Inkjet printer: almost 60 years of history

Inkjet printer: almost 60 years of history

In the middle of the 90s to havetable is not disgusting buzzing "matrix", and a beautiful, compact, fast "jet" was the cherished dream of many, then not yet numerous, computer users of the post-Soviet space (the laser printer did not even have to dream).

The first inkjet printer was developed by the companySiemens in the middle of the twentieth century. In 1953 he entered the market. More precisely, it was not an inkjet printer familiar to today's users, but a device for measuring the results of measurements, which transferred certain data to paper using a jet of liquid ink, which in the air disintegrated into individual drops.

The author of the first "jet" in the form in whichwe used to perceive it, is the firm Epson. And till now this company steadily occupies a leading position in terms of sales of inkjet printers, and millions of users answer the question "What inkjet printer is better?", Without hesitation, they answer "Epson".

The principle of the first Epson inkjet printerwas called piezoelectric. The print head of the device consists of thousands of small nozzles. A piezocrystal connected to the diaphragm is installed in each nozzle. If a voltage is applied to the crystal, it deforms, thereby pressing the diaphragm, which pushes the drop out of the nozzle. With the passage of time, this method of printing underwent some changes (the use of piezoelectric plates, piezoelectric transducers, etc.), but the basic principle has not changed for several decades. In addition to Epson, the piezoelectric printing method is used by Brother in their printers.

Canon Company in the late 70's modernized the principle ofthe work of an inkjet printer previously proposed by Epson. The main change - the piezoelectric crystal was replaced by a heating element. With the help of his drop of ink in the nozzle for a fraction of a second heated to a temperature of 400 ÂșC and under the influence of thermal expansion forces flew from the nozzle onto the paper. This principle of printing was called the thermal seal.

Many improvements to an inkjet printerintroduced one more company, which is also known for its printing devices - Hewlett-Packard. For example, in its "inkjets" this company began to use a slightly modified thermal principle of printing, when ink on paper falls not in a liquid but in a gaseous state, i.e. still in the form of heated steam. This is not a very fundamental change, therefore, as a rule, experts do not allocate Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers in a separate class. It was also in Hewlett-Packard in the early 90's that, blending in different proportions cyan, magenta and yellow colors, the inkjet printer could give out almost any other color.

Another important criterion that divides all inkjetprinters for two camps, is the type of print head. Hewlett-Packard and Lexmark use ink cartridges with built-in printheads. Other major inkjet printer manufacturers (Epson, Canon, Xerox, Brother) use print heads that are part of the printer, and the cartridge is in fact a small ink tank. True, in the past few years, Canon in its inexpensive "jet" is gradually moving to the use of combined cartridges.

Approach with a cartridge separated from the print cartridgehead, has its main advantage in the cheapness of the ink itself. But at the same time such printers are extremely vulnerable before drying ink in the head due to long downtime. Undesirable is considered simple within a week, critical - three to four weeks. In the event of failure of the printhead, which costs up to 50% of the cost of a new printer, it is cheaper to buy a new printer. Thanks to this, printers with a combined printhead, despite the high cost of consumables, are in steady demand.

At the beginning of this century, inkjet printers beganGradually leave the stage, crowded by becoming increasingly cheaper devices with laser printing. On the side of the latter were the speed and cheapness of consumables. It seemed that for several more years, and the inkjet printer turned into a niche product, which in its time happened to the "matrix".

A new impetus to the development and popularization of inkjetprinting has given the development of digital photography. Users, having received the opportunity not to carry the film for development in the photo lab, seriously thought about whether it is worth to carry photographs somewhere, or they can be printed at home? Thus, home photo printing became the segment in which inkjet printers received a second birth. And, what is remarkable, feel good in it so far.

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