How A Laser Printer Works – An Easy To Understand Guide


Have you ever wondered just how your laser printer works to produce your letters and documents in the office?
Here is an easy to understand, and straight forward explanation of how the different parts of a laser printer work together to produce your printouts your daily reports and letters:

Why the cool Sci-fi name?

It may surprise you that the name of your office printer wasn’t chosen because the word ‘laser’ sounded cool back in 1969 when it was invented by Xerox, but that actual lasers are used to produce your print outs!

So how does it work?

Before I explain, it’s worth knowing that a laser printer uses the following important parts to create its printouts:

  • Toner cartridges (containing cyan, magenta, yellow and black powder)
  • Drum or photoconductor unit
  • Transfer belt or rollers
  • Fuser unit

When you press print and send your document to a laser printer, the information is stored on the printer’s memory much like when you save a document on your computer.
The printer then transfers the information to a laser, which in turn using mirrors, beams the shape of what needs to be printed onto a rotating cylinder called a drum or a photoconductor unit that sits below the toner cartridges.
This statically charges the drum and the powdered toner is attracted to it in the required shape of the print out. The paper is rolled through the printer by cogs and is passed between the drum and a transfer belt that carries an opposite static charge to the drum. This pulls and attracts the toner from the drum to the paper in the required print shape.
Finally the page rolls beneath a Fuser unit that heats and seals the powdered toner to the page and voila…your print is complete!

Laser Printers vs. Inkjet printers

Laser printers differ in many ways from inkjet printers, mainly for the method of using lasers to create your print outs instead of using print heads, but also because instead of liquid ink, they use statically charged powder, called toner.
Toner cartridges are much more expensive to buy than ink cartridges, but print many more pages. For example a typical toner cartridge may print thousands of pages where an inkjet cartridge will only print a few hundred.
It is also worth remembering that you may often also need to replace the drum cartridges, transfer belt or fuser unit at some point when they become worn out, just like you do when your toner cartridge is empty.
Laser printers are best for office use or when you need to use your printer for large amounts of work or everyday use.

Stuart Deavall is the Digital marketing Manager at Toner Giant. Stu has helped become the UK’s leading supplier for toner cartridges with his wild imagination and creative spark. He is a fan of keep fit, technology and design.

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