Photocopiers At Their Basic

by Kathryn Lang - Date: 2007-01-29 - Word Count: 329 Share This!

How does the photocopier work?

I put the paper inside the magic box and pesto - five more identical copies pop out of the side. That is not exactly the technical definition of what occurs, but for most individuals this is what happens when they come in contact with a photocopier.

For those of you who have the curiosity that has been known to kill cats, I dug into the information highway to see just what makes a photocopier work. I saw the light!

Photocopiers (so named because the process involves light) use a process that is similar to your rubbing a balloon on your head and using it to pick up confetti. The photocopier makes a static electric image of what you are trying to copy and then uses it to pick up the toner. Where the original copy is black the static electricity draws the toner, where it is where it doesn't. The toner is then fused into place by the use of heat.

The process is much more intricate than is made obvious by this basic explanation. It involves electrons and photons and positive and negative charges. I just like to think that the magic box is rubbing a balloon and making the confetti stick! I like to keep things simple like that.

The photocopier virtually made carbon copies extinct over night when it was introduced in the 1960's. Many people today aren't even aware of the carbon copies that were used before then when multiple copies were required. Some of those dinosaurs still exist, most often in the form of receipt books.

The first Xerographic photocopier was introduced by the Xerox Company. The technology continues to expand and improve. The newest direction has been towards a digital process that is replacing the older analog process. It is quicker and cleaner and is what can be found in the laser photocopiers.

Kathryn Lang is a freelance writer, specializing in office technology. She has written up extensively on Photocopiers and desktop copier technology.

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