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A laser (typically, an aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) semiconductor laser) projects a graphic of the page to be printed onto an electrically billed, selenium-coated, rotating, cylindrical drum[10] (or, more commonly on subsequent versions, a drum named an organic photoconductor manufactured from N-vinylcarbazole, an organic and natural monomer). Photoconductivity enables the billed electrons to fall from the areas subjected to light. Powdered ink (toner) particles are after that electrostatically attracted to the charged regions of the drum that have not really been laser-beamed. The drum afterward transfers the impression onto paper (which is normally passed through the device) by direct get in touch with. Finally the paper is usually exceeded onto a finisher, which uses strong heat to immediately fuse the toner/picture onto the paper.

There are typically seven steps mixed up in process:

Raster image processing

The file to be printed is encoded in a full page description vocabulary such as PostScript, Printer Command Language (PCL), or Open up XML Paper Specification (OpenXPS). The raster impression processor converts the site description right into a bitmap which is stored in the printer’s raster recollection. Each horizontal strip of dots over the page is known as a raster range or scan line.

Laser beam printing differs from additional printing technologies for the reason that each site is constantly rendered in one continuous process without any pausing in the centre, while other technologies like inkjet may pause every couple of lines. To avoid a buffer underrun (where in fact the laser reaches a spot on the webpage before it gets the dots to draw there), a laser printer typically wants enough raster memory to hold the bitmap picture of an entire page.

Memory requirements rise with the square of the dots per in ., so 600 dpi takes a the least 4 megabytes for monochrome, and 16 megabytes for color (still at 600 dpi). For totally graphical output by using a page description terminology, a minimum of 1 megabyte of recollection is required to store a whole monochrome letter/A4 sized web page of dots at 300 dpi. At 300 dpi, there are 90,000 dots per square in . (300 dots per linear inch). A typical 8.5 mm/11 sheet of paper has 0.25-inch (6.4 mm) margins, cutting down the printable spot to 8.0 by 10.5 inches (200 mm - 70 mm), or 84 square inches. 84 sq/in 90,000 dots per sq/in = 7,560,000 dots. 1 megabyte = 1,048,576 bytes, or 8,388,608 bits, which is merely large enough to carry the entire site at 300 dpi, leaving about 100 kilobytes to spare for make use of by the raster photograph processor.

In a color printer, each one of the four CMYK toner layers is kept as another bitmap, and all four layers are usually preprocessed before printing begins, so at the least 4 megabytes is needed for a full-color letter-size page at 300 dpi.

During the 1980s, recollection chips were continue to very expensive, which is why entry-level laser printers for the reason that era always came with four-digit advised retail prices in US us dollars. Memory prices later plunged, and 1200 dpi printers have already been widely obtainable in the consumer market since 2008. 2400 dpi electrophotographic printing plate makers, essentially laser printers that printing on plastic material sheets, are also obtainable.


In older printers, a corona wire positioned parallel to the drum or, in newer printers, a primary charge roller, jobs an electrostatic charge onto the photoreceptor (otherwise named the photography conductor unit), a revolving photosensitive drum or belt, which is capable of holding an electrostatic charge on its surface although it is in the dark.

An AC bias voltage is put on the primary charge roller to eliminate any residual charges still left by previous photos. The roller may also apply a DC bias on the drum area to make sure a uniform adverse potential.

Numerous patents[specify] explain the photosensitive drum coating as a silicon sandwich with a photocharging layer, a charge leakage barrier layer, in addition to a surface area layer. One release[specify] uses amorphous silicon including hydrogen as the light receiving level, Boron nitride as a charge leakage barrier layer, as well as a surface coating of doped silicon, notably silicon with oxygen or nitrogen which at adequate focus resembles machining silicon nitride.


A laser printer runs on the laser because lasers have the ability to form highly focused, precise, and strong beams of light, specifically over the short distances inside of a printer. The laser beam is aimed at a rotating polygonal mirror which directs the light beam through something of lenses and mirrors onto the photoreceptor drum, writing pixels at rates up to sixty five million moments per second.[11] The drum continues to rotate through the sweep, and the angle of sweep is canted very slightly to compensate because of this motion. The blast of rasterized data placed in the printer’s memory quickly turns the laser on / off as it sweeps.

The laser neutralizes (or reverses) the charge on the surface of the drum, leaving a static electronic negative image in the drum’s surface which will repel the negatively billed toner particles. The areas on the drum that have been struck by the laser beam, however, momentarily haven’t any fee, and the toner staying pressed against the drum by the toner-coated programmer roll in the next step movements from the roll’s rubber surface area to the uncharged portions of the top of drum.

Some non-laser beam printers (LED printers) use a range of light-emitting diodes spanning the width of the web page to generate an image, instead of utilizing a laser. “Exposing” can be known as “publishing” in a few documentation.


The top with the latent image is exposed to toner which includes been applied in a 15-micron-thick level to the programmer roll. Toner includes excellent particles of dry plastic powder blended with carbon black or coloring agents. The toner particles receive a negative charge within the toner cartridge, and as they emerge onto the programmer drum they are electrostatically drawn to the photoreceptor’s latent picture (the areas on the top of drum which had been struck by the laser beam). Because negative fees repel one another, the negatively charged toner particles won’t abide by the drum where the negative demand (imparted previously by the fee roller) remains.


A good sheet of paper is then rolled beneath the photoreceptor drum, which includes been coated with a pattern of toner particles in the actual places where the laser beam struck it occasions before. The toner particles employ a weak appeal to both the drum and the paper, however the bond to the drum is definitely weaker and the particles transfer once more, this time from the drum’s area to the paper’s surface area. Some machines also use a positively billed “transfer roller” on the trunk aspect of the paper to greatly help pull the negatively billed toner from the photoreceptor drum to the paper.


The paper passes through rollers in the fuser assembly, where temperatures up to 427C (801F) and pressure are being used to permanently bond the toner to the paper. One roller is usually a hollow tube (heat roller) and the other is a rubber backed roller (pressure roller). A radiant heat lamp can be suspended at the heart of the hollow tube, and its own infrared strength uniformly heats the roller from the within. For proper bonding of the toner, the fuser roller should be uniformly hot.

Some printers use an extremely thin flexible steel foil roller, thus there is less thermal mass to come to be heated and the fuser may quicker reach operating temperature. If paper techniques through the fuser even more slowly, there can be more roller contact time for the toner to melt, and the fuser can operate at less temperature. Smaller, economical laser printers typically print slowly, because of this energy-saving design, in comparison to large high quickness printers where paper movements quicker through a high-temperature fuser with a very short contact time.

Cleaning and recharging

As the drum completes a revolution, it is subjected to an electrically neutral soft plastic blade which cleans any staying toner from the photoreceptor drum and deposits it right into a waste reservoir. A demand roller afterward re-establishes a uniform detrimental charge on the top of now clean drum, readying it to end up being struck again by the laser.

Continuous printing

Once the raster image generation is complete, all techniques of the printing process can occur one following the other in rapid succession. This permits the utilization of an extremely small and compact product, where the photoreceptor is billed, rotates a few degrees and is certainly scanned, rotates some more degrees and is normally developed, etc. The entire process could be completed prior to the drum completes one revolution.

Different printers implement these steps in distinct techniques. LED printers use a linear array of light-emitting diodes to “create” the light on the drum. The toner is based on either wax or plastic material, in order that when the paper passes through the fuser assembly, the particles of toner melt. The paper may or might not exactly be oppositely billed. The fuser is definitely an infrared oven, a heated pressure roller, or (on some extremely fast, pricey printers) a xenon flash lamp. The warmup process that a laser printer undergoes when power is at first put on the printer consists typically of heat the fuser element.


The mechanism in the laser beam printer is somewhat delicate and, once damaged, sometimes impossible to repair. The drum specifically is a crucial component: it should not be left exposed to ambient light for more than a few hours, as mild is what causes it to reduce its charge and will eventually use it out. Anything that inhibits the operation of the laser for instance a scrap of torn paper may avoid the laser beam from discharging some portion of the drum, triggering those areas to appear as white colored vertical streaks. If the neutral wiper blade fails to remove residual toner from the drum’s surface, that toner may circulate on the drum another time, leading to smears on the printed web page with each revolution. If the fee roller becomes damaged or doesn’t have enough power, it could fail to adequately negatively charge the top of drum, enabling the drum to pick up excessive toner on the next revolution from the programmer roll and triggering a repeated but fainter picture from the prior revolution to appear listed below.

If the toner doctor blade does not make certain that a smooth, actually level of toner is put on the developer roll, the resulting printout might have white streaks out of this in places where in fact the blade has scraped off too much toner. Alternatively if the blade permits too much toner to remain on the programmer roll, the toner particles might arrive loose as the roll turns, precipitate onto the paper below, and be bonded to the paper through the fusing procedure. This will cause a general darkening of the published page in broad vertical stripes with extremely soft edges.

If the fuser roller will not reach a high more than enough temperature or if the ambient humidity is too much, the toner will not fuse well to the paper and could flake off after printing. If the fuser is normally too hot, the plastic element of the toner may smear, triggering the printed text to look like it is wet or smudged, or could cause the melted toner to soak through the paper to the back side.

Different manufacturers declare that their toners are particularly developed for their printers, and that additional toner formulations might not match the initial specifications in conditions of either tendency to simply accept a detrimental charge, to move to the discharged regions of the photoreceptor drum from the developer roll, to fuse appropriately to the paper, or even to come off the drum cleanly on each revolution.