How Does a Laser Printer Work

Have you ever wondered how a laser printer works? We have the answer to your question.
Laser printers are vital machines in every business office. They are very efficient and cost effective to use when you need to print large quantities over short periods. Their toner cartridges can hold enough to print thousands or even tens of thousands of pages.

1. Step one

The moment you press print on your computer, million pieces (bytes) of information stream into a small chip in the printer from your computer. An electronic circuit in the printer, which is essentially a small computer in its own right, figures out how to print this data so it looks correct on the page. The electronic circuit activates the corona wire, a high-voltage wire that gives a static electric charge to anything nearby.

2. Step two

The corona wire then charges up the photoreceptor drum which becomes positively charged. At the same time, the laser is activated by the circuit to make it draw the image of the page onto the drum by bouncing off a moving mirror that scans it over the drum. When the laser beam makes contact with the drum, it erases the positive charge that was there, making it negatively charged.

3. Step three

An ink roller touching the photoreceptor drum coats it with a positively charged toner, tiny particles of fine black or coloured powder. The toner sticks to the parts of the photoreceptor drum that have a negative charge. By passing the laser over the drum again and again, an inked image of the page builds up on the drum.

4. Step Four

A sheet of paper from the other side of the printer feeds up towards the drum. The paper receives a strong positive electrical charge by another corona wire as it moves along. When the paper approaches the drum, its positive charge attracts the negatively charged toner particles away from the drum. The image is then transferred from the drum onto the paper. The toner does not dry like ink but lightly sticks on the paper’s surface by the electrostatic charge.

5. Step five

The inked paper is then passed between two hot rollers known as the fuser unit. The unit rapidly heats the surface to 200 °C and with the pressure from the rollers, the toner particles are melted and fused permanently into the fibres of the paper. The printout emerges from the side of the copier, still warm.

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