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The term “drum printer” refers to different types of printer designs throughout the modern digital age that have featured drum installations or setups. Two very different types of drum printers represent landmarks in the process of building ever-more-sophisticated and advanced printers as digital technologies have evolved.
An older form of printer that is now considered obsolete was called a “drum printer” because it had printed characters etched on a physical drum that spun around and impacted paper in specific ways. A series of hammers behind the paper would press the paper onto the drum at the right time, to create text on a page. This mechanical and analog type of printer has long been out of date as newer inkjet and laser jet printers use more sophisticated imaging and printing technology.
A newer kind of drum printer is a laser printer that uses a drum to hold paper in place. In this newer type of drum laser printer, the drum receives an image from the laser and transfers it onto the paper. The drum is coated with photoreceptor materials. The drum gets an electrostatic charge, and light from the laser removes that charge to create positive and negative areas to which the toner sticks.