Digital printing is one of many developments that formed the backbone of the modern age. By rapidly facilitating the conversion between digital and physical images, printing accelerated the process of information transfer all over the world. Two forms of digital printing are still in common use today: ink jet printing and laser printing. These printing processes occupy different niches in the digital printing world.
In laser printing, a laser selectively reverses the charge of an electrically charged drum in the same pattern as the image to be printed. The printer then releases toner, a powder that contains its own electric charge that sticks to the drum. An oppositely-charged sheet of paper is sent over the drum, picking up the toner, and the two fuses together under high heat. By contrast, an ink jet printer dispenses tiny, diffused droplets of ink through special nozzles, which are deposited line by line onto the paper.
Because of the sophisticated mechanisms required for laser printing, laser printers tend to be larger than ink jet printers. They almost always load from a tray in the bottom. Ink jet printers may be bottom-loading or they may load from the top. Some ink jet printers are as large as laser printers, but they are the exception.
Laser printers print documents much faster than ink jet printers. In addition, the toner is completely dry, so documents are immediately ready to use after exiting the printer, if a little hot from the fusion process. Documents printed by ink jet printers can take some time to dry completely, although as ink technology has improved, the time required has decreased.
Who Uses Laser and Ink Jet Printers
Businesses with a large budget most often use laser printers because of their high printing speeds. On the other hand, they tend to be more expensive than ink jet printers. Color laser printers are especially expensive because of the need to coordinate several kinds of toner. As a result, ink jet printers are still popular among small businesses and private individuals.