When laser printers first came out in 1975, they set people back by as much as $17,000, an investment that didn’t pan out very well, considering they only cost around $3500 by 1984. This is because the materials and techniques used to create printers improved so quickly that they became faster and more affordable to make.
In fact, they’re so advanced that most people have no idea about the kinds of forces they’re playing with every time they push Ctrl+P. Heat, for example, always catches people by surprise every time someone tells them that they’re basically handling live fireworks when they print a document.
Representatives from http://printcom.com.au explain that the fuser rollers in laser printers need to heat up in order to melt the toner and meld it to the paper. Toner can harden from misuse, requiring engineers to design machines that can melt even the most stubborn of toners. As a result, standard fuser rollers can heat up to upwards of 200°C or the average temperature it takes an oven to bake a cake.
The only reason the rollers don’t burn – or even smoulder – the paper as it prints is because the rollers move too fast for the heat to make a lasting imprint. The only evidence that any part of the printer even got remotely hot are the letters and images perfectly melted and melded onto the paper. There are some laser printers that use flash bulbs instead, but the principle remains the same.
Toned Clothes are No Good
When people have little to no idea about the kind of things that common devices are capable of, it can make life more difficult on several different fronts. Going back to the toner example, it’s mostly made of wax so that it can melt easier, but this also makes it harder to clean if it gets on clothes. The correct way to remove toner is to wipe it off with a dry cloth. Unfortunately, most people think it’s ink and try to wash it away with water, causing it to melt slightly and stain.
Even the most ordinary of things are capable of doing extraordinary things right under our noses. It’s just a matter of having the curiosity to find them out.