laser printing, ink jet printing, printing servicesThere are so many different options today when it comes to printing that it can be quite confusing choosing the best selection for your needs. Here is an overview of three of the most popular printing techniques and what products work best for each type.

With a liquid ink-jet printer, “nozzles spray miniscule droplets of colored ink from the cartridge onto the paper’s surface.” This is the most preferred type of printer available today. There are two basic types of liquid ink jet printers, ones with fixed-head nozzles and those with disposable heads. Continuous ink jet, drop of demand, and bubble jet are a few of the different techniques used for liquid ink jet printing. The most popular of these techniques is probably bubble jet, where “tiny resistors create heat, and this heat vaporizes ink to create a bubble. The expansion that creates the bubble causes a droplet to form and eject from the print head. A typical bubble jet print head has 64 or 128 tiny nozzles, and all of them can fire a droplet simultaneously.” Liquid ink jet printing is inexpensive and produces a good color quality, but may require a special paper to prevent smearing or smudging.

Another type of ink jet printing is a solid ink jet printer. Instead of storing liquid color ink, the solid ink jet printer stores ink in solid wax sticks which are melted in a small reservoir before being squirted onto paper, where the ink becomes solid again as it cools. While this type of printing is much better for standard paper, it is also a slower process since the ink must go from solid to liquid to solid again and thus it isn’t the best choice if you are in a hurry. For transparencies and other non-porous media, solid ink jet printing is an excellent option.

Laser printers are another popular option for printing needs. “The main advantages of laser printers are speed, precision, and economy.” A laser printer can turn out finished products much more quickly than an ink jet printer. Also laser printers are cheaper to maintain so they are more cost-effective. How do laser printers work? The basic principle behind them is simple static electricity. The image is created by laser beams sweeping across a “photosensitive cylinder”. Next the cylinder is passed through toner, which is attracted to the image by static electricity. The “electric voltage difference between the paper and the cylinder” make the toner particles stick to the paper, which is heated to melt the toner and adhere it to the paper. Voilà! A finished document.