First let us look at the difference between a sheet-fed printer and roll-fed printer. As their names make obvious, the sheet fed unit can only accept sheets of paper being fed into its paper bin. Meanwhile, the roll-fed print has a whole continuous roll of paper loaded into it during printing. At the end of roll-fed printing, cut-sized sheets are created. In both kinds of printers, there are varying sizes and speeds depending on the model of the printer and of course, the price. The most common roll-fed printer that you will find in the office is the fax machine.
On the other hand, the most common sheet printer that you will see is your own desktop computer printer. They come in many sizes and features. They can also use different kinds of ink. This is one of the greatest breakthroughs in the area of personal computing because now people can easily transfer their work from the computer, be they documents, spreadsheets or images, onto a plain piece of paper. While you are so used to loading plain bond paper to your printer and fax machine, you may want to know that in the past, the earliest printers and facsimile machines used thermal paper that came in rolls. The thermal paper is thin and the printing will not last so most offices still had to have the print photocopied so that they can keep them on file.
Another kind of printer that can fall in the sheet fed category is the photocopier. The first photocopier was invented by Xerox in 1969, which is why there are people who mistakenly call the machine or the copy as 'Xerox.' Little do they know that it is a brand name. These machines constitute a large part of the population of sheet fed printers all over the world. They work hard almost all day just making copies. There is a copier in most offices. If not, you can always find a photocopying business everywhere. The unit is expensive to buy but the photocopying service that they offer is cheap. That is why the machine needs to work hard. Most copiers can print on short and long size bond paper. The bigger ones can make 11' x 17' copies.
You may also want to know that there are printing companies that use sheet fed presses. Although they print on one sheet at a time, these big machines work fast, much faster than your average desktop unit. Some of the more advanced sheet-fed presses can print thousands of copies in an hour. Sheet fed printers are preferred by some companies because they can produce sharper and higher quality prints. They just use the bigger units so that they can print more in a shorter period of time. The biggest of these sheet fed printers can contain a single sheet of paper that is 74' x 49'. Many sheet fed printing companies produce high quality and specialized products from their printers.
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