How Inkjet Printing Works

If you have a printer at home, it’s highly likely that it is an inkjet printer. While there are many other types of printer, the most common ones on the market today are inkjet and laser. Inkjet printers are so called because they operate using a cartridge full of ink. The ink comes out of tiny nozzles, which spray it onto the paper.

This is different from older styles of printer such as the dot matrix, which would use small pins to strike an ink-coated ribbon, leaving the impression of the ink on the paper.

How Inkjet Printers Release Ink

There are different kinds of inkjet printer that ATD UK can supply, and they form their ink droplets in a few different ways. The main kind which is in use today is ‘thermal bubble’. This uses heat to vaporize the ink. The heat will make the ink expand, pushing it out of the nozzle. The bubble will ‘pop’ pulling ink out of the cartridge and releasing the ink onto the paper. These nozzles are tiny. A print head can have up to 600 of them, and each of those heads can fire a bubble at the same time.

The thermal bubble style of inkjet printing is the one favoured by Hewlett Packard and Canon. There is another type of inkjet printing that is used by Epson, which relies on piezoelectric technology. This uses crystals which vibrate when exposed to an electric charge. The vibration pushes the ink out of the nozzle.

Both types of printing can produce detailed, high-quality images.

Color Vs Black And White

With a black and white cartridge, there is one type of ink in the reservoir. To print colour, you use a CMYK cartridge. This contains four types of ink – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink. Using combinations of these inks it is possible to create other colours. The cartridge will spray the required inks in precise quantities to create the correct colour combinations for the printing. The precision that is necessary to achieve the right colours is one of the reasons that it is important to align the print heads when you fit a new cartridge. If the colours do not combine properly then the image could be blurry, or the colours could be a little different to what you expect.

Printing a full-colour image takes longer than printing black text because the heads move across the page slowly to produce detailed colours.