Explaining how printer Ink Cartridges work

Inkjet printers are a very popular form of printers used across the globe for carrying out printing of documents, photos etc. These Inkjet Printers uses Ink Cartridges to print. The ink cartridge is an important part of an inkjet printer as this cartridge contains ink that is splashed onto the paper for printing. The ink cartridge is a repository that holds and contains one or more ink and when the computer sends printing command to the inkjet printer the ink cartridge splashes thousands of dots of colors on the paper to do the printing. There are two technologies that ink cartridges use to fire the ink on the paper for printing namely:

  • Bubble Jets: Popularly known as the ‘Thermal Inkjet’. This method fires the ink on the paper by heating the ink. The ink in the ink cartridge repository is heated inside each partition using a tiny metal plate or resistor. The thermal inkjet ink cartridges work as under:
    • The first instruction is received from human to the computer.
    • The computer then sends the printing command to the inkjet printer.
    • Once the command is received, the inkjet printers electronic circuit which amongst thousands of nozzles to be fired to print the designated task.
    • The circuit passes an electric current from the nozzles that need to fire the ink, this electric current is passed through small resistors that are present in every partition of the ink cartridge.
    • The electric current causes heat and warms up the ink present in the ink repository.
    • As the ink in the ink cartridge boils it creates a bubble of ink vapor.
    • The heating causes the ink bubble to expand enormously and then it bursts.
    • As soon as the bubble bursts it sprays the ink on the paper in dots.
    • The bursting bubble also creates a vacuum in the nozzle which helps in vacuuming more ink from the repository thus making the smooth flow of the ink.
    • While on the other hand, the printer head moves forward to create the next character on the paper.

(Photo Credit: fespa.com)

  • Piezoelectric: Piezoelectric is another way of firing ink from the ink cartridge on the paper. This technique is slightly different from a thermal The piezoelectric ink cartridge works as follows:
    • Instructions from a human are received by the computer.
    • The computer then commands the inkjet printer of the printing.
    • The inkjet printer that uses piezoelectric technique energize or charge the piezoelectric crystals that change shape and size to create the desired printing done on the page.
    • Once the piezoelectric crystals are charged they flex towards the ink dispenser which increases the pressure and propels the ink droplet to move forward and squirt on the paper.
    • Once the desired character, text or image is printed the printer arm moves the ink cartridge forward across the printing page to print the rest of the text or image.

This is the diagrammatic representation of the working of the ink cartridges in inkjet printers. Epson L360 Resetter

(Photo Credit: Supplies Outlet Blog)

So, above we saw the working of the inkjet cartridges and how it works to print the desired text or image. Do you think we can add more to above? Let us know your comment on the same.

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