In computing, a printer is a peripheral device which makes a persistent human-readable representation of graphics or text on paper.
The first computer printer designed was a mechanically driven apparatus by Charles Babbage for his difference engine in the 19th century; however, his mechanical printer design was not built until 2000.
The first electronic printer was the EP-101, invented by Japanese company Epson and released in 1968.The first commercial printers generally used mechanisms from electric typewriters and Teletype machines.
Solid ink printers, also known as phase-change printers, are a type of thermal transfer printer.They use solid sticks of CMYK-coloured ink, similar in consistency to candle wax, which are melted and fed into a piezo crystal operated print-head.
The printhead sprays the ink on a rotating, oil coated drum.The paper then passes over the print drum, at which time the image is immediately transferred, or transfixed, to the page. Solid ink printers are most commonly used as colour office printers, and are excellent at printing on transparencies and other non-porous media.
Acquisition and operating costs are similar to laser printers.
Drawbacks of the technology include high energy consumption and long warm-up times from a cold state.Also, some users complain that the resulting prints are difficult to write on, as the wax tends to repel inks from pens, and are difficult to feed through automatic document feeders, but these traits have been significantly reduced in later models.
In addition, this type of printer is only available from one manufacturer, Xerox, manufactured as part of their Xerox Phaser office printer line.