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Printing is like a wardrobe (bear with me, I’ve not been on the gin at lunch, this does make sense). In your wardrobe you have certain clothes that suit certain occasions (swimmers, suits etc.) and printing is the same. There is a huge array of different printing methods, where certain methods are best suited to certain projects. It is best to decide which method is best suited to you before you start your project. (Unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind turning up to a wedding in shorts!)

Here’s the first instalment of our guide:

Dot Matrix Printing

Dot matrix printing is a specific type of printing in which the print head runs up and down the page whilst printing by impact. This works similarly to how a typewriter works, where an ink-soaked ribbon hits against the page resulting in an impression. The print head contains minute rods which produce each individual dot that makes up each letter. There are two different ways by which dot matrix printing is achieved and they are as follows:

The Common Serial Dot Matrix Printer

This technology uses a print head that moves along horizontally. The pins in the head are arranged in a specific order which results in an increased dot density as well as an increased output.

The Line Dot Matrix Printer

This variation in printer technology uses a fixed print head which is as wide as the paper and it encompasses more individual pins than the print head on a common serial dot matrix printer. The print speed is thus increased and this type of printer is used commonly in a professional heavy duty market. Both of these types of printers a much more durable than your average desktop printer and therefore dot matrix printers are used in many commercial businesses, such as in ATM machines, cash registers and in fire alarms. Dot matrix printers can print carbon copies and they also have one of the lowest per page printing costs. These types of printer are able to use one continuous length of paper, rather than individual sheets, this is useful when the printing quantity is more important than the printing quality.

Solid Ink Printers

Solid ink printing techniques print use solid sticks of ink that are melted in the print head. They are then applied on to the printing drum and finally on to the paper. The results of this are brilliant quality printing. These printers achieve an amazing result which is a massive advantage to commercial printing businesses, over the quality an inkjet printer can produce, for example.

Thermal Autochrome Printers

This type of printing technology is mainly used by digital photographers and it uses a special certain type of paper that is light-sensitive and that has hidden panels of magenta, yellow and cyan colour on them. The print head heats each individual layer of colour separately before they are fixed with an ultraviolet head. Thermal Wax Printers Thermal wax printers use heated pins against a wax-coated ribbon. The colours yellow, magenta and cyan along with black are passed along this ribbon. In turn the heated pins then melt the wax onto the paper where it finally hardens. Thermal wax printers are brilliant at producing vibrant colours.

As I mentioned, printing is a wardrobe and it’s more like your mother’s wardrobe, packed full of clothes that she’s saving for the right occasion. With that in mind we’ll have to finish this off in the next article! In the meantime if you need something printing and you’d like some advice on printing techniques, give us a shout!