What is a Printer?
A printer is an electromechanical device which converts the text and graphical documents from electronic form to the physical form. Generally they are the external peripheral devices which are connected with the computers or laptops through a cable or wirelessly to receive input data and print them on the papers. A wide range of printers are available with a variety of features ranging from printing black and white text documents to high quality colored graphic images.
Quality of printers is identified by its features like color quality, speed of printing, resolution etc. Modern printers come with multipurpose functions i.e. they are combination of printer, scanner, photocopier, fax, etc. To serve different needs there are variety of printers available that works on different types of technologies.
Types of Printers
Since the invention of the printing technology, a variety of technologies have been employed in computer printers. Broadly printers are categorized as impact and non impact printers. Impact printers are the type of printers in which a key strikes the paper to make a letter. The examples of Impact printers are Daisy wheel and Dot matrix printers. While non-impact printers do not operate by striking a head against a ribbon. Inkjet printers and laser printers are the non-impact printers. The most popular printers are described.
1. Daisy Wheel Printers
Daisy wheel printers print only characters and symbols and cannot print graphics. They are generally slow with a printing speed of about 10 to 75 characters per second. By 1980 daisy wheel printers were the dominant printers for quality printing but since the prices of laser and inkjet printers have declined and quality of dot matrix printers has been improved, the daisy wheel printers are now obsolete.
Working of daisy wheel printers is very similar to typewriters. A circular printing element (known as daisy wheel, shown in the below image) is the heart of these printers that contains all text, numeric characters and symbols mould on each petal on the circumference of the circle. The printing element rotates rapidly with the help of a servo motor and pauses to allow the printing hammer to strike the character against the paper.