What Type of Printer Draws Continuous Lines on Large Rolls of Paper

In the world of printing technology, there exists a remarkable device that seamlessly merges artistry and precision – the plotter printer. A true pioneer in it’s field, this ingenious invention originally relied on the use of a pen or marker to meticulously transcribe intricate designs onto an extensive sheet of paper. Often associated with computer-aided design or various schematics programs, the plotter printer has revolutionized the world of graphic illustration, providing unparalleled accuracy and unrivaled capabilities. It’s ability to effortlessly translate digital concepts into physical reality has catapulted the plotter printer into a realm of it’s own, where creativity knows no bounds and innovation reigns supreme. This remarkable device not only showcases the remarkable potential of technological advancement but also highlights the profound impact it’s had on various industries, ranging from architecture and engineering to art and design.

Which Printer Is a Line Printer?

Line printers are a type of printer that are specifically designed to print a whole line of characters at once.

One type of line printer is the drum printer. As the name suggests, drum printers use a rotating drum to print characters on the paper. The drum contains raised characters that come into contact with an inked ribbon and transfer the ink onto the paper, creating the desired output. Drum printers were widely used in the past, but their popularity has declined with the advent of newer printing technologies.

Band printers use a rotating band with characters engraved on it to print on the paper. The band moves in a circular motion and as it rotates, the characters come into contact with the inked ribbon and transfer the ink onto the paper. Band printers were commonly used in the 1960s and 1970s but have been largely replaced by more advanced printing technologies.

Chain printers are yet another type of line printer. These printers consist of a chain with characters embossed on it that rotates and strikes an inked ribbon to produce output. The chain moves horizontally, and when the desired character is in line with the paper, it strikes the ribbon and creates the corresponding print. Chain printers were relatively popular in the past for their speed and efficiency but have been mostly replaced by newer printer technologies.

Aside from these traditional line printers, there are also non-impact technologies that can produce output a line or a page at a time. Thermal line printers were particularly popular in the 1970s and 1980s. These printers use heat to generate images on a chemically treated paper. They’re fast and quiet and were commonly used in applications like printing receipts or labels.

It’s worth mentioning that some inkjet and laser printers are also capable of printing multiple lines or a page at a time. These printers use advanced technology to quickly and efficiently produce output, making them suitable for high-demand printing tasks. Whether it’s a drum printer, band printer, chain printer, thermal line printer, inkjet printer, or laser printer, each type has it’s own advantages and applications in the world of printing.

History and Evolution of Line Printers

Line printers have a long and fascinating history, tracing back to the mid-20th century. These machines were an essential part of the early computer era, providing a means to print large volumes of data at high speeds.

Initially, line printers used mechanical mechanisms to print characters onto paper. They featured a rotating drum or chain with character impressions that struck an inked ribbon against the paper to create the desired text. This method allowed for fast printing but produced a considerable amount of noise.

As technology advanced, line printers evolved to incorporate electronic components. This ushered in the era of dot matrix line printers, which used a grid of tiny pins to form characters by impacting an inked ribbon against the paper. Dot matrix line printers were quieter and more versatile than their mechanical predecessors.

In the 1970s and 1980s, thermal line printers emerged, employing heat-sensitive paper and heated pins or elements to generate characters. These printers offered higher print quality and even quieter operation.

With the advent of laser and inkjet printers in the 1980s and beyond, line printers gradually declined in popularity. However, they still find application in specialized environments that require rapid and continuous printing, such as high-volume data processing, industrial settings, and some financial institutions.

Despite their diminished role in today’s printing landscape, line printers hold a significant place in the history of computer technology. They played a vital role in driving the early adoption of computers by making output tangible and accessible. Their constant evolution and improvement over time paved the way for advancements in printing technology that we benefit from today.

Line printers are a type of impact printer that use a continuous feed of paper to print one line of text at a time. Unlike modern laser printers, line printers make direct contact between an ink ribbon and the paper, resulting in a character impression. However, they’re still utilized in certain businesses due to their low cost and ability to print on multi-part forms.

What Type of Printer Is a Line Printer?

A line printer falls under the category of an impact printer, which is a type of printer that operates by making direct contact between an ink ribbon and paper. Unlike other printers that use non-impact methods such as laser or inkjet technology, an impact printer employs a metal or plastic head that strikes the ink ribbon and presses it against the paper. This mechanism allows the printer to create the desired character impressions, including letters, digits, dots, or lines, on the printed sheet.

One distinctive feature of a line printer is it’s ability to print one line of text at a time. It utilizes a continuous feed of paper, which means that it prints information serially. This sequential printing process allows for efficient and fast production of printed documents, making line printers ideal for scenarios that require high-volume printing.

Although line printers aren’t as commonly used today due to the prevalence of high-speed laser printers, they still have their place in certain business environments. One advantage of line printers is their affordability, particularly when compared to newer printing technologies. Additionally, line printers are capable of printing on multi-part forms, which can be essential for businesses that need to produce invoices, receipts, or other transactional documents with carbon copies.

The History and Evolution of Line Printers

  • Line printers have a long history that dates back to the early days of computing.
  • They were one of the first types of printers used with computers and were popular throughout the mid-20th century.
  • Line printers work by printing a single line of text at a time, often using impact or dot matrix technology.
  • They were known for their fast printing speed, making them ideal for high-volume printing tasks.
  • In the early days, line printers were often connected directly to mainframe computers.
  • They were typically large and noisy machines, with the ability to print hundreds or thousands of lines per minute.
  • Over time, line printers evolved and became more advanced.
  • Laser line printers were introduced in the 1970s, which used laser technology to produce high-quality prints.
  • As technology continued to advance, line printers gradually became less popular.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, they were largely replaced by laser printers and inkjet printers.
  • Today, line printers are rarely used, except in specialized industries where high-speed, high-volume printing is still required.

Source: Line printer

Continuous paper printers are a type of commercial printer designed to handle large-scale printing jobs. Canon’s ProStream continuous feed printer, for example, stands out with it’s unique twin engine configuration. It features two separate devices that work in tandem: one for printing on the top surface of roll paper and another for printing on the rear surface. This innovative setup enables efficient and high-quality printing, making it an ideal choice for businesses that require seamless, uninterrupted printing on continuous paper.

What Is a Printer That Uses Continuous Paper?

The Canon ProStream continuous feed printer is an innovative commercial printer designed for businesses that require high-volume printing capabilities. What sets this printer apart is it’s unique twin engine system, which allows for simultaneous printing on both the top and rear surfaces of roll paper. This means that it can efficiently print on continuous paper without the need for individual sheets or page breaks.

It’s dual engines work in perfect synchronization, ensuring smooth and efficient printing of large quantities of continuous paper. Whether it’s marketing materials, direct mail campaigns, or high-quality graphics, this printer delivers outstanding results.

One of the key advantages of a printer that uses continuous paper is the uninterrupted printing process it offers. This translates to significant time and cost savings for businesses, as it eliminates the need for constant monitoring and intervention during the printing process.

The ProStream printer also boasts an advanced inkjet system that ensures vibrant and accurate colors, crisp text, and precise details. It’s cutting-edge technology enables it to handle various types of media, including glossy and matte papers, without compromising print quality. This versatility makes it an ideal choice for companies that require diverse printing options for their marketing collateral or other materials.

It offers seamless integration with existing systems, allowing for easy management and control of print jobs. Furthermore, it’s user-friendly interface and intuitive controls ensure straightforward operation, minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency.

Benefits of Using a Printer That Uses Continuous Paper for Businesses

Using a printer that operates with continuous paper can offer several advantages for businesses. Firstly, it enables businesses to print large quantities of documents without the need for frequent paper reloading, which saves time and effort. Additionally, continuous paper printers often have high printing speeds, allowing for faster completion of print jobs and increased productivity. These printers are also useful for printing long receipts or invoices as they can handle longer printouts compared to regular printers. Moreover, continuous paper printers are cost-effective as they tend to have lower ink or toner consumption rates, resulting in reduced printing expenses for businesses. Overall, utilizing a printer that uses continuous paper can streamline printing processes, boost productivity, and contribute to cost savings for businesses.

When you use a thermal printer, it’s important to know what type of paper it requires. Thermal paper, also known as an audit roll, is specifically designed to change color when exposed to heat. This type of paper is commonly used in thermal printers found in various devices, including cash registers, credit card terminals, and adding machines.

What Type of Paper Does a Thermal Printer Use?

The paper used in thermal printers is chemically treated to react to heat. When the printers thermal head applies heat to specific areas of the paper, the chemical coating undergoes a color change, resulting in the formation of an image or text. This process eliminates the need for ink or toner, making thermal printers more cost-effective and hassle-free.

It comes in the form of rolls, similar to fax paper, and can be easily installed in the printer. The paper typically has a smooth, glossy surface, enhancing the clarity and sharpness of the printed output.

The composition of thermal paper varies, but it usually consists of three layers. The base layer is made of high-quality paper specifically chosen for it’s ability to withstand heat. On top of this, there’s a layer containing microcapsules that contain the color-changing chemicals. Finally, a protective coating is added to guard against fading or scratching.

While thermal printers and thermal paper are widely used in retail settings for printing receipts and labels, their applications extend far beyond. They’re also used in medical facilities for printing ultrasound images, in logistics for generating shipping labels, and in transportation for printing tickets, to name just a few examples.

It’s versatility and reliability make it a popular choice in a wide range of industries and applications.

Continuous feed paper, also known as computer paper, is a type of paper that comes in a specific size. These sheets of paper measure 8 1/2 x 11 inches, which is the standard size for most printers and copiers. This size allows for easy handling and compatibility with various machines.

What Size Is Continuous Feed Paper?

Continuous feed paper, specifically 8 1/2 x 11 continuous feed computer paper, is a common choice for high-volume printing needs. This type of paper is designed to seamlessly feed through continuous feed printers, ensuring smooth operation and efficient printing. With it’s standardized dimensions of 8 1/2 x 11 inches, this paper size is widely compatible with various printers and serves as the ideal medium for large-scale printing tasks.

It’s size enables the printing of documents with a generous amount of content, meeting the requirements of extensive reports, lengthy contracts, or lengthy manuscripts. The continuous feed format eliminates the need for manual paper loading, allowing for unattended and continuous printing. This makes it highly suitable for organizations that produce large volumes of printed materials, such as businesses, publishing houses, and educational institutions.

This ensures a seamless transition from digital files to physical prints, eliminating the need for significant formatting adjustments. The papers large size also provides ample space for including headers, footers, and margins, enabling customization and professional presentation.

It’s generous dimensions offer ample space for extensive content, making it suitable for various industries and printing applications. Whether it’s for business reports, educational materials, or publishing purposes, this paper size fulfills the requirements of high-volume printing tasks.

Different Types of Printers Compatible With Continuous Feed Paper

  • Laser printers
  • Inkjet printers
  • Dot matrix printers
  • Thermal printers
  • Dye-sublimation printers


In conclusion, a plotter printer is the type of printer that draws continuous lines on large rolls of paper. This method allows for precise and accurate printing on a larger scale, making it ideal for architectural, engineering, and design industries.

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