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3 Printing Technologies Uncovered

Author: zhuoli    Time: 2017-02-20 16:20:35

1. Thermal

Thermal transfer printing uses a thermal printhead to apply heat to a material that is being marked. The printhead applied heat to a thermal ribbon which produces an image on the material.  Common applications: product identification, permanent identification, asset tagging, certification labels, cold storage, outdoor applications.

Direct thermal printing also uses a thermal printhead, but there is no ribbon used in this process.  Instead, the media that is run through the printer is chemically treated and heat-sensitive which blackens when it passes under the printhead.  Common application: shipping labels, receipts, pick tickets, name tags.


The laser printer uses electrostatic charges to:

  • Create an image on the drum
  • Adhere toner to the image
  • Transfer the toned image to the paper
  • Fuse the toner to the paper

The laser produces high-quality text and graphics by "painting" a negative of the page to be printed on the charged drum.  Where light falls, the charge is dissipated, leaving a positive image to be printed.  Common applications: document printing.

Commonly used laser printer manufacturers: HP, Oki Data, Brother

3. Inkjet

An Inkjet printer is a computer printer that recreates a digital image by using drops of ink (black, cyan, magenta, yellow) onto a substrate.  Inkjet printers are the most commonly used type of printers and range from small consumer models to larger professional machines.  Common applications: document printing, product labeling.


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