Most people who have a color printer in the house have an inkjet printer that uses drop-on-demand technology. Some may have laser printers, but typically those are designed to perform better in a work atmosphere involving multiple people sharing the machine. Inkjet printers do not generate prints as quickly, but offer more precise color schemes and accurate image duplication. This is done with the nozzle configuration that generates small blasts of ink.
Resolution is define by dots per inch and the more dots there are, the most clear and vivid the printed document will be. The number of nozzles on the printhead will be a definitive factor in the overall quality and is something consumers should research before making a purchase. Each nozzle pushes small dots of ink through the opening, fueled by a blast of air. The dots can range in size, measured by picoliters, and the smaller each dot, the better.
This entire process is known as drop-on-demand technology, which is exclusively for inkjet printers because of the liquid ink that is used. The ink sits in a compartment below the nozzle and when an image is sent to be printed, a pump starts to push the ink upward. The pressure results in individual droplets being ejected through the small head of the nozzle. It receives a charge and is processed through a deflector. A gutter catches any loose ink, and the remaining droplets are applied to the paper.
Many different media types can be printed on using this format, including glossy photo paper, clear transparencies, labels and cards. It is the electrical charge and heat that binds the ink with the paper fibers, but it is the drop-on-demand technology that controls how bright and accurate the image comes out. This is what allows people to print perfect pictures from home, eliminating the need for a photo lab.