Solid ink printers are those printers that use solid wax technology. This technology uses solid ink sticks or granular solid material in replacement for fluid ink or toner powder. These drums of solid ink are generally stored in a container and then transferred to the printing head. With the help of worm gear, this ink gets melted.
After melting, the printer produces incredible images with high concentration. These printers do not print the ink directly onto the paper like other regular printers. But instead, they jet the ink onto a drum. The transferring process of the melted ink to the drum and finally to the printer produces better color registration. This is because you can tightly control the drum in comparison to paper.
What is a solid ink printer?
Solid ink, also known as hot melt ink, is a waxy resin-based polymer used in printing. It stands out from other inks in the aspect that it gets melted before usage, unlike other liquid inks. This type of ink is generally used to print large format graphics where vividness of the color is extremely important.
Solid ink has a wax-like texture, and they get used with the sticks that get heated to a melting point. The ink then prints the image similar to offset printing technology. The texture of the solid ink printed paper feels waxy due to these reasons.
Solid ink technology was first introduced in 1986 by Tektronix, an Oregon-based company to cope with the high cost of printing. After experimenting with water-based cartridges, Tektronix introduced a solid ink printer in 1991 called the Phaser III. The printer used thermal technology and a dry cartridge/stick, making it the first solid ink printer. Xerox bought the rights to solid ink technology from Tektronix in 2000.
Benefits of Solid Ink Printers
Solid ink printers are ideal for graphic designers. The print quality of these printers provides excellent colour definition and lively colors. The melted wax provides a glossy surface for the printed image.
There are no empty cartridges, as in the case of inkjet and laser printers. Therefore you do not need to dispose of them from time to time. This makes these solid ink printers pretty environmentally friendly. Solid ink sticks do not dry out like regular ink cartridges do and therefore last longer.
Solid ink sticks are thoroughly heated to melt, unlike other printers, which means it takes time to ready. Solid ink printers heat up before print and reheat in between prints. Therefore, it needs time to cool down and cannot get moved until this cycle gets finished.
Overall, Solid ink printers are ideal if you are into graphic designing and want to print high color concentrated images. Inkjets, laserjets, and other printers do not produce such images in comparison. Hence, in these conditions, a solid ink printer is your perfect choice.