Parts of the Printer

Your office’s printers, which print correspondence, invoices, and reports, are made up of hundreds of functional parts. Despite having a wide range in terms of price, capacity, and size, printers share a lot of components. All printers have a paper supply, a paper feeder, a printing mechanism, and electronics to manage the entire printing process.


Paper Trays

In order to hold paper for printing, printers often include one or more trays. Simple desktop printers typically use a single tray that may be adjusted for various paper, envelope, and other media sizes. A tiny printer tray typically holds 100�250 sheets. High-capacity cassette trays on a larger printer that can accommodate a number of users can hold thousands of sheets. A separate manual feeder tray for envelopes and other unique forms may also be included.


Feed Mechanism

A sheet of paper is taken out of the tray and fed through the printer’s print mechanism by the feed mechanism. A set of rubber rollers in the feed mechanism are intended to consistently pull single sheets from the tray’s top. As soon as one sheet is finished printing, the printer’s electronics trigger the feed mechanism to bring in a fresh one.


Laser Print Mechanism

A metal drum, a laser, and mirrors to reflect the laser make up a laser printer’s print mechanism. The optics “draw” text and artwork as a grid of small dots as they move the laser beam around the drum’s surface. The laser causes a charge of static electricity to accumulate on the drum’s light-sensitive surface in response. Only the static electricity-held toner powder sticks to the drum. The powder is heated in the drum and melted before being pressed onto a sheet of paper by the printing mechanism.


Inkjet Print Mechanism

A set of cartridges or a single cartridge is precisely sprayed across a sheet of paper by an inkjet printer. A simple motor-driven belt that carries the cartridge is the only component of an inkjet print mechanism because the cartridge itself has numerous active components.



A printer’s electronics consist of a microprocessor and memory, a control panel and other components. The microprocessor receives a document from the user’s computer and converts it into a series of tiny dots that form the image on the page. It also controls the timing of the feed and printing mechanisms and stops the printer if it detects a paper jam. The control panel lets you stop, start and test the printer, as well as change its configuration.


Output Bins

Printouts fall into a single or multiple output bins. The pages are typically kept neatly stacked in a single bin by most printers. For managing multiple print jobs or collating the pages of a report, more advanced printers have two or more bins. If the output bin fills up, a switch may be installed that stops the printer. This stops pages from falling from a stack’s top and dispersing all over the floor.


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