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Encyclopedia > Solid ink
A Xerox Phaser 8500 tray with solid ink.
Yellow, blue, red, and black solid ink sticks made by Xerox.

Solid ink is a technology used in printers and multifunction devices originally created by Tektronix. After Xerox acquired the Tektronix Color Printing and Imaging Division in 2000, the solid ink technology became part of the Xerox line of office printing and imaging products. Tektronix invented solid ink technology in 1986. Early offerings focused on the graphic arts industry. The Phaser III product introduced in 1991, for example, cost $10,000 US. As the technology improved and costs were reduced, the focus shifted to office printing environments where quality and cost efficiency are important. Image File history File links Wikitext. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 2. ... Xerox Phaser is a line of color and black and white printers produced and sold by Xerox. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (3072 × 2304 pixel, file size: 1. ... An MFP (Multi Function Printer/Product/Peripheral), multifunctional, all-in-one (AiO), or mopier (Multiple Optical coPIER) or Multifunction Device (MFD), is an office machine that includes the following functionality in one physical body, so as to have a smaller footprint in a home or small-business setting (the SoHo... Tektronix is a United States corporation that is currently a major presence in the test, measurement, and measuring industry. ... Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) (name pronounced ) is a global document management company, which manufactures and sells a range of color and black-and-white printers, multifunction systems, photo copiers, digital production printing presses, and related consulting services and supplies. ... Graphic arts is a term applied historically to the art of printmaking and drawing. ...


Solid ink technology utilizes solid ink sticks in lieu of the fluid ink or toner cartridges usually used in printers. After the ink stick is loaded into the printing device, it is melted and used to produce images on paper in a process very similar to offset printing. Xerox claims that solid ink printing produces more vibrant colors than other print methods, is easier to use, can print on a wide range of media, and is more environmentally friendly due to reduced waste output. The sticks are non-toxic and safe to handle. In the mid nineteen-nineties, the president of Tektronix actually ate part of a stick of solid ink, demonstrating that they are totally safe to use and handle . . . and presumably, eat! The medium of the ink was (at least at the time) made from food-grade processed vegetable oils. An ink is a liquid containing various pigments and/or dyes used for coloring a surface to render an image or text. ... A color toner bottle Toner is a powder used in laser printers and photocopiers to form the text and images on the printed paper. ... Offset lithography printing process Offset printing is a widely used printing technique where the inked image is transferred (or offset) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. ... --59. ...


Current solid ink products are the Xerox Phaser 8560 color printer and the Xerox Phaser 8560MFP color multifunction printer. For a full technical description of solid ink technology, see this article from the Society for Imaging Science and Technology. Xerox Phaser is a line of color and black and white printers produced and sold by Xerox. ... Xerox Phaser is a line of color and black and white printers produced and sold by Xerox. ...

Contents

Disadvantages

Print durability

Prints consist of a layer of wax melted to a piece of paper. The wax is easily scratched or marred; it is easy to scratch the wax off the paper with one's fingernail.


Power consumption

The wax must be heated and a large portion of the printing mechanism must be kept at or near the wax's melting point. Printers often keep a small pool of each color wax heated to temperature when the printer is not in one of its low-power modes.


This contrasts with laser printers which only need to heat the relatively small fuser assembly, and inkjet printers which do not require heated components at all (save high end, large format devices such as those use for sign making.)


Solid ink printers typically have three power consumption modes:

  • Ready. All parts of the machine are kept at operating temperature, and a print job can be printed as soon as it is converted to a raster image.
  • Partial standby. The machine is kept at a lower temperature to reduce energy consumption.
  • Standby. In this mode, the printer is able to accept print jobs, but must come up to operating temperature before it can print.

Suppose the smiley face in the top left corner is an RGB bitmap image. ...

Warm-up time

Solid ink printers are most suitable for users who either rarely need to print and do not mind the long warmup time, or users who print in high volume and thus can amortize the cost of energy consumption over the high volume of output. Because the machines can take anywhere from several minutes to a quarter of an hour to heat up, users will be inconvenienced substantially compared to almost all other printing technologies; even large, high volume laser printers take at most a few minutes to complete an initial warmup and calibration, and come out of "sleep" mode in a matter of seconds.


Once warmed up, print speeds are comparable to some small workgroup color laser printers.


Printer damage from moving

The printer contains melted wax when at operating temperature, and owners manuals warn it cannot be moved until it has completed a special cool-down cycle selected from the machine's control panel. The manuals warn that substantial damage is possible, requiring servicing by a trained technician.


Smell

The printer produces a smell most people will recognize as melted wax. This should be considered, in addition to the power requirements and heat generation, when placing the device.


Supply management

Xerox intentionally produces solid ink blocks in different shapes, in part to prevent insertion of the wrong color into the wrong supply slot; placing a cyan cartridge into a magenta supply slot would cause a considerable problem if it were to be heated and mixed.


However, despite being approximately the same size and volume, the shapes differ between some models. Given the maturity of the technology, it is unlikely that this is due to incompatible formulations of ink. It is likely that it is for anti-competitive business reasons.[original research?]


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