We know that for what printers are used for, the main task of a printer is to generate a permanent copy of any output. Here, we are going to discuss about the two types of printers – impact and non-printers. The primary difference between the impact and non-impact printers is that impact printers involves the image produced with the help of electromechanical impact device but in non-impact printers, no mechanical impact device is used.
There are several types of printers comes under the above given two categories, such as the Dot Matrix, Daisy Wheel, Line Printers are the impact printers. On the other hand, Inkjet Printer, Laser Printer and Plotter come under the category of non-impact printers.
Content: Impact Printers Vs Non-impact Printers
|Basis for comparison
|Electromechanical print head
|No electromechanical device
|Printing is done by hammering a set of metal pin or character set.
|It prints by depositing ink in any form.
|Can be created
|Hard to produce multiple copies.
|Character output and photo-quality images.
|Operation produces noise
|Dot matrix, Daisy wheel and line printers.
|Plotter, inkjet and laser printers.
Definition of Impact Printers
The Impact printers use an electromechanical component to impact on the paper in order to print the letters over the paper sheet. It is analogous to a mechanical typewriter. The mechanism used in these printers is known as the electro-mechanical mechanism. It works at a slower speed as compared to the non-impact printers due to the involvement of a mechanical device.
Types of Impact Printers
Now, let’s discuss various impact printers.
Dot Matrix Printer
It prints a character with the help of a group of pins having a very small radius which strikes on the ink ribbon and constructs a dot at the point of impact. The proper arrangement of the dots can create a character or an image. The assembly consisting of pins and hammer swings back and forth through a motor and strike the ink ribbon to print the character on the paper.
A roller is used to reposition the paper to the next line and keeps printing. The pin assembly contains 7×5 or 9×7 dots organized in a matrix, the higher number of the dots the finer your impression will get.
Daisy Wheel Printer
These printers are attached with wheel known as daisy wheel, which has all the characters used in the printing process. The characters are carved over the small metal plates that are mounted over a spoke of the wheel. While printing the wheel rotates at a very high on which an electromechanical hammer hits on the suitable character when it reaches under the hammer.
It strikes the character on an ink ribbon which drives out the ink from the ribbon and creates the impression of the character’s shape on the paper. Replacement of a wheel could result in printing a different set of characters by each wheel. Daisy wheel printers are fast and appropriate for printing elementry text which can print at the rate of 10-50 characters per second. However, these can not be used to print images.
The line printer prints the whole line of text at once consuming less time. Similar to other impact printers it also contains the hammer which hit the ink ribbon, but the difference is that there is a series of hammers for each column so that a line can be printed at once. The line printers work at a faster pace but are heavy and expensive.
There are two types of line printers, Drum and chain. Drum printers have a cylindrical drum containing 132 parallel tracks where in each track all character set (i.e. 64 character set) engraved in it. The printing paper and ribbon are jammed between the drum and a set of 132 hammers, each concerning to a particular character. Unlike, the chain printer uses a chaining mechanism to generate a loop. By using a motor, the chain is rotated horizontally over the paper in a fast manner.
Definition of Non-impact Printers
The non-impact printers produce images or text without the use of the impact hammer or ink ribbon. It produces negligible or no noises while printing as it does not use any electro-mechanical mechanism like impact printers. These printers are capable of generating black & white and colour printouts. Furthermore, the quality of the printed material is extremely better than the impact printers. However, it is incapable of producing multiple copies of the same document simultaneously.
Types of Non-impact Printers
The mechanism of an inkjet printer is very different from impact printer, it ejects microscopic drops of ink by the small ink nozzles in the print head. It uses a resistive heating effect to heat up each nozzle selectively, in micro-seconds. This heating effect helps in the expansion of the ink in the cartridge and ejection from the nozzle on the paper.
The ink comes out from the nozzle forms tiny dots, and these dots combinely make characters or an image. The movement of the cartridge specified by the instructor using the printer and it usually moves sideways. A roller used to roll on the paper to make the printer print the next line.
It uses dry ink to print text or images, but it also uses a laser beam to charge the part of the roller drum layered with a photo-conducting material. The charge pattern placed on the drum depends on the content of the document to be printed.
When the paper is rolled over drum the static charges on the drum facilitates the dry ink to be deposited onto the paper. In the end, the paper is heated to bind the ink on the paper. There are four distinct drums and tonner assembles of primary colours used in colour laser printer.
A plotter is similar to the inkjet printer, but it is good for printing something on a bigger size paper rather than the regular one. These are mainly used for laying out and printing the engineering drawings such as building plans, drawing of mechanical components and assembly drawings, and so on.
It is capable of printing black and white as well as colour prints. The two types of plotter are drum and flat-bed plotter in which the drum plotter rolls the paper over the drum. Conversely, flat-bed plotter uses plotting pens over which the paper is positioned.
Key Differences Between Impact and Non-impact Printers
- The impact printers involve mechanical components for conducting printing. As against, in non-impact printers, there is no mechanical moving component used.
- Non-impact printers deposit ink over the paper using any mechanism. On the contrary, the mechanism in impact printers are different where the pins are hammered over the ink ribbon along which the paper is attached.
- Impact printers produce character outputs but cannot be able to produce live images easily, unlike non-impact printers, which can also produce a print of images.
- Due to the mechanical component, the impact printers are noisy, while non-impact printers do not generate noise.
- The speed of the non-impact printers is greater than the impact printers.
- Non-impact printers have a huge variety of colour options, whereas the prints produced by the impact printers are of a single colour.
The impact printers are the traditional type of printers that cannot produce multiple copies of a document, and these were used to do the basic printing. On the other hand, the non-impact printers are the modern printers which were developed to enhance the features of the standard printers. These can create copies of a document.