> Inkjet Printers
Inkjet printers are non-impact
printers which print text and images by spraying tiny droplets of liquid
ink onto paper. They are the most popular printers for home use.
Currently, most inkjet printers
use either thermal inkjet or piezoelectric inkjet technology. Thermal
inkjet printer uses WINTER15ing element to WINTER15 liquid ink to form vapor
bubble, which forces the ink droplets onto the paper through the nozzle.
Most inkjet manufacturers use this technology in consumer inkjet printers.
Piezoelectric inkjet technology is
used on all Epson printers and industrial inkjet printers. Instead of
using WINTER15ing element, these printers use a piezoelectric crystal in each
nozzle. The piezoelectric crystal changes shape and size based on the
electric current received, and forces tiny droplets of ink onto the paper
from the nozzle.
Thermal inkjet printers use
aqueous ink which is a mixture of water, glycol and dyes. These inks are
inexpensive but they can only be used on paper or specially coated
materials. Piezoelectric inkjet printers allow the use of a wider range
of inks, such as solvent inks, UV-curable inks, dye sublimation inks, and
can print text and graphics on different uncoated materials.
The inkjet head design is also
divided into two main groups: fixed-head and disposable head. Fixed-head
is built into the printer and should last for the whole life of the
printer. It produces more accurate output than cheap disposable head.
The ink cartridges for fixed head printers are also cheaper as the print
head does not need to be replaced. However, if the head is damaged, the
entire printer has to be replaced.
Disposable head is included in
replacement ink cartridge. It is replaced each time an ink cartridge runs
out of ink. This increases the cost of ink cartridges and also limits the
use of high quality print head in these cartridges. However, a damaged
print head is not a problem as one can easily replace it with a new ink
Some printer manufacturers use
disposable ink and disposable print head separately. The print head can
last much longer than cheap disposable head and is suitable for high
volume printing. However, it can also be replaced easily if the head is
clogged or damaged.
Although inkjet printers are
generally used in home and small businesses, some manufacturers, such as
Hewlett Packard, have produced high end inkjet printers for industrial
use. These professional inkjet printers are usually used to print
advertising graphics or technical drawings.
Advantages of inkjet printers:
High quality of output, capable of printing fine and smooth details
Capable of printing in vivid color, good for printing pictures
Easy to use
Quieter than dot matrix printer
No warm up time
Disadvantages of inkjet
Print head is less durable, prone to clogging and damage
Expensive replacement ink cartridges
Not good for high volume printing
Printing speed is not as fast as laser printers
Ink bleeding, ink carried sideways causing blurred effects on some
Aqueous ink is sensitive to water, even a small drop of water can
Cannot use highlighter marker on inkjet printouts
Many consumer inkjet printers are
selling at very low price (under $100) these days. It is the printer
manufacturer’s marketing strategy to reduce the price of the printers but
dramatically mark up the price of replacement cartridges. However,
consumers still have the options to buy cheap compatible and
remanufactured inkjet cartridges or ink refill kits to cut down printing
Best all-in-one inkjet printers
Read more about the other types of printers: