From DT Online



Printers may be local to a particular computer, or network, in which case they may be operated by other computers either simply as a shared device or connected perhaps via a Print Server.

Networks are connected together either via a wired transmission line (e.g. currently this is commonly Cat 5 twisted pair cable)

Work is transferred from computers to the printers using the command PRINT) which allows basic print spooling (i.e. the ability to continue to use the computer while printing occurs in the background), and the ability to create a queue of jobs to be printed.

Features and Applications
A4 Colour Printer The most common type of computer printer are liquid inkjet printers and most design and technology areas will have access to at least an A4 colour printer.

Most printers can be fed with a wide range of media (e.g. copier paper, photo paper, coloured paper, thin card, gift wrap and brown paper, baking parchment and transfer paper ) to produce or enhance a variety of products.

A4 Printer/Scanner Combined function machines are often a compromise but the addtion of a scanner for everyday copying is useful in any design and technology area.

Scanned images can be printed to enhance the surface of products (including ‘decoupage’), to create backgrounds for games and puzzles or to decorate textiles using heat transfer paper for example.

A3 Colour Printer Suitable for larger scale work but can also accept A4 paper so a good general ‘workhorse’ capable also of doing much the same range of work as their A4 counterparts.

In design and technology areas, A3 printers have largely replaced A3 plotters for the general reproduction of working drawings and design folders.

Monochrome Laser Printer Excellent for printing general office work and reports very speedily and economically, with the advantage that the print-out does not smudge if moistened. ‘All-in-one’ Laser Printer/Scanners are also available.

Good also for printing PCB masks or to print-out complex marking out which is subsequently pasted on to MDF or Ply for example, prior to cutting out.

Colour Laser Printer A relatively expensive addition to a design and technology area but the cost per print is much less such much depends on the quanity of printing anticipated. They able to produce very high quality and moisture proof images to enhance products or to use in their own right. A3 versions are also available.
Large Format Colour Printer The most expensive option, not only to purchase but also in use because of ink replacement costs. Most local commercial print shops will have such machines if only an occasional large print-out is required.

Large format printers are now used extensively to reproduce architectural drawings, advertising banners and posters. They can also be used to enrich stage sets and print-out full size patterns for costumes etc.


DT Online Buyers' Guide
A4 Mono Laser Printer A4 Colour Laser Printer A3 Colour Printer Printer/Scanner Large Format Colour Printer Cutter/Plotter 3D Printer
A4 Mono Laser Printer A4 Colour Laser Printer A3 Colour Printer Printer/Scanner Large Format Colour Printer Cutter/Plotter 3D Printer