Archive for the ‘Printing Technology Glossary’ Category

The Remanufactured Printer Toner Process

Posted Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 by .

Toner CartridgesMany buyers have the impression that remanufacturing printer toner cartridges is simply a matter of refilling the toner and reselling them, which is why they often have the impression that refilling themselves will get the same results. In reality, there are a number of steps in the remanufacturing process, and a high standard of quality is upheld during this process to ensure that users get the best results out of these cartridges. Simply refilling the cartridges will not meet these standards, and could even result in damage to the printer. See Dangers of Refilling Toner Yourself for more information on why refilling can be harmful.

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Uses for Wide-Format Printers

Posted Friday, March 30th, 2012 by .

Wide format printerWide-format printers (or large-format printers) are less common than the typical home or office units many users are used to, but they can be used for a much wider variety of tasks, and can be used with a wider variety of media as well. For those who already have a wide-format printer, you may not even be aware of the many uses for your machine. Most of this uses don’t even require special ink cartridges. Continue reading “Uses for Wide-Format Printers” »

Public Notification

Posted Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 by .

March 22nd, 2012–Canon and Ink Technologies have resolved their pending lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York regarding Ink Technologies’ alleged infringement of Canon’s U.S. Patent Nos. 5,903,803 and 6,128,454, with Ink Technologies stipulating to a Consent Judgment and Permanent Injuction from the Southern District of New York, which will prohibit Ink Technologies from making, using, selling and  offering for sale in the U.S., and from importing into the U.S., the toner cartridges that Canon accused of infringement.

Ink Cartridge Microchips

Posted Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 by .

Smart Chip

As printers become more and more affordable, it seems that ink cartridges often become more expensive. This is somewhat by design, as manufacturers lower the price of the machine but hope to make it back on the increased cost of supplies. Many savvy consumers try to save money by refilling their own cartridges or purchasing third-party versions, but they may run into a problem with compatibility: microchips. Continue reading “Ink Cartridge Microchips” »

Explaining Printheads

Posted Friday, February 3rd, 2012 by .

Print HeadAll inkjet printers require printheads, but not all printheads are the same.  Printheads are the hubs that take the ink from the cartridge and push it through the nozzles to be applied intricately and precisely to the paper.  There are three different types of printheads and two different elements within the printheads that separate one technology from the other. Continue reading “Explaining Printheads” »

What are Picoliters?

Posted Friday, December 23rd, 2011 by .

PicoliterIf you have been comparing different printer models, you may have seen a reference to picoliters as a measurement of the size of droplets. In inkjet cartridges, a nozzle technology is used to dispense miniscule droplets of liquid ink on the paper that combine to make the images and text.  In general, the smaller the drops are, the more accurate the final print will be.  Much like pixels of a digital camera, the higher the number, the better the color quality will be.  The size of the drops are closely related to printer resolution. For printing with ink, the resolution of prints is measured by DPI, or dots per inch.  The size of inkjet droplets is measured in picoliters, a measurement so small it is unseen to most human beings.  This microscopic dot of printer ink is typically written pL, but pl is also widely accepted. Continue reading “What are Picoliters?” »

Understanding Color Depth or Bit Depth

Posted Friday, December 16th, 2011 by .

When photographers and designers speak of bit depth (also referred to as color depth) of an image it is usually in reference to a scanner or a digital camera. The bit depth can be described in the most basic terms as the number of colors that can be captured into a digital image. Let us look at some of the core concepts involved.

What is Bit Depth?

Bit depth is a basic system that defines the extent of color tones that can be reached by a printer.  This is measured in bits.  A single bit can best described as sort of an ON/OFF switch. As the amount of bits increase, the clarity of prints increase as well.  A standard computer screen offers a total of 24 bits while early computing systems only featured 16 or fewer bits.


Only two colors can be achieved by a printer that uses only 1 bit. An older black and white printer could either use black or white, but did not have any shades of gray. When 8-bit color came along it could display 256 different colors to create an image, 16-bit color can display 65,536 colors and was the standard for many years for display monitors. Color images require more bits to accurately “describe” the color for a display or a printer. For example, the “True Color” 24-bit depth used by many modern operating systems 256 shades of blue, red and green, creating 16,777,216 internal color variations.  With this amount of color tones available, photographs and graphics will be vivid and nearly an exact match to an original image with smoother gradients and transitions between colors. True Color is so named because it can display so many colors it provides a true representation of the original subject for the human eye. Higher bit depths such as 36 and 48-bit are now available, providing even more accurate color rendering. Continue reading “Understanding Color Depth or Bit Depth” »

Toner Cartridge Facts

Posted Friday, December 2nd, 2011 by .

IBM 3800 Printer

The IBM 3800 laser printer was a behemoth by today’s standards.

The very first commercial laser printer was the IBM 3800, released in 1976. This innovative machine took up a large part of a room, but would pave the way for future laser printers that would change the business world by putting printing directly in the hands of office users. In 1986, the toner cartridge remanufacturing industry was introduced to the world and would quickly become a friend to those on a budget.  Remanufactured cartridges not only save consumers money, but also help to preserve the environment by eliminating the amount of cartridges in landfills. Continue reading “Toner Cartridge Facts” »

Thermal Inkjet Printers

Posted Friday, October 14th, 2011 by .

First marketed in 1976, inkjet printers have come a long way in the last few decades.  These days, inkjet printers can rival the speed of some laser printers while still creating vibrant, true-to-life images.  There are two primary types of drop-on-demand inkjet printers, piezoelectric and thermal, with the latter being far more common.

When a job is sent to a thermal inkjet printer, a resistor within the printhead is immediately heated.  This will cause the ink in the hopper to expand into an air bubble within the printhead (which is where the Canon-coined name ‘BubbleJet’ comes from). The ink air bubble is forced through the nozzles (Typically thermal inkjet printers have 300 – 600 nozzles per ink cartridge) and onto the selected media, where it regains liquid form and dries onto the paper.  Once that air bubble pops, a vacuum pull is created, which sucks more ink from the cartridge into the printhead for the next bubble.

Here is a quick video as a visual aid:

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What are Large Format Printers?

Posted Friday, October 7th, 2011 by .

The majority of users in the world require standard laser or inkjet printers that are fairly compact in size and that can produce high-quality prints using mostly standard paper sizes.  However, there is a small group of users who need to print on larger formats such as banners, posters, and more. This is where large-format printers come in.

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