There was a time when printers were straightforward devices that print out texts similar to a typewriter’s output. These days, printers are more advanced, and they come with different features.
Due to the complicated nature of modern printers, it might be challenging to troubleshoot them. As such it would be wise to know how these devices work and can answer questions like which component in a laser printer charges the paper to attract toner?
The first printers this world has seen were the impact printers or more popularly known as either the dot matrix or the daisy wheel. This is a simple device as its mechanism is highly similar to typewriters. An inked ribbon can get stuck and will mark the page. Fortunately, there are advances in technology, and soon the inkjet and laser printers became the popular printers.
Inkjet printers are easy to use as well since its mechanism is quite straightforward. After all, one merely has to understand that this kind of printer squirts ink through the nozzle and goes straight to the paper.
Then came the laser printers. Unlike the dot matrix or the inkjet printers, laser printers are not as straightforward as it involves multiple processes for printing. One would be unable to figure out how it works by merely watching it while it prints since the blank paper goes in and comes out printed.
One easy way to explain and understand the basics of laser printing is to think of mimeograph machines since both devices work similarly. For mimeograph machines, a master sheet clings to the rotating printer and the images are transferred to a blank paper when the cylinder containing the master sheet is rolled past the ink.
The laser printer works the same except the printer’s cylinder uses electrical charges and laser. Laser printers work faster than the inkjet ones since beams of light travel at a fast rate. Many laser printers on the market offer more than just printing as they can also be used for faxing, copying and scanning.
Now that we have the overview of how a laser printer works let us examine in detail its operation process.
The entire process of printing starts by having the data sent from the computer to the printer. This step also involves the printer making a query on whether the device is already attached to the computer and ready to print.
The printer, in turn, sends a signal to the processor that it is prepared to receive the data. Once ready,
the print job or the document to be printed is stored in the printer’s memory.
Which Component in a Laser Printer Charges the Paper to Attract Toner? Drum Preparation for the Second Step
The drum, which is an aluminum cylinder with a photosensitive material coating, is the single biggest part of any laser printer. For the printer to function correctly, the drum has to be clean and free from any traces of the previous print job.
Cleaning the drum involves having the rubber blade wipe out the extra toner from the drum and erasing the lamps for older versions of the laser printer or charging the drum for newer ones.
The printer has to signal the drum that it should receive the next image through the application of the negative charge to the surface. A common question asked by those learning about laser printers is which component in a laser printer charges the paper to attract toner? The answer is the primary corona, a thin wire that does the job of conditioning the drum to receive the incoming images for printing.
The data for printing is already stored in the printer’s memory, now what is next?
The images for printing has to be written on the drum through the use of a laser. Keep in mind that laser printers do not write with toner or ink and instead uses precise laser found on the photosensitive drum.
Remember that laser printers are similar to mimeograph machines, so the drum cylinder sweeps across the surface when rotating past the cylinder to neutralize some areas. The neutralized spots will become the spots where the toner eventually transfers the images to the paper.
Of course, printing is not possible without the paper. The printer has the feed rollers, which as its name suggests, feed the paper to the machine from the paper tray. These rollers hold the sheets to be used until they need to be released.
Paper feeding and toner pickup happen simultaneously, which means the drum is receiving the toner while the paper is being drawn inside the device.
A toner cartridge is composed of a toner reservoir, a magnetic metal-developing cylinder that rotates and a mechanism for height control, which limits the volume of the cylinder’s pick-up of the toner. The toner has the iron oxide or the particles that react to electrical charges and magnetic attraction as well as plastic resin.
The toner follows the magnetic cylinder due to its iron oxide, and the drum receives the toner that is presented by the cylinder.
At this stage of the printing process, the image for printing is already on the drum together with the toner, similar to how a master copy is already covered in ink for mimeograph.
When the paper is fed into the printer, then the transfer corona does its job of applying a positive charge to the paper and when the paper passes through the drum, then the charged toner on the drum transfers or jumps on the paper that is already charged positively.
The paper then runs through an eliminator with a static charge to reduce its highly positive charge.
Finally, the image is already on the paper. However, the image is still not secure on the paper and could easily be wiped off. This is where fusing comes in, which pertains to the melting of the toner’s plastic particles for the toner to fuse or stick the paper’s fiber.
The fusing is done by a fuser roller, which is a non-stick cylinder containing a high-powered lamp to heat the paper between 330 to 355 degrees Fahrenheit. The toner melts when the paper passes through the fuser roller.
There you have it, the different processes involved in laser printer printing. We bet you are never going to look at laser printers the same way again.