Need help deciding on what type of printer fits your needs? PrinterComparison.com has a new series, "Finding the right printer for you." Building on our handy guide of the same title, PrinterComparison.com will feature a different style of printer each week for the rest of December.
This week we will be taking a closer look at solid ink printers.
All about Solid Ink Printers
A solid ink printer is different from other printers because the ink starts in a solid resin-based state similar to candle wax or a crayon, hence the name. At Xerox - the only manufacturer currently selling solid ink printers – each stick of color is shaped differently to fit the unique slots in the printer.
The ink is melted into the print head which then applies the ink to a drum or plate that transfers the ink to the page. The ink dries quickly due to its consistency and can be used on a wide array of print mediums including transparencies.
Since the ink is solid, it is simple to install and there is almost zero mess. The ink is also environmentally healthy and according to a certain infamous source – Wikipedia – the President of Tektronix, a solid ink manufacturer that was purchased by Xerox in 2000, actually ate some of a solid ink stick to prove it was non toxic. However, when we fact checked with Xerox they mentioned it was actually the Vice President of Marketing that ate the stick. Wikipedia goofed as usual.
Solid ink printers can take a long time to warm up but once they are ready to print, it provides solid print speeds. These printers also take a good amount of time to cool down so don’t move the printer right after completing a print job or the melted ink could spill.
Also, if you use your solid ink printer frequently, it is better to leave it on throughout the day instead of turning it off after every job. You’ll conserve ink this way since every time the printer is turned off a portion of the ink is wasted.
The best part about a solid ink printer is the vivid colors and the interesting raised prints. Most laser printers can't compete with the colors and people who own solid ink printers usually rave about them.
As of this writing, Xerox is the only major printer manufacturer selling solid ink printers. You can read all about solid ink technology on the Xerox website.
We are constantly receiving new review units so keep checking back.
Solid ink printers are lesser known in today’s market, mostly because of the lack of units available. But that shouldn’t diminish the many positive attributes of solid ink printer.
A solid ink printer might be for you if you are environmentally conscious and love/need to print bright, colorful documents.
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