Category: Blog


Inkjet vs. Laser Printers: What’s the Difference and How Do They Work?

Anyone that’s looking to get a new printer is always faced with a fork in the road: should you get an inkjet printer or a laser one?

Unfortunately, there’s no short answer to this question. You need to understand how each one works and what purpose it suits best and then make your decision.

The most significant difference is that an inkjet printer uses ink, is the traditional choice for home users and is the ideal choice for low-volume printing.

On the other hand, a laser printer uses toner, is the more favorable choice for offices, and is the ideal one for high-volume printing.

So the core idea is the volume of your printing, if you need more information, you can find everything you need on The Micro3D.

So after you’ve decided how often you’re going to print and set your printing budget, let’s dive into how each type of printer works.

How an Inkjet Printer Works

How an inkjet printer works

When you press “Print,” the software application sends the data to be printed to the printer.

Next, the driver translates the data into a specific format that the printer understands. Moreover, it makes sure that the printer is online and available to print.

Afterward, the driver sends the data from the computer to the printer through your preferred connection such as USB, parallel, etc.

When the printer receives the data from the computer, it stores it in a buffer whose capacity ranges between 512 KB RAM or 16 MB RAM.

The buffer speeds up the printing process. And the bigger it is, the higher its capability to hold complex documents or several basic ones.

A control circuit activates the paper feed stepper motor. The stepper motor, in turn, engages the rollers to feed a sheet of paper from the tray into the printer.

When the paper is put into the proper position and fed into the printer, the print head stepper motor uses a belt to move the print head assembly across the page.

The motor stops for a fraction of a second between each spray of dots onto the paper and moves slightly to the next place where ink is ought to be sprayed.

When the pass is complete, the paper feed stepper motor drives the paper a very small distance.

This process keeps repeating until the whole page is printed. The print time of the printer is determined by this process, and that’s why it differs from one printer to another.

One printer can produce 16 PPM (Pages Per Minute) of black text but take over a minute to print one full-color, page-sized image.

When the printing is complete, the print head is parked, and the feed stepper motor turns the rollers around to push the completed page out onto the output tray.

How a Laser Printer Works

How a Laser Printer Works

When you press “Print” on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, the data is sent to your printer and stored in its memory.

The printer then starts to warm up and get ready for the printing process. That’s when you have to wait for the corona wire to heat up and transfer positive static charge to the drum.

The positive static charge begins sticking onto the surface of the drum as it starts to roll.

If you’re printing in color, your print might need more time as it would have to roll four drums for each cartridge color –Cyan, Yellow, Black, and Magenta.

The more colors your printer is capable of printing, the longer your wait would be.

After that, the printer activates the laser and beams it against a series of mirrors that reflect across the surface of the drum(s) to draw the shape of your print by using opposite negative electrical charges.

Next to the drum(s), there’s a toner cartridge and hopper that slowly release positively-charged carbon toner particles onto the rolling drum.

The toner sticks to any area carrying a negative charge while the areas with a positive one remain unaffected.

Afterward, the transfer belt rolls the paper through the printer to give it a positive charge.

The negatively-charged toner particles are pulled onto the page to form the shape of your image or text as the paper passes the drum.

Finally, a set of hot rollers called the fuser unit melts the toner onto the paper.

The paper is then pushed out onto the output tray.


The application of information technology to biological problems

Bioinformatics is (broadly speaking) the application of information technology to biological problems. This term appeared for the first time in 1970 in an article written in Dutch, where it was proposed as “the study of computer processes in biotic systems”, a meaning different from that of today although, in some fields more theorists of modern bioinformatics, this definition remains valid.

In 1955 Frederick Sanger published the amino acid sequence of insulin, the first sequence of a protein to be discovered. This fundamental work (for which Sanger received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1958), paved the way for protein sequencing. The sequencing technology, initially manual, was improved until it was fully automated by Pehr Edman in 1967. The fact that the primary structure of proteins consisted of unique sequences of amino acids was in itself an IT concept. The technology of protein sequencing and the consequent growth of the number of available sequences created computational needs:

High molecular weight protein sequencing involved the partial enzymatic digestion of proteins into peptides that were sequenced. This strategy consequently required the correct assembly of the partial sequences in a single final sequence.

The comparison of sequences of homologous proteins, that is belonging to different species descending from a common ancestor for the creation of phylogenetic trees.

At the same time computers were beginning to be available in the most advanced research centers in the USA, and their programming had been simplified thanks to the FORTRAN language (introduced by IBM in 1957). Already in the mid-1960s, Cyrus Levinthal and his group first used a computer at MIT to build a 3 D model of cytochrome C.

Some pioneers of bioinformatics, including Margaret Dayhoff and Walter Fitch, compiled the first programs for the computerized execution of the assembly of protein sequences and the comparison between sequences and the creation of phylogenetic trees.

In 1970 Saul Needleman and Christian Wunsch perfected the comparison between two sequences with the publication of an innovative algorithm for the analysis of similarities.

DNA sequencing, invented in 1977 by Allan Maxam and Walter Gilbert and perfected by Frederick Sanger, gave rise to an exponential production of gene sequences, giving further impetus to bioinformatics. The representation of DNA and protein sequences as character strings was ideal for their computerized manipulation.

Programs were created for storing sequences as digital files, for printing them, for identifying sites of restriction enzymes or sequences coding within DNA sequences, or for translating DNA sequences into sequences of amino acids. The exponential growth of DNA and protein sequences led to the creation of programs, such as BLAST, capable of rapidly comparing an unknown sequence with a bank of known sequences.

It is not possible to summarize here the enormous development of bioinformatics in the last 35 years, but it is enough to say that it has grown in parallel with the immense advances in molecular biology, genetics and protein biochemistry, as well as, of course, the progress of computer science and computers. Modern bioinformatics is divided into three main fields: *


What is bioinformatics

Bioinformatics is a discipline found at the crossroads of biology , computer science and new technologies .

It is characterized by the application of mathematical, statistical, computational methods to the analysis of biological, biochemical and biophysical data.

The main subject of study is DNA, but with the spread of increasingly cheaper and more effective techniques for studying proteins, even the latter have become one of the favorite topics of bioinformatics.

The object of work of bioinformatics is the computer, which it uses to collect, consult, analyze biological data in order to understand biological mechanisms.

Three main sub-sectors can be identified:

  • development and implementation of tools to store, analyze and manage information;
  • analysis and interpretation of data to identify relevant information (for example, look for the recurrence of certain sequences in different genes or build three-dimensional models of proteins from the protein sequence);
  • development of new algorithms and statistical tools to verify the relationships between a large number of objects considered (for example, given the results of analysis of one hundred thousand DNA sequences with a microarray , automatically grouping them according to behavior)