What is a thermal receipt printer?

There are two primary types of thermal receipt printers direct and transfer. Direct printers use heat against a special paper to burn the image. Transfer printers use a ribbon containing wax, a wax resin or pure resin to do the transfer. Thermal printers are very fast and quiet. Direct printers are very economical since there are no ink cartridges involved and low maintenance as only the thermal paper has to be replaced when it runs out, which is a simple task. The thermal paper is more expensive than regular paper but much cheaper than the ink jet model of printing. Direct printers are common at POS kiosks for printing labels. Transfer printers are more common for creating bar codes since the wax is more durable than a thermal paper. Thermal paper will discolor from any heat source. The different wax or wax/resin ribbons in transfer printers allow for various durability of the printed product and go up in price as one moves to pure resin, which is the most durable. Because thermal printers need a lot of memory and processor for the various printing schemes they are more expensive than impact or ink jet printers.
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