A printer or a printing device is a peripheral that when connected to a computer or computer network by wired or wireless connection, offers the ability to print on paper or another substrate, text or graphics produced by an software application.
With deep roots in the technology of typewriters, with the passage of time printers have undergone significant changes. This is closely related to the development and evolution of graphical user interfaces in operating systems like Windows, Linux and Mac.
After that users began to change the way they used their computers, and the work that they performed with this PCs become more complex, the printer technology had to be modified and adapted to the specific needs of users, up to a degree specialization in which we can find printers optimized for vector drawing, printers specifically focused on high quality images printing, and others devices optimized for text printing. We can even find three-dimensional laser and ink printers. An example of this is the ZPrinter 650 3D printer from Z Corporation.
Currently, most of the sold printers on the market are the models called multifunction printers, which provide us, plus the ability to print, options to copy, scan and capture images.
Such printers incorporate a technology that you could only dream just a few years ago, when the dot matrix printers were kings, and are able to provide the user with a number of useful features and offer significant flexibility even if the printer is not physically connected to the PC.
Types of printers
Printers are typically classified by characteristics such as chromatic scale which is capable of printing, ie if the device prints in color or black and white, the connection type, the number of pages per minute that are able to process and print, and the specific type of technology that uses for it.
Regarding the type of connection, there are several protocols such as USB, Ethernet, wireless by W-Fi, USB and parallel port, the latter being the most widely used today.
From this point, we will know the different types of printers that can be found in the market and its main characteristics. Also we will know how they work and the type of features they offer, in this way we will have a better picture to make an intelligent purchase that really fits in our needs.
Dot matrix printers
One of the example of dot matrix printers more known is the Epson LX-300, which uses a technology that allows print when a needle, or a character wheel strikes an inked ribbon, which finally prints the image or text onto paper. Virtually nobody uses them today, as they have been largely overcome by the ability and quality of inkjet printers.
Typical uses: Commerce, small office.
The Ink-jet printer is one of the printing technologies most commonly used and widespread because they are cheaper to maintain and easy to operate. These printers print using one or several different ink cartridges, which are usually Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, the same pigments commonly used in offset printing, and guarantee an excellent quality printouts, reaching sometimes similar quality to the laser color prints.
Typical uses: Commerce, small office, home, industry, graphic design.
One of the most important features when it comes to laser printers, is undoubtedly the print quality can achieve. Over the years has been widely used for prepress in shops of small size printing. Today we can find in many electronics stores really cheap laser printers, which are able to offer a lot of interesting features.
Typical uses: Commerce, small office, printing, graphic design and in business where large volumes of high-speed quality printing is required.
The plotter printing technology, also called tracers, is widely used today for all kinds of projects such as advertising billboards, and they are also used to commercial and advertising posters in extra-large sizes.
This is a tool that allows the user compose large prints, as some plotter models are capable of printing projects up to 6 ft. or more wide. Another area in which the plotter is used, is in the field of architecture for drawing planes.
Currently, plotter technology uses the principle of inkjet printing, which offers a high quality and flexibility.
Typical uses: Architecture, advertising, graphic design, printing.