Having a printer in a home or commercial office is essential for conducting important personal and business tasks. In fact, over one in five around the world use their printers in everyday life.

The goal of any of the best printers on the market is to accept text and graphic output from a computer and transfer that information to the paper size inputted by the user. The printer software or driver then converts the text and graphics into computer language. The computer language makes it easy for the printer to understand.

Read on for a guide on how printers work.

Types of Printers Available

There is not just one type of printer that can do everything possible. Many printers out there have specific purposes for specific spaces or industries. Here are some of the most common printers you might see on the market.


Inkjet is one of the most common printer types out there, thanks to its microscopic ink droplets getting printed at a fast speed.

Inkjet printers are particularly popular as printers used in the home or at the office. Ideally, some uses for an Inkjet printer are printing documents and papers necessary for signing or displaying text and images clearly. Another great use is printing colored photos without the need for a screen.

One thing you do have to keep in mind for photos is that you need to be sure that your printer can function as a photo printer to get art gallery-quality photos.


In comparison to Inkjet, a laser printer is a little more complicated. Unlike the use of only ink droplets, laser printers require using a light source, drums, and toner. While it can be thought of as a complex printer, its multiple parts mean that it can print hundreds of pages very quickly and also handle harder papers than an Inkjet.


Despite its modern use in printing items, 3D printers actually have their roots in the 1980s. Nowadays, many companies use them for purposes ranging from medical to pieces of tech items. This has led this type of printer to have more value and become desired as coveted printing services.

Some of the best uses for a 3D printer are

  • Printing tools or parts needed to build or replace something
  • Printing toys for kids to play with
  • Printing items to get sold as-is

If you need to print an item that will help make your sign or product stand out more, this is the way to go.

AIO Printer

AIO, or all-in-one, printers

Dot Matrix

Dot-matrix printers were first invented and used by IBM in the early 1950s.

It notably acts almost similar to a typewriter in that the print head inside of it will sit over an ink ribbon. In the end, texts and images can be made from a series of dots. The print head moves along the ribbon horizontally, and then the pins press into the ribbon to imprint ink on the paper below.

This process makes this printer different from many other printers that are sold in the modern-day, which will use ink cartridges instead of a ribbon.


An LED printer acts almost as much as a laser printer. The main difference is that an LED light is used in the printhead instead of the laser.

Many printer users prefer getting an LED printer over a laser one because they have higher efficiency and are more reliable. Another benefit is they do not contain any moving parts inside the machine. This lets the printer be more durable over a long period of time.


Thermal printers are unique as they use pins inside that are heated to burn (as it is known) images onto paper that is sensitive to heat. If you want a high-quality image, you should not use this type. This is because the image can come out in a low-resolution form.

This printer is more appropriate for calculators or fax machines.

If you were unaware of what do printers do besides print fonts and images on paper, you can see there are a variety of printers and many purposes they can be used for.

Printer Anatomy to Know

The areas of a printer most people will interact with are the paper tray, where you place the desired paper you want your text and image on, and paper exit, where you retrieve it. Some other parts that are also important are the laser/LED light or ink cartridge (providing the source for the ink) and the photoreceptor drum that moves the paper you inserted around the printer.

What you may not know is the computer is actually not a required piece of equipment needed for the printer to work. Nowadays, smartphones, tablets, and WiFi can replace the computer’s needs.

Learn More About the Ins and Outs of Printers

Printers are a large part of life, with many activities and actions that they can get used to. Depending on the environment where they are needed, one capability that a specific printer has may not work for another purpose. No matter the reason why you need a printer, there is always a specific personal or commercial printer that will suit your needs.

We hope you enjoyed this post about how printers work. If you want to read more interesting articles like this, check out other areas of our site, such as the business section. Don’t stop learning!