HomeZene Logo

How Does a Printer work?

Updated by

Printers are one of the most useful pieces of technology in the history of mankind. After this device came into existence, creating hard documents material became easier and convenient.

Moreover, they are also a major part of improving the world’s literacy by producing readable items in mass-quantity.

That being said, printers are used so often that we even don’t consider asking how they function or what advantages they are serving in our life. Well, today this is all going to change because, in this article, we will learn about the essential components of a printer, how they work, and what advantages they can have.

Before you explore further, you need to learn that there are mainly, two types of printers in the market– inject printers and laser printers. They are extremely different from each other and therefore will function quite differently. With that in mind, let us see how each of these printer works.

How Does Inkjet Printer Works

Inkjet Printers are the device that functions on inkjet technology. These printers recreate images or text with the help of a small jet that shoots out ink droplets onto the paper. This process happens in few steps, which we shall discuss after exploring different components of an inkjet printer.


There are 5 essential components that help inkjet printers in printing.

1: Print Head

Print Head in an inkjet printer is the core component that helps to transfer the ink droplets onto the page. This component pairs up with a series of nozzles and electric circuits to provide the desired print.

It is located under the cover of the printer and gets clogged with ink over time. Hence, proper care and maintenance are required.

2: Ink Supply System

An ink supply system is nothing but a method of transferring a large volume of ink into a hair-sized inkjet print head. In this method, external ink tanks are used that can be connected to the printer cartilage via tubes.

Ink supply system goes by many different terms such as continuous ink supply system, automatic ink refill system, and bulk feed ink system. It is an effective way to reduce cost and is mainly used by those who print in large quantities or more frequently.

3: Stepper Motor

These components come in aid when precise controlling, repeatability, and speed control is required. In an inkjet printer, the stepper motor helps to move the print head back and forth on the paper.

4: Stabilizer Bar

A stabilizer bar in an inkjet printer is to ensure that the printing is done in a precise and controlled manner. It is attached to the print head assembly to keep it on track and print in a straight line.

5: Belt

A belt is a part that attaches the step motor to the print head assembly.

Step by Step Process of working

  • Instructions from the computer or phone are sent to the printer to activate the particular nozzle to form characters.
  • An electric current is passed through the tiny resistor to heat the ink.
  • When the ink heats, it boils to form bubbles of ink vapor.
  • Then this bubble propels the tiny ink droplets into the nozzle.
  • The nozzle then throws out the droplets onto the paper forming extremely tiny dots.
  • These dots form lines, characters, and a different range of colors that we see in the final printout.


  • You will get higher resolution prints.
  • It prints smooth and with great detail.
  • It functions quietly.
  • Low cost on printing.
  • Good for printing in large quantities.

How Does Laser Printer Works (Both Monochrome and Color)

The laser printer is a device that uses toner to print images or characters. They are believed to be faster, precise, and more economical than inkjet printers. Let us discuss the different components of a laser printer and see how they play a crucial role in printing.


There are mainly 6 components in a modern laser printer:

1: Drum unit

A drum unit in a laser printer is a metal cylinder with a special coating. The primary function of this component is to transfer the powdered toner from the cartilage to the paper. The process involves other essential components that turn the powdered toner (in the cartilage) into the desired image or character.

2: Corona Wires

It is a thin wire made of tungsten located in the toner cartilage. In the printing process, it plays a very crucial role. When the user activates the printer, the corona wire gets charged with electricity to assist the drum unit (Photosensitive drum) to be able to draw the toner off the drum onto the page.

3: Toner Cartilage

Laser printers use tiny ink particles that come in the form of powder called toner. Toner cartilage is a cylindrical container filled with toner. The particles in toner are negatively charged, and when they are heated by the fuser unit, the toner melts and fuses with the paper fabric. The toner only fuses when pressure is applied by the roller.

4: Fuser Unit

This component in a laser printer comes with two heated rollers. These rollers physical fuse the toner by heating and applying pressure onto the paper. The fuser assembly heats the toner to melt the particles and by using pressure, the toner forms a strong bond with the paper fibres creating the desired print.

5: Laser

Undoubtedly, the laser is a crucial component in a laser printer. It transmits the light across a series of mirrors from the diode. The beams from the laser reflect on the drum unit to imprint the desired print.

6: Transfer Belt

A transfer belt is nothing but a rotating device that moves the paper through the printer to the drum unit where the actual printing takes place. Small laser printers may not have transfer belts, but they have rollers that function in the same manner.

Step by Step Process of working

  • The instructions from your computer or mobile are sent to the printer’s memory to print the desired item.
  • When this happens, the printer sends the algorithm to different units of the machine to prepare the printing process.
  • At first, the corona wire inside the printer starts heating up.
  • Once it’s heated up properly, a static current is sent to the drum unit.
  • The drum receives the positively charged current and starts the printing process with the help of the laser beam.
  • The positively charged paper is rolled towards the drum where the negatively charged toner particles are held.
  • Now, the transfer belt rolls the paper onto the fuser unit where the toner is pressed and then the paper is rolled out of the copier giving you the desired printout.


  • High precision and control give you a very detailed printout.
  • These printers are faster in terms of speed in comparison to an inkjet printer.
  • The cost per page is low.
  • They are better for printing commercial banners or business documents.


Printed documents, books, and banners that you see on the roads are the output of a very revolutionary machine called printers. There are mainly two types of printers in the market – Inkjet Printers and Laser Printers.

When it comes to the working process of these printers, components play a very crucial role. As both Inkjet and Laser printer have different components their functioning also changes which results in one machine better than the other in some aspects.

We have discussed the components, advantages, and working processes of both Inkjet and Laser Printer above comprehensively. Hope we were able to present the subject properly. Good Luck!

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.