Thermal Printers

Thermal Printers

A thermal printer generates images by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. Basic thermal printers are inexpensive, but the print quality is low and the images tend to fade over time. Self-service gas pumps often print gas receipts using a built-in lower-quality thermal printer.

Two special types of thermal printers have high print quality. A thermal wax-transfer printer generates rich, nonsmearing images by using heat to melt colored wax onto heat-  sensitive paper. Thermal wax-transfer print­ers are more expensive than ink-jet printers, but less expensive than many color laser printers.

A dye-sublimation printer, sometimes called a digital photo printer, uses heat to transfer colored dye to specially coated paper. Most dye-sublimation printers create images that are of photographic quality. Professional applications requiring high image quality, such as photography studios, medical labs, and security identification sys­tems, use dye-sublimation printers. These high-end printers cost thousands of dollars and print images in a wide range of sizes. Most dye-sublimation printers for the home or small business user, by contrast, typically print images in only one or two sizes and are much slower than their professional counter­parts. These lower-end dye-sublimation print­ers are comparable in cost to a photo printer based on ink-jet technology. Some are small enough for the mobile user to carry the printer in a briefcase.

More by this Author


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article