A Guide to How Laser Printers Work

Apr 24, 2020

How Laser Printers Work

If we had told our ancestors that we would write up documents using a laser, they probably would have told us, “You’re crazy.” However, that is exactly what we’re doing with laser printers. These printers have become popular in homes and offices for several reasons, including superior speed and precision, but how do they function? Keep reading this guide to how laser printers work to learn more.

How Your Document Prints

When you submit a print job to the printer, the data travels to the printer’s memory and pulls the paper from the tray using a transfer belt. During this process, the drum unit becomes positively charged, and the laser reflects off a mirror to essentially draw your requested print on the drum.

The drawing of the laser indicates where the toner should apply, and which areas to avoid. This happens because anywhere the laser passes on, the drum unit becomes a negative charge. In other words, the locations with negative charges are where the toner will go; the positively charged areas will remain white.

As the paper proceeds through the process, the drum unit attracts toner to any area of the drum with a negative charge. Then the printer toner will apply to the paper via heat, electrical charge, and the roller unit.

The roller unit sometimes referred to as a fuser, increases in temperature. Between the heat and compression from the rollers, the toner will adhere to the paper permanently. Then your final document will exit the printer, and you will find a precisely printed document in the collection tray.

Best Uses for Laser Printers

Individuals who print documents that are text-heavy with occasional graphics usually prefer a laser printer because they are so quick. Now that’s not to say that you cannot print color on laser printers, because you certainly can.

However, laser printers are not ideal for color-heavy printing, such as that used for photographs. Now that you have read our guide to how laser printers work, you may have remembered that you need replacement cartridges for your printer.

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