The History of Inkjet Printing
Inkjet Printing – History of Inkjet Technology
In 1977 we saw the first modern day inkjet printers and cartridges arrive on store shelves. This technology in it’s primitive life was a much needed answer to the ailing technology of the absurdly noisy and complex dot matrix machines and mandatory user refilled toner compartments of early day laser printers.
This new printing system, Drop on Demand, was a much more efficient way of the computer communicating with the printer. With different software types available each had their own printing requirements of how many dots per inch were used. This led to the ink system being somewhat scrutinized as people without the high profile applications that used the DPI to it’s max felt cheated. Drop on demand was replaced by still used technologies: Thermal ink displacement and bubble-jet printing. After a more subsequent standard in printing drivers and communication between the computer and printer were established by 1990, the Inkjet printer was widely accepted. Much like 3D printers of our day and age it took years to build up consumer confidence and intrigue into the product. The technology saw extreme increases for companies, even building gigantic brand names out of them, such as Hewlett-Packard.
As the turn of the century happened customers had found that they could easily refill their own ink cartridges or simply purchase 3rd party cartridge not made by the OEM or original equipment manufacturer, saving incredible amounts of money from the monopolies of the printing industry. This along with significant advances in computing and printing technology paved the way for cartridges to from the manufacturer with a computer chip on the cartridge. These chips operated on a communication with the printer, now it was easy to see how many prints you’ve made along with the amount of ink left in the cartridge.
While the advantage of knowing your printers ink levels is great, the new chip system also meant that when a cartridge was out, it was out. The refilling market along with the compatible cartridge market were suffering. In the mid to late 2000’s to today’s time, this problem has been solved by 3rd party companies offering new chips on their cartridges. New chips meant they could bypass the read and report chips that OEM’s had placed in their printers. With an incredible amount of developer support for the afterwork cartridge market, inkjet printing became and is still affordable to this day.
A technology that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it’s actually only getting bigger. An industry that is expected to generate 17 billion in revenue come 2017, now is as good as any to jump in feet first.