How do injet printers work?

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Different types of inkjet printers form their droplets of ink in different ways. There are two main inkjet technologies currently used by printer manufacturers:

  • Thermal bubble – Used by manufacturers such as Canon and Hewlett Packard, this method is commonly referred to as bubble jet. In a thermal inkjet printer, tiny resistors create heat, and this heat vaporizes ink to create a bubble. As the bubble expands, some of the ink is pushed out of a nozzle onto the paper. When the bubble “pops” (collapses), a vacuum is created. This pulls more ink into the print head from the cartridge. A typical bubble jet print head has 300 or 600 tiny nozzles, and all of them can fire a droplet simultaneously.
  • Piezoelectric – Patented by Epson, this technology uses piezo crystals. A crystal is located at the back of the ink reservoir of each nozzle.
    Seiko Epson Corporation
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    The crystal receives a tiny electric charge that causes it to vibrate. When the crystal vibrates inward, it forces a tiny amount of ink out of the nozzle. When it vibrates out, it pulls some more ink into the reservoir to replace the ink sprayed out.(Source-HowStuffWorks)

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