PCL vs PostScript drivers

PCL (Printer Control Language) and PostScript are two different printer driver languages that allow computers to communicate with printers and produce printed output. While both languages serve the same purpose, there are some differences between them.

  1. Origin: PCL is a proprietary language developed by Hewlett-Packard, while PostScript was created by Adobe Systems and is an open standard.
  2. Compatibility: PCL is mostly used for printing text and simple graphics, while PostScript is used for printing complex graphics and images, especially in the fields of graphic design and desktop publishing.
  3. Processing: PCL drivers rely on the printer’s built-in processing capabilities to render the image, while PostScript drivers use the computer’s processing power to create a raster image and then send it to the printer.
  4. Output Quality: PostScript drivers tend to produce higher quality prints with smoother curves, better shading, and more accurate color reproduction. PCL drivers may produce jagged edges and less precise color matching.
  5. Cost: PCL drivers are generally less expensive than PostScript drivers, as they are often included with the printer or available for free download. PostScript drivers, on the other hand, may require the purchase of a license or special software.

In summary, while both PCL and PostScript drivers are used to communicate between computers and printers, they have some differences in their origin, compatibility, processing, output quality, and cost. The choice between PCL and PostScript depends on the specific needs of the user and the requirements of the printing task at hand.

Types of pr

Printer TypePrinting TechnologyCostPrint QualityPrint SpeedTypes of Printing MaterialsTypical Use Cases
Laser PrinterElectrophotographyHighHigh resolution, sharp text, and graphicsFastToner or ink powderOffices, businesses, and heavy printing needs
Inkjet PrinterThermal or PiezoelectricLow to moderateHigh-quality prints with vivid colorsSlower than laser printersLiquid inkHome use, photo printing, and small businesses
Thermal PrinterDirect thermal or Thermal transferLow to moderateLimited, mostly for simple text or monochrome graphicsFastHeat-sensitive paper or ribbonsRetail, shipping, and labeling applications
Impact PrinterDot matrix or Line matrixLowLow to moderate quality, mostly for text printingSlowCarbon copies or continuous formsReceipt printing, industrial settings, and legacy systems
3D PrinterAdditive ManufacturingHighHigh resolution, complex and detailed three-dimensional objectsVaries, typically slower than 2D printersPlastic filaments, resins, metal powdersPrototyping, manufacturing, and creative applications

Laser Printers processing

  • Charging: It is also called conditioning. When the printer receives the command from the computer, the primary corona applies -600V charge to the photosensitive drum, also known as a print drum.
  • Exposing: It is also called writing. After the drum has the -600V charge, a laser beam is used to hit areas on the drum to create the image to be printed. In the areas on the drum that the laser touches, the charge changes from -600V to approximately -100V. Areas exposed to the laser beam are more positively charged.
  • Developing: After the image is created on the photosensitive drum, toner is used to develop the image on the drum. Alongside the print drum, is the developing roller. The developing roller has a -600V charge which attracts the toner from the toner reservoir to the developing roller.
  • Transferring: After the toner is on print drum, the feed roller (also known as registration roller) feed the paper into the printer and over the transfer corona wire. The transfer corona wire (also known as secondary corona wire) applies a very strong positive chareg of +600V to the paper. The purpose of such a strong charge to the paper is to ensure that the toner will be attracted from the -100V areas of the drum to the paper.
  • Fusing: After the paper moves pass the print drum and holds the toner, the paper then moves through the fusing rollers which melt the toner to the paper. The fusing rollers are needed because the only thing holding the toner to the paper at this point is a positive electric charge. During the fusing phase, the paper moves between a heated Teflon-coated roller and a robber roller which melt the toner in place. The paper then ejected from the printer.
  • Cleaning: After tha printing has completed, any excess toner that remains on print drum needs to be cleaned off. Thats the purpose of the last phase. A cleaning blade scaps any leftover toner off the print drum and into a holding tray to prepare the drum for the next print operation

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