Difference Between Impact and Non Impact Printers

The difference between the impact and the non impact printer is that impact printer is more mechanical printer which requires constant hitting of the mechanical pins with ribbon ink to print on paper, whereas the non impact printer uses a variety of latest technologies to print they can charge the paper electrically and then spray the ink on the paper and this will create the print on paper.

Difference between impact and non impact printers

The character is printed by striking ink ribbon on paper The character is printed without striking on paper
The printing involves hammering of the metal pins with a dye on paper The printing involves  electrically charging paper and then passing it through a toner
The impact printer prints on a long continuous sheet of paper (eg. newspaper roll) and the person has to separate the printed sheet of paper manually from the printer. The non impact printer uses separate sheets of paper ( eg. A4 sheets) and does not require any person to separate the paper.
The impact printers are fast and can print up to 250 words per second. The non impact printers are slow and can cover up to 1 page in a second.
The impact printer is mechanical and hence generates a lot of noise  The non impact printer does not generate a lot of noise
The impact printer uses electric and mechanical devices to print The impact printer uses electric and mechanical devices to print
The print quality of impact printer is less than the non impact The print quality of non impact printer is more than the impact 
The impact printer utilizes old printing technology  The non impact printer utilizes the latest technology.
The impact printers are made to produce multiple copies of the same page. The non impact printer cannot produce multiple copies of the same page as same as an impact printer can
The impact printer resemble those of a typewriter having a metal pin hitting an ink ribbon on paper The non impact has a cartridge that hits the ink on the electrically charged paper.
There is a direct contact by the printing mechanism and the paper to print  There is no direct contact between the printing mechanism and the paper to print
The impact printer can be seen in offices and newspaper production The non impact printer can be seen in homes and shops
The impact printer is less costly than a non impact printer The non impact printer is costlier than the impact printer
These printers are more durable This printer requires maintenance after some time
They are used to print identical pages They are used to print different pages
The impact printer has more moving parts than non impact printer The non impact printer has few to none moving parts
It is difficult to print graphical images with impact printer except for dot printer no other impact printer can print graphical images The non impact printer is made to print graphical images
Examples of the impact printer are dot printer, daisy printer, line printer, drum printer, etc. Examples of non impact printers are laser printers, inkjet printers, thermal printers, etc.

What is Printer? What are its Types?

A printer is an output device that prints characters symbols and graphics on paper the printed output is referred to as hardcopy.

Printers are categorized based on the print mechanism printers are divided into –

  1. Impact printers
  2. non impact printers

Examples of Impact printer – Dot Matrix printer, Daisy Wheel printer, Drum printer, Chain Printer, Line Printer, Ball Printer etc.

Examples of Non-Impact Printer – Inkjet Printer, Laser Printer, Thermal Printer, Dye Sublimation Printer, 3D printer, etc.

Impact and Non Impact Printer Examples and types

Impact Printers

Impact printers work by striking the head of the needle against an ink ribbon to make a mark on the paper.

Types of Impact Printers

There are different types of impact printers – 

  1. Dot matrix printer 
  2. Daisy wheel printers 
  3. Drum printer 
  4. Chain printer

Dot matrix 

Dot matrix printer uses the printhead (which contains the pins) to move back and forth or up and down on the page. 

Dot matrix printer prints by impact or striking the pin on an ink soaked ribbon against the paper. Each pin makes a dot and the combinations of dots form a character which are then printed on a continuous paper fold with tractor holes.

Disadvantages of dot matrix printer 

  1. These printers are slow and noisy.
  2. It can only print lower resolution graphics.
  3. There are only limited colors which the printer can print.
  4. The quality of the image is poor.

Daisy wheel printer

Daisy wheel printers use a metal or plastic disc containing the letters numbers and other characters. 

For printing a character the printer rotates the disk until the desired letter is facing the paper then a hammer strikes the disc making the character to hit on an ink ribbon leaving an impression of the character on the paper.

Disadvantages of daisy printer 

  1. Daisy wheel printers are noisy and slow. 
  2. These printers cannot print graphics.
  3. Poor print quality.

Drum printer 

The characters on the drum printers are marked on the outer layer of the physical drum. 

When the desired character is rotated at the selected position then the hammer hits the paper from behind and pushes it into the ribbon which touches the character on the drum. 

There are many hammers on the front of the drum therefore the same characters can be printed simultaneously at the required positions on a line.

In the drum printer, the drum rotates at a very high speed and character is printed by activating the appropriate hammer which prints the character onto the paper.

Disadvantages of drum printers 

  1. They are noisy.
  2. They can only print in predefined styles. 
  3. They cannot print graphics.
  4. The print quality is poor.

Chain printer 

Chain printers use a print chain (which contains raised characters) for printing the characters on the paper. The chain is made up of several sections and each section contains one complete character set.

The print chain is rotated at a high speed when the desired character faces the paper, the print hammer strikes the inked ribbon printing the character on the paper.

Chane printers are one of the fastest impact printers that can produce up to four hundred to two thousand characters per second. 

Disadvantages of chain printers

  1. Chain printers are noisy. 
  2. They can print only predefined styles.
  3. They cannot print graphics
  4. Print quality is poor 

Non-impact printer 

Non-impact printer prints without hitting the printhead against an ink ribbon to make a mark on the paper.

Types of Non impact printers

  1. Inkjet printer 
  2. Laser printer 
  3. Thermal printer 
  4. Dye sublimation printer

Inkjet printer

In the inkjet printing mechanism, the printhead has several tiny nozzles also called Jets. 

When the paper moves past the printhead, the nozzles spray ink onto it forming the characters and images.

Usually inkjet printers have one black ink cartridge and one color cartridge containing ink in primary pigments (cyan magenta and yellow).

Advantage of inkjet printers

  1. They are inexpensive.
  2. They are lightweight.
  3. They generate no noise.
  4. They can print graphics.
  5. Print quality is high.

laser printer

Laser printer is a type of printer that utilizes a laser beam to produce an image on a drum.

The light of the laser hits the drum and alters the electrical charge on the drum. The drum is then rolled through a reservoir of toner .The toner is picked up by the charged portions of the drum. Finally, the toner picked by the drum is transferred to the paper through a combination of heat and pressure. 

Advantage of laser printers

  1. They produce no noise. 
  2. They are very fast.
  3. They have higher resolution.
  4. They are very good at printing graphics.

Thermal printer

Thermal printer uses heat or thermal sensitive paper to print the characters. This thermal paper is inserted between the thermal head and the platon. The platon is a rubber roller that feeds the paper to the printer. The printer sends an electric current to the thermal head which generates heat. The heat activates the thermo sensitive colouring layer of the thermal paper. The thermal paper changes color when heated and the characters are formed

Advantages of thermal printers 

  1. They print more quietly and faster. 
  2. They are small and less weighted.
  3. They consume less power.

Dye sublimation printer

Dye sublimation printer uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as a fabric plastic card or paper dye.

Sublimation printers are designed and used for producing photographic prints, ID cards clothing and many more. 

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