Different Types of Printers and Their Functions


The printer is an important accessory of any computer system, especially for a graphics system. The printer uses for documentation, print media, books, etc.

Different Types of Printers:

There are several two different types of printers technologies available:
1. Impact
2. Non-impact

Impact: It creates an image using some mechanism to physically press an inked ribbon against the page. It causes the ink to be deposited on the page in the shape desired. These printers are typically loud because of their unique ability to function with multipart forms.
Example: Dot Matrix Printer, Line Printer.

Non-impact: These printers don’t use paper. It uses laser techniques, ink sprays, xerographic processes and electrostatic methods to produce an image on paper.
Example: Laser Printer, Inkjet Printer, Electrostatic Printer, Plotter.

Different Types of Impact Printers:

Dot Matrix Printer:

A Dot matrix printer refers to a type of computer printer with a print head. It runs back and forth on the page. It prints by impact, striking an ink-soaked cloth ribbon against the paper. This printer is just like a typewriter. It can also create carbon copies. The print head normally prints along every raster row of the printer paper. The colour of the print is the colour of the ink on the ribbon.

Different Types of Printers

A tiny yet stiff metal rod produces each dot that says “Wire or Pin“. The pin arranges vertically where the marginal offset is provided between columns to reduce inter-dot spacing. The position of pins in the print head limits the quality of such a printer.

Line Printer:

A Line printer is a form of high-speed impact printer in which a line of type printing at a time. In a typical design, a fixed font character set is engraved onto the periphery of several print wheels. The number is matching the number of columns (letters in a line). The wheels spin at high speed and paper and an inked ribbon are moved past the print position.

Different Types of Printers

Line printer technology is usually both faster and less expensive than laser printers. It has its use in medium-volume accounting. Other large business applications where print volume and speed are a priority over quality.

Different Types of Non-impact Printers:

Laser Printer:

A laser printer employs technology just like a photocopy machine. A laser beam focuses on a positively charged selenium-coated rotating drum. The laser gum removes the positive charge from the drum.

Different Types of Printers

In this way, the laser draws the letters and images are printed as a pattern of electrical charges that says an electrostatic image. The negative charge black toner powder first adheres to this positive charge area (image) on the drum. It transforms into rolling white paper.

 laser printer inside

Before the paper rolls under the drum, it is given a positive charge stronger than the positive charge of the electrostatic image. So, the paper can pull the toner powder away. The paper is then subjected to mild heating to melt and fix the loose toner on the paper. The laser printer is mainly a bi-level printer.

Inkjet Printer:

An Inkjet printer is a non-impact printer that places extremely small droplets of ink onto paper. These printers are mainly used for creating an image. These printers are popular because their cost is less.

inkjet printer

The dots spray on paper are extremely small (usually between 50 and 60 microns in diameter). Its position is very precisely with resolutions of up to 1440×720 dpi. The dots can have different colours that use for combines to create photo-quality images. The core of an Inkjet printer is the print head which contains a series of nozzles.

Electrostatic Printer:

An Electrostatic Printer has many print head, actually covering the entire 36 media width. So, instead of a single print head moving across the width of the media. The electrostatic printer prints an entire width of the page at one time.

Different Types of Printers

The toner solution circulates past the media and sticks to the energized portion of the media. Thus it produces a very fast high-quality image. The printer creates colour prints by breaking three basic colours (cyan, magenta, and yellow) plus black. It prints one colour at a time.


A plotter is a vector device that can directly reach specific positions on printer paper without raster scan device. In colour plotters, the carriage accommodates several pens with varying colours and widths. In 5-pass print mode, the combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black colour provide a wide range of different colours.