SciTech: Inkjet Printers

What’s one of the most common devices you use in your daily life? If you’re a student or a teacher, that surely the answer to that would be this: printers! From printing homework sheets to making test papers, printers are handy for all sorts of jobs!

What are inkjet printers like?

After being introduced in the 1980s, inkjet printers are growing more popular by the day! An inkjet printer is a printer that places tiny drops of ink onto paper to create an image. These drops are extremely small, and they are even smaller than the diameter of a strand of your hair! A dot’s diameter could range from 50 to 60 microns. The dots have to be aligned very precisely and accurately in order to create the perfect image. When different colored dots are combined, colored images that resemble real photos are created.

An inkjet printer is what you would call a non-impact type printer. In other words, no part of the printer head actually touches the paper to produce the image. Inkjet printer simply sprays the droplets of ink directly onto the paper!

Parts of an Inkjet Printer

Image result for inkjet printer parts

Print head

Firstly, the print head consists of “jets”, or tiny nozzles that spray the ink onto the paper. Then there are the ink cartridges which usually consists of 1 cartridge for black ink and 1 cartridge for the primary pigments: cyan, magenta, and yellow. The print head stepper motor is the part that moves the print head across the paper when printing. Additionally, a belt is used to attach the print head to the stepper motor. Finally, there is the stabilizer bar which is used to control the quality and the precision of the printer head’s movements.

Here is an illustrative video that shows what the inside of an ink cartridge is like:


Paper Feed

The paper feed part of a printer has a paper tray, which is where you insert the paper into, a roller which helps to pull the paper from the tray to prepare for printing, a stepper motor to move paper around to create a continuous image, and the control circuit. There is also a flexible ribbon cable that sends the print instructions from inside the printer’s control circuit to the moving printer head.

Advantages of Using Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers are mostly inexpensive and affordable, so nowadays, many homes and offices have them. Inkjet printers are usually light in weight and have a small to medium size, which allows them to fit a typical desk area. High-end inkjet printers can print in quality that is similar to that of professional photo printing!

Disadvantages of Using Inkjet Printers

Unfortunately, everything that has an advantage comes with a disadvantage as well. Printed images that come out of an inkjet printer need some time to dry, especially if it is printed in black or a dark color. Inkjet printers also require heavy and non-porous paper, which basically means that the paper has a thick and extremely smooth surface (even at a molecular level!). This is so that the ink won’t bleed through the paper. Hence, it may cost more to buy such types of paper. Finally, inkjet printers tend to operate slower than its rivals, like the laser printer, so printing in large quantities may not be the best option for inkjet printers.

That’s it for today, and I hope you found this topic interesting! You can comment any suggestions you have for me down below.


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