Computers Printers and Scanners

How Does a Thermal Printer Work


A thermal printer is one of the most common printing devices that we interact with in our daily endeavors. They are some of the topnotch printers that are currently available. Whether in our workplaces or stores, these indispensable printers come in handy. The reason for their wide popularity is the fact that they are highly versatile and convenient to use. They are simple to use and can be of help to virtually everyone. Thermal printers are also commonly referred to as direct thermal printers. They should in no way be confused with thermal transfer printing.


Before the thermal printer was made, the main mode of printing that was mostly used was the dot matrix printers. They were not a good option since the documents produced from these type of printers was not very presentable. The thermal printers were made because they had clearer images that the previous ones. They were also lighter and easy to use. Other than that, latter inventions improved it such that it could produce documents with more than one color i.e. black/blue or black/red.


These printers use the technique of selective heating to produce images. This is done using a special type of paper known as thermal paper. There are various components of a thermal printer that allows them to perform its functions effectively. These are. controller boards, thermal head, spring and a platen. These are the major components that synchronize and work in tandem to deliver impeccable results. The thermal print head is the part of the thermal printer that generates heat and directs it on the paper.

Where the heat is directed, a black image is printed. However if you need an additional color, you can apply different temperatures of heat. A high temperature makes the thermal paper turn black while low temperatures results into other color. The paten in the thermal printer feeds thermo-sensitive paper that is to be printed while the spring applies pressure on the thermal head. The pressure on the thermal head ensures that it is in contact with the paper.

Tips and comments

A thermal printer is simple to use and requires that only few vital precautions are to be taken while dealing with them. There are instances when you will need more than one color printout. In such cases, you ought to be careful with your thermal paper selection least you falsely accuse your thermal printer for incompetence. Normal thermal papers will only turn black when heat is applied to them.

This is why you should contact a reliable and trustworthy supplier or printer distributor for a two color thermal paper. You should also pay special attention to compatibility of the thermal printer with the software you are using. They will only work if they are compatible. If they are harmonious but they still fail to work, the issue might be with the installation of the application programs, drivers or the thermal paper.

By Kennedy Jacob, published at 03/12/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
How Does a Thermal Printer Work. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


Most Recent Articles

  • How To Use An Inkjet To Print
    Inkjet printers are the most commonly used printers today. Since they were introduced in the 1950s, they have continued to grow both in popularity and their prices have gone down significant...
  • How To Get Printer Brother All in One International
    Brother International is renowned for their quality printers. Brother All in One Printer constitutes of printer, scanner, copier and fax machine. No other printer manufacturer can compete wi...
  • About Printing Online
    If you are browsing the internet, you may come across a photograph or document that you would like to hang on to. Sometimes saving it to your computer is just not enough. You can result to p...