There are many different types of printers on the market. Some have certain qualities for performing specific tasks. Although many use similar printing technologies, small differences can be significant in price.
We are going to take a tour of the main ones, seeing characteristics and functions. So, you can know which is ideal for your business.
Different types of printers
Laser printers use toner powder ink, which, when heated through electrical charges and fixes the print on the sheet. They are ideal for high volume work because the more copies are made, the lower the cost per printed sheet. For this reason, they are widely used in companies and offices.
As a characteristic, the types of laser printers are usually fast and with excellent print quality.
They are similar to the previous ones. They have been gaining space in market segments that need color printing. Both in the graphic industry and medical examinations (resonances, tomography, and X-rays), we can find them.
Ideal for low print volume, they are usually cheaper and used for home use printing. It uses ink cartridges, with a smaller printing capacity than the toners. These cartridges release the ink to form the image, making drying and printing time longer.
They can be used in any environment. Its technology is usually laser or inkjet. What identifies this type of printers are the extra resources they can provide. Digital scanning or storage, photocopying, or faxing are some of the most used resources.
Despite being slow and limited, and using old technology, in some industries, they can still take advantage of it. This happens, for example, in some commercial establishments that need to print several papers using carbon paper. They use ink-dipped rolls of ribbon, dot-matrix technology similar to old typewriters, which can pressure-tax the print.
They are used for large format printing. Thanks to these characteristics and the quality of the photographic print, we can find them in various sectors—for example, graphics and photography, engineering, or architecture studios.
They use high-quality ink cartridges and can print on thicker surfaces like canvas.
Sublimation printers are used to make prints on plastic materials, cardboard, paper, or fabrics. They can be seen mostly in graphic companies, who work with merchandising or clothes.
They use sublimation ink cartridges, which print the ink through the heat on the sublimation paper and then transfer it onto the final support with the help of a heat press.
With the advance of sublimation, an ink reservoir system called a continuous system emerged, which is installed by third parties on inkjet printers. Manufacturers do not authorize this system for damaging the life of the printers and cancel the warranty of the equipment if this happens.
Silkscreen printing is one of the oldest printing systems, before the types of printers we are seeing. Fabrics, papers, woods, plastics, metals, and glass can be printed with this system. The screen-printing machine carries out the entire process to print several merchandising objects—for example, clothing, caps, mugs, pens, etc.
Thermal printers are the types of printers that are used to print purchase tickets or tickets to a show mostly. They use white or yellow sheets that fade over time and are known as thermal paper. In some cases, they can print up to two colors using two different temperatures.
The printing is done with the thermal head. When heated against the thermal paper, it darkens in the burned areas.
To make prints with solvent ink, there are types of printers with the technology that allows it. They are commonly used in graphic visual communication and design companies. They are ideal for printing banners and vinyl.
They use solvent-based ink, more resistant for external use. The technology is similar to that of plotters with water-based ink. But in this case, the pigments have adhered through a resin. It fixes the material and protects it from damage.
The ink is usually more expensive and has some level of toxicity. Therefore, depending on the laws that regulate the place, an environmental license may be required to operate it.
3D printers are capable of creating simple and complex objects. Of varied sizes, even houses have been printed. These types of printers are used primarily in medicine, motorsport, engineering, and the military. They are getting closer to home mass use.
The most used material for printing is plastics. Although some models have laser fusion that allows even metals to be used as input.
The object to be printed is raised in 3D modeling software and built through the creation of overlapping layers.
Similar to inkjet printers, only they use solid wax blocks instead of ink cartridges. They have the same utility as inkjet printers. Although they are still expensive to purchase, its advantages are in terms of reducing waste, ease of changing wax blocks, and lower printing cost. In contrast, the print has less durability.
Now that you know different types of printers, which one would you like to try? Which one caught your attention the most? Are there any that you did not know?