, power supply, control circuitry and interface ports. The inkjet printheadassembly contains several components. One of them is the printhead which is the core of the inkjet printerand contains a series of nozzles that are used to spray drops of ink. Another printhead component is theinkjet cartridge or inkjet tank. Depending on the manufacturer and model of the printer, ink cartridges comein various combinations, such as separate black and color cartridges, color and black in a single cartridge oreven a cartridge for each ink color. The cartridges of some inkjet printers include the print head itself. Theprinthead along with the inkjet cartridge/s are moved back and forth across the paper by device called astepper motor using a special belt.Some printers have an additional stepper motor to park the print head assembly when the printer is not in usewhich means that the print head assembly is restricted from accidentally moving. The print head assemblyuses a stabilizer bar to ensure that movement is precise and controlled. One of the paper feed assemblycomponents is the paper tray or/and paper feeder. Most inkjet printers have a tray that the paper is loadedinto. The feeder typically snaps open at an angle on the back of the printer, allowing the paper to be placedin it. Feeders generally do not hold as much paper as a traditional paper tray. A set of rollers pull the paperin from the tray or feeder and advance the paper when the print head assembly is ready for another pass afterwhich another step motor powers the rollers to move the paper in the exact increment needed to ensure acontinuous image is printed.While earlier printers often had an external transformer, most printers sold today use a standard powersupply that is incorporated into the printer itself. A small but sophisticated amount of circuitry is built intothe printer to control all the mechanical aspects of operation, as well as decode the information sent to theprinter from the computer. It is connected to the computer by a cable through the interface port. Theinterface port can be either parallel port, USB port or SCSI port. The parallel port is still used by manyprinters, but most newer printers use the USB port. A few printers connect using a serial port or smallcomputer system interface (SCSI) port. Different types of inkjet printers exist based on the method they useto deliver the droplets of ink. There are three main inkjet technologies currently used by printer
  2. 2. manufacturers. The thermal bubble technology used by manufacturers such as Canon and Hewlett Packard iscommonly referred to as bubble jet. In a thermal inkjet printer, tiny resistors create heat, and this heatvaporizes ink to create a bubble.As the bubble expands, some of the ink is pushed out of a nozzle onto the paper. When the bubble collapses,a vacuum is created. This pulls more ink into the print head from the cartridge. A typical bubble jet printhead has 300 or 600 tiny nozzles, and all of them can fire a droplet simultaneously. Thermal inkjettechnology is used almost exclusively in the consumer inkjet printer market. The ink used is usually water-based, pigment-based or dye-based but the print head is produced usually at less cost than other ink jettechnologies. Contrary to the bubble jet technology, the piezoelectric technology, patented by Epson, usespiezo crystals. A crystal is located at the back of the ink reservoir of each nozzle. The crystal receives a tinyelectric charge that causes it to vibrate. When the crystal vibrates inward, it forces a tiny amount of ink outof the nozzle. When it vibrates out, it pulls some more ink into the reservoir to replace the ink sprayed out.The continuous inkjet method is used commercially for marking and coding of products and packages. Thefirst patent on the idea is from 1867, by William Thomson. The first commercial model was introduced in1951 by Siemens. In continuous inkjet technology, a high-pressure pump directs liquid ink from a reservoirthrough a microscopic nozzle, creating a continuous stream of ink droplets. A piezoelectric crystal causesthe stream of liquid to break into droplets at regular intervals. The ink droplets are subjected to anelectrostatic field created by a charging electrode as they form. The field is varied according to the degree ofdrop deflection desired. This results in a controlled, variable electrostatic charge on each droplet. Chargeddroplets are separated by one or more uncharged "guard droplets" to minimize electrostatic repulsionbetween neighboring droplets. The charged droplets are then directed (deflected) to the receptor material tobe printed by electrostatic deflection plates, or are allowed to continue on undeflected to a collection gutterfor reuse.Continuous inkjet is one of the oldest inkjet technologies in use and is fairly mature. One of its advantages isthe very high velocity (~50 m/s) of the ink droplets, which allows the ink drops to be thrown a long distanceto the target. Another advantage is freedom from nozzle clogging as the jet is always in use When printing isstarted, the software application sends the data to be printed to the printer driver which translates the datainto a format that the printer can understand and checks to see that the printer is online and available to print.The data is sent by the driver from the computer to the printer via the connection interface. The printerreceives the data from the computer. It stores a certain amount of data in a buffer. The buffer can range from512 KB random access memory (RAM) to 16 MB RAM, depending on the printer model. Buffers are usefulbecause they allow the computer to finish with the printing process quickly, instead of having to wait for theactual page to print. If the inkjet printer has been idle for a period of time, it will normally go through a shortcleaning cycle to make sure that the print heads are clean. Once the cleaning cycle is complete, the inkjetprinter is ready to begin printing. The control circuitry activates the paper feed stepper motor.This engages the rollers, which feed a sheet of paper from the paper tray / feeder into the printer. A smalltrigger mechanism in the tray / feeder is depressed when there is paper in the tray or feeder. If the trigger is
  3. 3. not depressed, the inkjet printer lights up the "Out of Paper" LED and sends an alert to the computer. Oncethe paper is fed into the inkjet printer and positioned at the start of the page, the print head stepper motoruses the belt to move the print head assembly across the page. The motor pauses for the merest fraction of asecond each time that the print head sprays dots of ink on the page and then moves a tiny bit before stoppingagain. This stepping happens so fast that it seems like a continuous motion. Multiple dots are made at eachstop. It sprays the CMYK (cyan / magenta / yellow / black) colors in precise amounts to make any othercolor imaginable. At the end of each complete pass, the paper feed stepper motor advances the paper afraction of an inch. Depending on the inkjet printer model, the print head is reset to the beginning side of thepage, or, in most cases, simply reverses direction and begins to move back across the page as it prints. Thisprocess continues until the page is printed. The time it takes to print a page can vary widely from printer toprinter. It will also vary based on the complexity of the page and size of any images on the page. Once theprinting is complete, the print heads are parked. The paper feed stepper motor spins the rollers to finishpushing the completed page into the output tray.Most inkjet printers today use inkjet inks that are very fast-drying, so that you can immediately pick up thesheet without smudging it. Compared to earlier consumer-oriented printers, inkjet printers have a number ofadvantages. They are quieter in operation than impact dot matrix printers or daisywheel printers. They canprint finer, smoother details through higher printhead resolution, and many inkjet printers withphotorealistic-quality color printing are widely available. In comparison to more expensive technologies likethermal wax, dye sublimations, and laser printers, the inkjet printers have the advantage of practically nowarm-up time and lower cost per page (except when compared to laser printers).The disadvantages of the inkjet printers include flimsy print heads (prone to clogging) and expensive inkjetcartridges. This typically leads value-minded consumers to consider laser printers for medium-to-highvolume printer applications. Other disadvantages include ink bleeding, where ink is carried sideways awayfrom the desired location by the capillary effect; the result is a muddy appearance on some types of paper.Most inkjet printer manufacturers also sell special clay-treated paper designed to reduce bleeding. Becausethe ink used in most inkjet cartridges and ink tanks is water-soluble, care must be taken with inkjet-printeddocuments to avoid even the smallest drop of water, which can cause severe "blurring" or "running."Besides the well known small inkjet printers for home and office, there is a market for professional inkjetprinters; some being for page-width format printing, and most being for wide format printing. "Page-widthformat" means that the print width ranges from about 8.5" to 37". "Wide format" means that these are inkjetprinters ranging in print width from 24" up to 15. The application of the page-width inkjet printers is forprinting high-volume business communications that have a lesser need for flashy layout and color.Particularly with the addition of variable data technologies, the page-width inkjet printers are important inbilling, tagging, and individualized catalogs and newspapers. The application of most of the wide formatinkjet printers is for printing advertising graphics; a minor application is printing of designs by architects orengineers.
  4. 4. Simon Rogers is a marketing associate for PriceLess-InkJet Cartridges Co., a major reseller of inkjetcartridges, laser toner cartridge and other printing supplies. For more information on printer cartridges,printing technologies, alternative printer supplies and other related issues please visit PriceLess-InkJetCartridges Co or email us at Mail RoomArticle Source: HP LaserJet 1020 Online