Electrostatics

Laser Printer

The laser printer is a tool we often forget about because of its recurrent role in our lives. Laser printers are the tool used to take images, documents, etc. from your computer and print it out in a materialistic form. This printer receives high quality images because of the precision of the laser and how it is exactly used.
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The origination of the laser printer

The laser printer had its early beginnings under the name of the Xerox Corporation. In 1969 genius Gary Starkweather had come up with the idea of the laser printer. The machine was inspired by a modification of the xerographic system of the Xerox Corporation. Starkweather had replaced parts of this system with a revolving drum made of eight faces of glass. It took Starkweather a short period of time to construct the the hardware of the laser printer itself in 1971. By 1972 Xerox came up with a prototype of the laser printer.


Xerox were the first inventors of the laser printer, but IBM were the first to release a commercial version of it. This model, called IBM 3800 came out in 1976. By 1981 the first real laser printer made for personal use had been released. This model was called the Xerox Star 8010. Although this was a very efficient and useful tool, it did not go across the market too well. It was very expensive, selling at $17 000 for every unit. Not many companies were able to afford it. Approximately 100 000 units were sold.


Many improvements have undergone in the past 30-40 years for the laser printer. Although this is occurring, and its being for the best, the principles are still the same.

What does it have to do with electrostatics?

Whether it is evident or not, laser printers do use electrostatics to function. Static electricity is used when getting the ink from the cartilage onto the paper. Probably the most important part of the printer, the drum, revolves within the bounds of the printer and holds a positive electrical charge. Illustrated by a negatively charged laser beam to do its job, basically printing the image in an invisible electrostatic form. The drum, which is still positively charged, is then rolled in between the toner ink. As a result the ink will attach to parts of the drum that are still negatively charged, creating an image on the drum.


The paper which glides through is at a very negative state and this attracts the positively charged ink which had already appeared on the drum. It is essential that the paper has a stronger negative charge than the strength of the positively charged ink so that the image can be transferred on to paper instead of permanently being on the drum. The reason why paper is so heated when it comes out of the printer is so that the ink can be assisted to permanently remain in the paper fibres.


The Drum

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