× objective 4.1: describe the differences in between the assorted printer types and summarize the associated imaging process
To aid you prepare for the A+ 220-801 and also 220-802 exams, this thing from CompTIA A+ rapid Review (Exam 220-801 and also Exam 220-802) describes the differences between the various printer types and summarizes the linked imaging process. It additionally provides installation, configuration, and also maintenance scenarios.

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The Printers domain covers around 11 percent the the A+ 220-801 exam. A computer technician will certainly be meant to perform continuous maintenance ~ above printers and also needs come be aware of usual printers provided in different organizations and also how come install and also maintain them. The corporate human being uses laser printers extensively, so it’s extremely important for pc technicians to have an comprehensive understanding the laser printers. Since of this, you deserve to expect the test to have an ext questions pertained to laser printers than various other types. However, the objectives additionally mention inkjet, thermal, and affect printers, therefore you’ll require to recognize the differences between these printers.

This thing covers the adhering to objectives:

Objective 4.1: explain the differences in between the miscellaneous printer types and summarize the linked imaging process

Objective 4.2: offered a scenario, install, and also configure printers

Objective 4.3: provided a scenario, do printer maintenance

Objective 4.1: explain the differences between the various printer types and summarize the connected imaging process

For this objective, you need to understand each the the four straightforward printer species (laser, inkjet, thermal, and also impact) and also their differences. Laser printers have actually the most complex imaging process, but if you know this process, you’ll be better prepared to troubleshoot usual laser press problems. Inkjet printers are provided within residences and little offices and carry out superb printouts. They are often used in ar of laser printers by residence users and also some small businesses. Heat printers and affect printers are less common than laser printers and also inkjet printers, however they perform have certain abilities the make them valuable in details situations.

Exam have to know...


For example What is the objective of a fuser assembly? What occurs throughout the clean process?


For example: When must an inkjet press be calibrated? What is necessary to print two-sided duplicates with an inkjet printer?


For example: Where space thermal printers used? What are the materials in a heat printer?


For example: What is the primary usage of influence printers? exactly how is carbon document used with an influence printer?


Laser printers carry out high-quality output at a reasonably low price per printed page. Castle are typically used in that company environments, and their reasonable expense makes them economical because that many tiny businesses too.

True or false? Laser printers deserve to print two-sided output as long as they have a deliver belt.

Answer: False. A duplexing assembly (not a transfer belt) is compelled to print two-sided calculation on a laser printer. Many inkjet printers additionally use duplexing assemblies to publish two-sided paper.

A move belt is offered on part high-end shade laser printers. Colors are used to the transport belt and then to the paper. This action is repeated for different colors.

Exam Tip

Duplexing assemblies are required for two-sided printing. They space typically mounted on the back of a laser or inkjet paper. After one next is printed, the file is routed come the duplexing assembly, which transforms the paper over and reroutes it with the printer a 2nd time. There is no a duplexing assembly, dual-sided printing have to be done manually.

True or false? The primary purpose that the fuser assembly is come melt toner top top a item of paper.

Answer: True. The fuser assembly generates heat, i m sorry melts the plastic particles in the toner and fuses castle onto the paper.

Other components of a laser printer include the following:

A raster image processor (RIP) accepts data to it is in printed and also converts it come a raster image. The raster picture is a team of dots arranged as characters, words, and graphic images.

An imaging north is a ring rotating cylinder covered with a photosensitive surface. Photos are written onto the north by shining a concentrated light native the laser top top the drum. Laser printers have actually a drum.

A main charge roller (or in some cases a corona wire) applies between -500 and also -1,000 VDC to the imaging drum. This fee neutralizes the photosensitive surface ar of the drum and prepares that to obtain an image.

A highly focused laser shines light onto the imaging drum through one or much more mirrors. The laser to write the raster image developed by the RIP top top the drum by removing the an unfavorable charge wherever the light from the laser hits it.

The toner is charged with a high negative charge and also applied to the drum. Because of the electric charge, the toner is just attracted come the drum wherein the laser composed the image.

Pickup rollers used to the height of the paper are supplied to pick up document from the file tray and begin feeding it with the printer.

Separator pads spin in the opposite direction from under the paper and push extra document back. These pads help prevent much more than one item of paper from being sent through the press at a time.

The transport roller dues the document with a high voltage. Together the north turns and the paper is moved through the printer, the charged paper attracts the toner far from the drum. The an outcome is that the toner is transferred from the drum onto the paper.

A revolution eliminator or electrostatic discharger gets rid of the fee from the record as it overcome the drum. This helps protect against the file from sticking to the drum.

A fuser assembly melts the toner ~ above the record with a combination of friction and also heat.

An erase lamp shines irradiate onto the drum to neutralize the voltage ~ above the entire drum. This clears the previous picture from the drum.

Similar to a windshield wiper, a scraper removes residual or overfill toner indigenous the drum.

Exam Tip

When preparing because that the CompTIA A+ 220-801 exam, ensure that you understand what the common components space within a laser printer and also their purposes. Because that example, you should know that the fuser assembly melts the toner ~ above the page, so if the toner smudges or wipes off the published page, it’s since of a faulty fuser assembly.

More Info

Laser printers space the major printers provided in many businesses, and the A+ exams emphasis heavily on it over the various other printers. Ensure that you have the right to identify all of its components and understand the laser print process. For added information, thing 7 of the CompTIA A+ cultivate Kit (Exam 220-801 and Exam 220-802), ISBN-10: 0735662681, provides much more detailed information about printers. In enhancement to explaining the components, it covers countless of the basics of printing including terminology, file types, and also many typical tools. It likewise includes images of different printer components.

True or false? The order of the imaging procedure in a laser press is processing, charging, exposing, developing, transferring, and fusing.

Answer: True. This is the ideal order of the laser press imaging process.

Figure 4-1 mirrors the seven actions of the laser imaging process. Each of the actions occurs as the imaging north turns.


Figure 4-1 Laser imaging process.


You can see documentation that shows that cleaning occurs first, and other documentation that indicates it occurs last. As lengthy as remnants of the last task are cleaned at the end of a publish job, the north doesn’t need to be cleaned again, so it could be said that this happens last. However, clean the drum very first ensures that it’s ready to expropriate a brand-new image. Regardless, CompTIA lists all the various other processes in the exactly order and also lists cleaning together the last step in the imaging process. Some human being might like to conflict it, yet when taking the exam, remember that CompTIA lists cleaning last.

The an initial two measures in the laser imaging process are processing and also charging, i m sorry consist the the adhering to operations:

Processing. The photo is convert to a raster photo by the RIP and also stored in the printer’s memory.

Charging. The imaging north is charged with a high negative voltage (between -500 and also -1,000 VDC ) with a major charge roller. In enlarge laser printers, a corona wire used the high an adverse voltage rather of a primary charge roller.

Figure 4-2 shows these 2 stages.


Figure 4-2 Processing and charging phase in the laser imaging process.

True or false? The laser writes the picture onto the imaging drum throughout the arising stage.

Answer: False. The image is composed onto the drum throughout the exposing stage, no the developing stage.

The next two procedures in the laser imaging process are exposing and developing, consisting of the adhering to operations:


Figure 4-3 The exposing phase in the laser imaging process.


Figure 4-4 The exposing stage in the laser imaging process.

True or false? The toner is applied to the record in the transferring phase of the laser imaging process.

Answer: True. during the carrying stage, toner is transferred from the imaging north to the paper.

After the toner is transferred to the paper, the is melted top top the record during the fusing stage. During the delivering stage, pickup rollers and also separator pads pick up a solitary sheet of file and start moving it with the printer. A move roller (or a deliver corona) applies a charge to the document as the passes. The charged paper attracts the toner and also the toner is transferred from the imaging drum to the paper. At this point, the only thing hold the toner in location on the page is electrostatic charge. Together the paper passes the drum, one electrostatic discharger clears the charge from the paper to stop it from difficult to the drum, as shown in number 4-5. In ~ this point, just gravity and friction host the toner in ar on the page.


Figure 4-5 The transferring stage in the laser imaging process.

True or false? If toner drops off the printed pages, the many likely cause is a faulty fuser assembly.

Answer: True. The fuser assembly melts the toner, therefore if the toner is not sticking to the paper, the many likely reason is a faulty fuser assembly.

Figure 4-6 reflects the fusing stage of the laser imaging process. The fusing assembly gives both friction and also heat to the document as it overcome through, melt the toner onto the paper.

Exam Tip

The fuser assembly it s okay as warm as 356 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees centigrade), i m sorry presents two concerns. First, if you open up a laser printer, be careful when working roughly the fuser assembly due to the fact that it can reason serious burns. Second, the fuser will certainly melt regular transparency file if a user tries to publish on it. This can actually damage the laser printer. One-of-a-kind transparency is accessible that will certainly not melt and also can be used with laser printers.

True or false? If print jobs display a ghost photo of a previous printed page, the erase lamp or scraper might be the problem.

Answer: True. The erase lamp and scraper job-related together to eliminate remnants of the previous print job during the cleaning phase of the imaging process.

Figure 4-7 shows the clean process. A plastic or hard rubber scraper clears excess or residual toner. If the toner is no being removed, the scraper can need to it is in replaced. The lamp shines end the entire photosensitive surface of the drum, exposing it all and neutralizing the electrical charge. In contrast, the laser has a focused beam come expose just parts of the drum.

Exam Tip

When preparing because that the 220-801 exam, ensure the you understand the seven stages of the laser imaging process, consisting of their proper order. Expertise these stages will certainly also aid you as soon as you take the 220-802 exam, when you are challenged with press troubleshooting questions.

More Info

Lexmark has posted a video on how laser printers occupational that friend can access here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHxXmjxcAIo.


Inkjet printers are renowned with home users and small businesses. They administer excellent top quality printouts and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. The biggest drawback is that the price of the squid is exceptionally high, causing a high expense per published page.

True or false? Inkjets use small pins come hammer the squid onto the page.

Answer: False. affect printers (not inkjet printers) use tiny pins to hammer ink onto a page from a ribbon.

Inkjet printers have one or much more print top that move from side to next on a carriage and also belt assembly. In part printers, every ink cartridge has a disposable publish head. In various other printers, the squid is separate and is fed come a fixed print head as soon as needed. Disposable print heads will certainly last as long as the ink however aren’t developed to last for a long time. In contrast, fixed publish heads room meant to last much longer.

Paper is fed despite an inkjet printer with a roller and feeder assembly similar to how record is fed through a laser printer. A pickup roller works through one or an ext separator pads come ensure that only one item of record is picked up at a time. Numerous inkjet printers encompass a duplexing assembly offered to print on both sides. As soon as used, the rollers feeding the record through the press to publish on one side. The document is climate routed come the duplexing assembly wherein it is turned over and then rerouted with the press to print on the back.

Inkjet printers use one of the adhering to two methods to print:

Thermal printing. This is also known as bubble jet printing. Small heaters within the print head warm the ink, creating tiny ink bubbles. This bubbles are then ejected top top the paper.

Piezoelectric printing. In this method, a decision oscillator vibrates, causing the squid to rest up into tiny droplets. These small droplets are offered an electric charge as they leaving the publish head, causing them to one of two people stick come the document or loss off. Squid that drops off is recaptured.

Exam Tip

In heat inkjet (or balloon jet) printing, just the ink that is essential is sent out through the print head. In piezoelectric printing, a stable stream of squid is sent out through the print head, and also unused ink is recaptured come be offered again. Because of this, thermal inkjet printers are more prone come clogging increase if lock aren’t used very often.

More Info

Jeff Tyson created an many information article, entitled “How Inkjet Printers work,” obtainable at http://computer.howstuffworks.com/inkjet-printer3.htm. Web page 3 the the short article compares heat and also vibration methods.

True or false? Printouts with colors that aren’t set on one inkjet printer suggest that the printer need to be calibrated.

Answer: True. Inkjet printers typically have calibration program that deserve to be supplied to align the publish heads as soon as colors are misaligned. A calibration program performs electronic adjustments to boost the print quality.

Inkjet printers incorporate one or an ext test pages the you deserve to print to inspect the high quality of the printouts. These commonly include certain patterns, v notes ~ above what to execute if the printout isn’t perfect.

Exam Tip

Calibrate one inkjet press if the printout is degraded or not clear. Calibration frequently resolves plenty of issues, however if the doesn’t, the next step is to clean the print head(s). Countless inkjet printers have separate publish heads for various colors, and also if the printer is not printing a specific color, clean that publish head. This is generally done v a energy program detailed by the press manufacturer.


Thermal printers are typically used to produce receipts at point of revenue (POS) locations. After the revenue is completed, the printer creates the receipt.

True or false? The print head in a thermal printer has a heating facet used to warmth the paper.

Answer: True. thermal printers use a special type of paper that responds come heat. The publish head heats the file to create the printout.

The record on heat printers is generally wound around a spindle. The spindle is attached to a sprocket kind of feed assembly, and also as the press prints, the sprocket turns, feeding the file through the printer.


Thermal printers and also are not the exact same as thermal inkjet printers. Thermal inkjet printers warmth the ink before it is sent out to the paper, while heat printers heat only specially treated paper.

Exam Tip

Thermal printers are generally used at allude of sale areas to develop receipts. This consists of at petrol pumps that administer receipts, grocery store stores, or all over else whereby a receipt deserve to be printed. They generally don’t require much maintenance, and the file can be changed by a non-technical user.


Impact printers encompass pins in ~ the print head. These pins strike an ink ribbon, and the octopus ribbon pipeline a dot on the paper.

True or false? influence printers are also known as dot matrix printers.

Answer: True. impact printers use pins to print dots in ~ a matrix, and by printing various dots, they have the right to print characters and images.

Figure 4-8 shows how a 9-pin publish head deserve to be provided to print the funding B by printing particular dots in a period matrix. Close to letter-quality influence printers have print heads v 24 or 48 pins. The extra pins to fill in the holes in between the dots, giving a higher-quality printout.

True or false? businesses that require multiple duplicates of printouts generally use affect printers.

Answer: True. influence printers are best for printing multipart forms using carbon or carbonless document to develop multiple copies at a time.

Many businesses use multipart creates that have carbon document between every copy. Once the print head strikes the optimal paper, the pressure is felt v each page and also presses the carbon document onto the other copies.

Exam Tip

Impact printers to be the primary kind of printers used for a long time. However, in ~ this time, their usage is limited. The most typical usage is in ~ businesses that require multipart develops separated through carbon paper. Only influence printers will print multipart develops with carbon paper. Part businesses have actually switched over to laser printers and just print multiple copies individually, but influence printers room still being supplied in some businesses.

True or false? It’s common to use a tractor feed mechanism to feed record through an influence printer.

Answer: True. influence printers regularly use consistent feed paper with holes follow me the sides. The tractor feed mechanism has actually sprockets that fit into these feet to traction the paper through.

Impact document used in impact printers deserve to be consistent feed document or separation, personal, instance sheets. When constant feed file is used, the file is fed with the printer through the tractor feed mechanism. Solitary sheets the impact document are fed through with friction native the platen, similar to how paper was fed through old typewriters. For finest print quality, constant feed file and a tractor feed system are provided to certain the document is fed through at a continuous rate. Constant feed file is easily accessible with carbon file to publish multipart forms, or multiple copies at the exact same time.

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Can you answer this questions?

You can find the answers come these questions at the end of this chapter.