What is a Printer? Definition and Full Discussion

What is a printer? The printer is something that prints things from the computer to paper. This device has changed a lot. It used to be like a typewriter and could only print text, but now it can print many pages in just minutes.

Although for years people indeed thought that they would disappear and we would only use the computer, now we use more printers than ever. They are still essential in every home and office. Today, some printers can do more than just print. 

They combine a scanner and hard drive inside the printer, so you don’t need to buy those as well. You can also find printers with wireless or network connections, which give you more options to print. A printer is a device that will connect to your computer to print the media stored electronically. 

It can be used for graphics, texts, or photographs. There are different types of printers depending on how they will be connected to the computer. Some are connected by wire or through a network connection, while others are connected through an internal connection in the computer.

Who Invented the Printer?

The father of computers is called Charles Babbage. He came up with the idea of a printer and then designed printers. EPSON made the first electric printer in 1986, which was named EP-101.

History of Printers

Printing is an essential part of history. If it wasn’t invented, we wouldn’t know about many things that happened. 

That’s why we need to know something about printing and how it’s changed over time.

Woodblock Printing

Woodblock printing is an invention from the Tang Dynasty in China during the 6th century. In this method, engraving on a wooden matrix was done by dipping it in ink and printing it on paper. 

The first book to be printed with woodblock printing was “Diamond Sutra,” which happened around (868 AD).

Movable Printing System

This is the most important step in the progress of printing. Even though China has had some problems, they were still an important part. In 1041, a Chinese printer, B. Sheng, invented the earthenware printing press. 

The only problem was that it broke easily because of its lack of power and strength. A few hundred years later, in 1298, a Chinese printer Wang Zhen invented a wooden printing press with more power that would lead to eventual success in Europe in the 15th century when Johannes Gutenberg introduced another type of printing press there.

Gutenberg’s printing press was the first to use oil-based ink. It was more durable than water-based ink that had been used before. The type on this machine is made of tin, lead, and antimony, which makes it stronger than other machines. 

On February 23, 1455, after a long year of experiments, Gutenberg printed 180 copies of the Bible for the first time with this machine.

Rotary Printing Press

Richard Howe invented the Rotary Press in 1843. At first, it had to be printed by hand on a sheet of paper. William Bullock made the printing press in 183 that could go through a machine at once. 

When these new types of printers started being used, they could print 8,000 pages per hour which increased how fast the printing press was working. The use of the Rotary Press began with Philadelphia Public Laser Printing in 1848.

Offset Printer

Robert Berkeley invented the offset press in 1875. This printing method is done with water and oil repellent properties, which means that you can print on all types of paper. 

The only downside to this printing technique is that it needs regular maintenance because it is so big. 

Offset printing machines are more expensive than other printers but are worth it for large-scale work to produce better quality prints.

Read All About: What is Offset Printing?

Linotype Machine

In 1885, Otmer Mergenthaler invented the machine that worked like a typewriter. His invention was called the linotype. The linotype could print letters quickly and automatically. 

He first used his machine to print the New York newspaper The New York Tribune in 1886. In 1897, he used his invention to print Italy’s leading daily, the Tribune.

Laser Printer

In 1971, the Xerox Corporation invented the laser printing system. This made it possible to print materials on paper with an electronic process. Today, there are many differences between this heavy, expensive laser printer and today’s cheaper lasers. 

In 1982, Canon made the first desktop laser printer which was also expensive. But over time, these printers got cheaper and more affordable for everyone to use.

Read Here: What is a Laser Printer?

3D Printing

The 3D printing industry is the newest and latest stage in printing. It was invented in 1983 when Chuck Hall tried to harden varnish using ultraviolet rays. Originally it was also very expensive, but that may change with time. 

People involved in this industry will hopefully continue to invent new instruments or methods that are more modern and functional over time.

What kind of printers are there?

There are more new printers on the market. These are some of them:

Laser Printer

A machine uses a laser. The laser can make toner particles attracted to it. Toner particles are on the cylinder part of the machine. The paper goes through the cylinder and gets toner all over it. He then heats up to finish work on this job. 

Laser Printer

This machine is faster than other machines that use ink because it uses cheaper ink than other machines that use ink do. A color laser printer is often found in offices. 3D printers are a newer technology. 

Inkjet printers are slower than laser printers. They may take a few minutes to print each sheet of paper, which is too long for most people. They are not built for businesses with many papers because they cannot handle large amounts of printing. 

Their ink cost per printed sheet is high, too. You may need to refill the cartridges often, and it can be expensive to maintain them. 

But they are cheaper to buy upfront and the cheapest out there in terms of maintenance costs.

Read Also Here: What Is A Portable Printer?

Solid Ink

We do not have an ink or toner container. Solid blocks, which are created by fusing the ink with wax, are used. It takes a lot of heat to melt them. This causes it to take a long time to print the first page. Once printing has started, they are faster than lasers, but the colors can fade.

It is difficult to write on these prints when using waxes as the ink does not adhere very well. You will have problems if you try annotating with a pen, for example, because pens don’t work very well on solid ink blocks.

Here Details About: Best Samsung Printer.

As an advantage, we have that solid ink blocks don’t need cartridges, which creates less environmental impact as there is no plastic for recycling or recycling fee.


There are several printer types of typewriters. The most popular is the matrix that has a matrix of points that can even generate images. In companies, it is common to find them because they are the only ones to use carbonless paper.

Dye Sublimation

Thermal transfer printing is a different type of printing from paper. It has good color, but you can’t use it for text. You can use it to make big posters that you see all over the place. The printing speed is slow, and the ink goes through a gas form called sublimation.

We create continuous images. The colors are mixed and not like laser or inkjet, which creates different tones by printing fewer points. The biggest problem with them is that they require special paper.

3D Printers

They print objects in their 3 dimensions. They do this by building a layer at a time. This new type of technology is not yet used much in homes, but it is more common in the industry. 

3d printer

A more expensive printer is for people who want to print more or want high-resolution printing. Faster speeds are an option with more expensive printers.

Read About: What is a Multifunction Printer?

What is a Printer Operation?

A printer can be either an ink printer, a laser, or 3D. The way it works will depend on the type of device you are talking about.

How an ink printer works?

The head of the printer does not touch the paper. The print head has 3,900 nozzles that are each for a different color. 1,000 nozzles are for black ink, and 650 nozzles are for each of the other colors. Each nozzle heats up to make a drop of ink come out. 

This is how it prints on paper. Then the heat gives way to a new drop that can come in and fill up the nozzle. That nozzle will go back in to heat up, and then it will release ink on the paper. 

This happens fast because each of those nozzles can release 24,000 drops of color printer ink or 36,000 drops of black ink. All these blobs have to be fired to form an image on a page at just the right moment. 

Millions of drops fall in their perfect place from one head that moves at a certain rhythm. Modern printers use liquid ink that is pushed out of a nozzle onto the paper.

How a laser printer works?

Laser printers work with the help of an electrophotographic process. The main charge roller (also called PCR) rotates alongside the OPC drum and applies a negative charge, preparing it for imaging. 

Toner is mixed in the Torba and collected by the feed roller, which transports it to the surface of the developer roller. As toner moves from one component to another, a negative charge is created that is attracted to images that have a positive charge on the OPC drum.

When the toner in the OPC drum is transferred to the transfer belt, it is put on paper. The paper is put through a fusing device in which ink melts and fuses with the paper. Any remaining toner in the OPC drum will be removed by a cleaning blade and reused if possible. 

The virtual printer is a computer program that looks like a printer driver, but it does not connect to a physical printer.

How a 3D printer works?

The 3 axes are Y, X, and Z. Small motors move through these axes to make the machine work. The part where the product comes out of is called an extruder. This has a fan and heat sink that cools it down, so it does not overheat. 

You need to put in some filament (this is what makes up the material). And heat it to 200 degrees Celsius so you can shape it with the nozzle on top of that part of the machine.

The 3D printer takes filament through small rollers to create the 3D image you want. The 3d printing models can be generated by you or downloaded from the internet.

What is a Printer Parts?

  • Ink cartridges: These are called inkjet cartridges. They have the ink to print and project it onto the paper.
  • Cartridge Clamps: Assume the task of keeping cartridges safe and secure. Opening them makes it easy to replace them if they are needed.
  • Paper Support: This is a simple way to hold the paper. It can be hard for it to stay in the feeder if too much paper is on it.
  • Sheet Feeder: Holds paper in the printer, then automatically feeds it when printing.
  • Cover: The printer needs paper to print on. It is wrapped around the part of the printer that prints. You need to open it when you install or replace ink or toner cartridges. 
  • Output tray: Receive the paper that was printed on.
  • Side guides: Facilitate the introduction of this paper. It should be straight and fixed.
  • Printhead: It is the one that makes the ink to write on paper.
  • Control panel: The printer settings allow you to control and manipulate how the printer works.
  • Buttons: It depends on the case. It will be for power, maintenance, among others.
  • Light indicators: These are lights with different colors. They tell you if the printer is working.

What is a Printer Connection Types?

When you buy a new printer, it should work with the computers, operating systems, and connections at your office settings. 

Connection Types of Printer

The type of printer connection will change to deal with bigger files that take longer to send.


A serial connection is when you use a cable to connect two devices. The cable has one wire. These connections are slow, but they do not lose data if the distance is 25-100 feet long. 

Apple computers used serial ports that were round and faster than other PCs. Some printers can still use a computer without a serial port by using an adapter to connect them with the USB port on the computer.


This is old. It is a cable that goes from your computer to the printer. Now people use USB cables instead of this one.

USB Cable

Cable technology has changed a lot. The most modern type of cable is the USB cable, which can transfer data at 480mbps. This is faster than other types of cables that only transfer data at 2mbps. 

You should get one for your computer if you want to transfer data quickly. It is also easy to find a USB cable that will work with your device, like your music keyboard or printer.

Most printers have a USB cable to connect to the computer. This cable is small and light. You can use it on Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computers. 

Also, the USB connection allows the printer to send data back to your computer, like ink levels, which tell you when you’re out of ink.

Ethernet Higher-end printers have a wire that connects to the internet. 

This wire is called an Ethernet connection. The higher-end printers also have a small computer inside them. This computer is called a print server. The printer model can send things to it from other computers on the network without needing another computer in between them.


Printers that hook up to a wi-fi network can be put anywhere. Wi-fi means you don’t need a cable connection. This is good for groups who share a printer and then move it to the project’s end.

Legacy Ports

Some printers can connect to the computer through different ports. If you do not have that kind of printer, then you can use an adapter. The adapter costs money, but it will help you connect your printer to the computer.

What is a Printer Interfaces?

There are two ways to plug in a printer. A wired way and a wireless way. The most common types way is by USB cable (wired). Below is a list of the different types of cables that can connect your computer to your printer.

The Language of the Printer

What is a printer language? Printer languages tell the printer how to print your document. They can control things like fonts, print size, graphics, and color. There are two types of printer languages: 

Postscript and Printer Control Language. Postscript is a language that printers use to tell them what they should print. It is very popular. If you have a printer, it probably has Postscript in it. But it can be used with any device that creates images on paper, not just printers.

The printer control language is an escape code that sends commands to the printer. There are many codes, and they tell the printer what to do. HP made this language for dot matrix and inkjet printers.

Many other manufacturers copied PCL and sold their HP clones with it too. Some of these clones were very good, but there were small differences in how they printed a page compared to real HP printers.

Printer Fonts

A font is a group of letters in a certain style and size. Printers use resident fonts and soft fonts to print documents.

Resident Fonts are built-in or internal to the printer, while soft fonts can be installed on the hard drive. Resident fonts cannot be erased, unlike soft ones.

Other Functions

What is a printer function? Commonly, printers are not the old ones that only print paper. You can find these functions among many others:

Scanner: This helps you to digitize documents and also to do the tasks of a photocopier. Remember, this scanner can be found in wifi versions or with an ethernet cable. In this way, it can serve many people at the same time.

Network: You can find them in different versions, for example, without a network or using an Ethernet cable. With these options, many people can use them at the same time.

Speed: Printers measure how many pages they can print out in a minute. There are two speeds: one for printing color and another for black and white.

Resolution: Resolution is how many dots are on the page. The more dots there are, the better it will look.

Why Need a Printer?

If you’re using your computer for work, school, or some other type of business and need to print something from time to time, then you’ll want to have a printer on hand. 

A computer printer is considered a peripheral and not necessary for everyday use. However, if the time comes when someone needs to print something out of necessity (such as needing an invoice), they will likely need access to a printer that’s nearby. 

The most common printers used by people are inkjet printers because they’re affordable and can be found at many stores such as Walmart and Target. Laser printers are more commonly seen in office environments due to their ability to create high-quality prints quickly with less.

Read here- Best Toner for Printer Reviews and Buying Guides.

How to take care of the printer and how to use it?

The printer can make copies of documents. The printer machine is what is used to make the copies. Printers are available at different prices and with different features.

However, if you take good care of the printer, even a simple one will last for a long time. Today, I discussed how to take care of the printer: place it in an open area and not use it in a dirty place or eat there. 

Clean it often with water or paper that has been wetted with water, but only use cloths or tissues made of soft material, so they don’t hurt the machine’s parts when they are cleaned off.

When you print something, dirt might accumulate. Whenever this happens, clean the printer head to have a problem with printing. Never turn off or unplug the printer when printing. And when you print a piece of paper, do not interrupt it by turning off the printer or unplugging it. 

Do not use poor-quality paper to print on because if you do, then there will be problems with your printer’s head.

Do not place heavy items on the printer. You can use the printer for regular printing or other things, but don’t let it dry out. Try to keep the printer in good shape, so it doesn’t interfere with your printing later.

Last Words of What is a Printer

The printer for everyone. Whether you’re a student, small business owner, or Creative professional, the best printers will be able to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. 

We hope this article has given you an idea of what type of printer is right for you based on how often it’s used and what tasks are needed to complete its workload. If not, don’t worry- we have more articles that might help answer all those burning questions about printing technology! 

To read another blog post from our website today before heading back out into the world! Thanks again for reading!”

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