Monday, December 3, 2007

The Benefits of Inkjet Printers

There are several different types of printers on the market today, but the inkjet printer is the dominant force. This is largely to do with inkjet printers being the more affordable option while still being able to produce a good quality output.

It may interest you to know that printer manufacturers do not actually make any profit or sometimes very little profit on the printers they sell. At first this probably sounds crazy, but is a well used business model that can be seen in practice in many other industries. This type of business practice was first used by Gillette to sell its razor blades. The reason the printer companies sell you the printers at a loss is that they aim to make their profits by selling you the ink for the printer. The printer companies have a huge mark up on the ink cartridges. This also explains why they are so keen to discourage consumers from buying replica ink cartridges.

How they work

The vast majority of home inkjet printers will use a thermal inkjet. Inkjet ink cartridges are pretty ingenious examples of modern technology in action. Without getting too technical lets take a look at how they actually work. Within the ink cartridge will be a series of electrically heated chambers. Ink is dispelled from the ink cartridge as an electric current is passed through the heating elements. This process causes a droplet of ink to be forced from the ink cartridge and onto the paper, with any surplus ink being sucked back into the chamber. This process is replicated many times over at high speed in order to print your chosen documents.

The thermal inkjet method is not the only method used. There are two other designs of called piezoelectric ink jets and continuous ink jet. These designs tend to be seen in more industrial or commercial printers.

Advantages

Ink jet printers are a fantastic invention. They are able to provide consumers with high quality prints at a very reasonable price. Do you remember the old dot matrix and daisywheel printers? If you do you will surely remember the amount of noise they used to make and the standard of print. In comparison ink jet printers are much quieter and also produce much higher quality. You can buy an inkjet printer that will produce photo quality picture prints, something that would have been impossible with a dot matrix!

Disadvantages

As we previously mentioned one drawback of the ink jet printer is the cost of printer cartridges, which can be quite expensive. The design of the ink cartridges does also mean that they are prone to clogging. As the ink used is water soluble it is also important to avoid even small amounts of water coming into contact with your finished document, as this will easily cause smudging. Another disadvantage is the possibility of an affect called bleeding. This is when the ink is carried side ways and results in a smudged document.

Consumer Tips

Buy non-branded ink cartridges. These are often less than half the price of the printer manufacturers ink cartridges, but just as good.

Buy an ink refill kit. This is another cheap way of buying ink, although you should only refill your ink cartridges a few times.

Buy your ink over the internet as you will find some fantastic offers.

Steve Jones now writes articles for http://www.a1printerink.com

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