A dot matrix printer is a type of impact computer printer. It has a printer head that moves in a back and forth and up and down motion, hitting the ink ribbon placed against the paper to produce images and texts. Its mechanism is similar to a typewriter but the dot matrix has the ability to change font styles and produce graphics because the printer head is of a dot matrix. It does not have precast letters; instead it has needle-like print heads to produce dots that make up a letter.
Dot matrix printers, or any type of impact printer, make use of carbon ribbon. Ribbons come in different shapes and sizes depending on the type of printer you have. Typewriters make use of two small ribbon rolls. Dot matrix printers need printer ribbons that correspond to the size of the machine. The printer ribbon quality determines the quality of your documents. That is why it is important to know the different types. There are single-strike and multi-strike ribbons. This came about because ribbons used on dot matrix apply the same principles as typewriter ribbons: A newly installed ribbon would produce darker and clearer text, and the more you use the ribbon, the fainter it becomes.
However, given the high quality output of single-strike ribbons, a couple of side-effects are noted. Single-strike ribbons would mean wasting at least 50% to 99.9% of ribbon surface because once the ribbon passes by even a line of periods, the remaining area would never be used again. There is also the issue of privacy, because ribbons will have the exact words and images imprinted on them. Unlike if you use a ribbon several times, in which case it would be hard to make any words out on the ribbon.
There are two types of printer ribbon: black and colored. You can opt for the black ribbon if you only need monochromatic images and documents. The colored ribbon consists of 4 colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Mixing these 4 colors can print a variety of colors for your documents and images.
Dot matrix printers used to be the main desktop printers in offices and businesses, until inkjet and laser printers were introduced. Today, dot matrix technology is still used in ATMs, cash registers, and other point-of-sale terminals. How you will use the printer ribbon and how important quality is to your business will help you determine which type of printer ribbon you choose for your business.
This Article is written by John C Arkin.
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