How To Understand a Thermal Printer

The thermal printer is also called a direct thermal printer. Unlike other printers, this printer generates images through the careful heating of thermal paper. Another mode that is related to thermal printing is the thermal transfer printing, a mode that fabricates image through heating ribbons.

How does a thermal printer work? A thermal printer functions with the help of its key components. These are the key components of a thermal printer: controller boards, platen, spring, and thermal head.

  1. Controller boards. These boards are used to run the mechanism of the thermal printer. Controllers are implanted with firmware. This firmware runs graphics and bar codes, as well as logos. Firmware allows the user to customize font style and font size. In addition, a controller board can manage sensors such as door open, paper low, etc. Controller boards are also used with interfaces like wireless, parallel, RS-232, or USB. Some controller boards direct cash drawers.
  2. Platen. The platen is a roller made of rubber. The platen feeds the printer with thermal paper. After the thermal papers is inserted, thermal transfer occurs that results in the prescription color patterns in the paper.
  3. Spring. The pressure is applied to the thermal head through the spring. This pressure makes the contact between the thermal paper and the thermal head possible.
  4. Thermal head. Heat is generated in the printer through the thermal head. The thermal head is the component responsible for printing on thermal paper. 

Thermal printers are usually used for simple tasks. For instance, printing of receipts and logos is easily done through thermal printers. These printers are also known to be cost-effective because they generate documents by heating thermo-sensitive paper. Printing of black with another color (e.g. red) is another feature of a thermal printer. Here are the different types of thermal printers:

  1. Wireless thermal printer. This kind uses infrared beams to bond with computers. This kind is said to be one of the best thermal printers.
  2. Direct thermal printer. This printer works through burning dots on the thermal paper. Direct thermal printer is recommended for printing labels as well as printing receipts. With direct thermal printers, it is as if you have your own label printer. Unlike the wireless thermal printers, this type can only perform monochrome printing.
  3. Thermal wax transfer printer. This kind of printer needs heat to transmit images. A ribbon coated with wax is used by this printer. Unlike the first two printers, the thermal wax transfer printer can perform multiple colored printing.

Thermal printers are best for business industries due to the following advantages:

  1. Prints faster than dot matrix printer.
  2. Performs without noise as compared to dot matrix printer.
  3. Saves money because it does not need ink.
  4. Generates bar codes faster like a zebra printer.
  5. Highlights important data through two-colored printing.
  6. Provides font enhancement (e.g. larger font size for senior citizens).
  7. Enhances company’s identity through printed logos in receipts.
  8. Reduces the use of two-ply papers.

Choosing thermal printers will indeed help you increase the profit of your company. What are you waiting for? Grab a thermal printer now.


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