The computer printer has come an awfully long
The advancement is design is staggering and it is hard to imagine that as little as 30 years ago such things were thought of as a bit of an extravagance, and basically unnecessary for general use. Maybe in another decade or so, everybody will own one of the 3D printers that are currently being developed, and today's more basic models will be a thing of the past. For the time being that is one for the inventors, and the sophisticated devices that are created by the leading manufacturers in today's industry, continue to do battle for the general public's custom. Many are developed to fulfil a whole host of office tasks, indeed pretty much anything apart from making the tea!
The modern printer with a toner base, utilizes a xerographic printing procedure, differing from analogical photocopiers, by the way that they produce an image, via laser beam fed scanning, directly across the device's photoreceptor. There are versions which use LED's as opposed to lasers, with a view to creating support to the drum of the printer. All this is a huge advance on the impact printers of the early 1970's and 1980's. By their very name it is easy to determine exactly how these worked, a straightforward mechanism touched the paper to bring about an image, much in a way of the action undertaken by an old typewriter, in effect these impact printers are effectively computerized typewriters.
The Dot Matrix printers fall into this category, using a series of tiny pins to strike against a ribbon, which is coated in ink, transferring the image across to the targeted paper or card. These remain in every day use in enterprises whose business relies upon continuous usage of multi-part forms, printed for customer information, for example at car and van hire service counters. Line and Thermal printers are other less sophisticated variants, both quite inexpensive to use, but restricted in their functionality. The Line printer does what you would expect, which is recreate a line of text, at speed but of poor quality. The Thermal version are used in calculators and fax machines and react to heated pins working against specially developed heat sensitive paper.
The progression has been staggering, with non-impact technology permitting today's printers to do our thinking for us and produce documentation that is as near to perfection as could be desired. The noise levels also have dramatically reduced over time. Previously, the impact printers would create a terrific racket, so much so that it would be very difficult to retain concentration whilst in operation. Nowadays it is possible to conduct an in-depth conversation with a printer in full flow, without it causing a distraction.