Heat is the process that thermal printers use to create images. There are two types of thermal printers: thermal transfer (also called thermal wax) and Direct Thermal Receipt Printer (also called automatic thermal printers). Direct thermal printers use special, chemically treated paper that develops color when heat is applied to the paper.
The paper is pulled through the heating elements of the printer by rollers, causing the paper to change color and form an image or text in the heated area. Conversely, thermal transfer printers keep the ink in a ribbon rather than the paper, which is transferred to the paper when heated. Both designs use similar types of heating elements.
Various uses of thermal printers
Thermal transfer printers are more likely to be used to create labels, primarily clothing tags and barcodes, due to their durability and imaging speed, mainly to prevent water damage. Different brands use different types of ink depending on their printing material.
Direct Thermal Receipt Printer are used primarily for industrial use due to their speed. The main advantage of direct thermal printers is that the only consumer is the paper you use. This type of paper can be expensive, but you don’t have to buy or stockpile ink, and it’s the only item you need to replace to keep your printer running smoothly.
For this reason, direct thermal printers are often used to print receipts from various devices, such as credit card machines and cash registers. Early technologies, such as older fax machines, often used direct thermal printing. However, this type of method is mostly being phased out.
Thermal Printer – Pros and Cons
Direct Thermal Receipt Printer are known for their high print speeds, which makes them suitable for some business applications. There are not many moving parts. Therefore, it is very reliable. In addition, they have durable images, especially thermal transfer printers.
In the past, images produced by direct thermal printers tended to distort and fade when exposed to water, heat, light, or friction. However, recent technological advances have made it easy to read for up to 50 years. Another advantage of direct thermal printers is that no supplies other than paper are required.
However, unlike inkjet and laser printers, thermal printers have lower print quality than these other styles. Thermal transfer printers only require the same amount of ink ribbon per page, regardless of the amount of printed material.
In addition, direct thermal printers can only print one or two colors, which is unsuitable for more detailed printing jobs. Also, direct thermal printers require specialty paper, which tends to be more expensive than regular paper. Thermal printers are the most common type used to create barcode labels.
Direct Thermal Receipt Printer does more than just print receipts. Direct thermal label printers can be synchronized with point-of-sale software to print other information, such as model numbers, prices, product descriptions, etc., on the labels. Printers aren’t limited to label printing either. You can also print tags, coupons, and even bracelets.
Cost efficiency is one of the most critical assets of a direct thermal label printer. The advantage of Direct Thermal Receipt Printer is that labels can be printed individually or in batches. Other printers can only print in bundles or sheets. This eliminates the natural tendency for printers to create extra labels and waste valuable supplies, and reduces it.
Consumable costs are also reduced because the printer does not require ribbons, ink, or toner. This lowers prices and reduces the time it takes to order and replace strips. The only material that needs to be renewed is special thermal paper. This is less expensive than the commonly used 8″ x 11″ 3-piece foam.
Ink Printer vs Direct Thermal Receipt Printer
Another advantage of these Direct Thermal Receipt Printer is the ability to print smaller labels without compromising print content, speed, and quality. Companies can save money on consumables by using smaller, higher visibility brands at a lower cost. The beauty of this is that direct thermal printers print at a high density and high resolution, resulting in high-quality images. Therefore, there is no need to reduce the label content. A Direct Thermal Receipt Printer can handle a wide variety of data without affecting print speed, allowing you to print large quantities of labels.
A disadvantage of thermal printers is that the initial cost of the printer is slightly higher than most other types of printers. However, with the savings made by not buying the ink, toner cartridges, or print ribbons associated with different types of printers, it’s still the most cost-efficient and quality-efficient in the long run.