A CDE Definition
dot matrix printer
A printer that uses hammers and a ribbon to form images from dots. Used to print multipart forms and address labels, the tractor and sprocket mechanism in these devices handles thicker media better than laser and inkjet printers. Also known as a "serial dot matrix printer."
Hammers Hit the Ribbon
The dot matrix printer uses one or two columns of dot hammers that are moved across the paper. The hammers rapidly press the ribbon into the paper, which causes the ink to be deposited. The more hammers, the higher the resolution. For example, 9-pin heads produce draft quality text, while 24-pin heads produce typewriter quality output. Speeds range from 200 to 400 characters per second (cps), which is approximately 90 to 180 lines per minute (lpm). See line matrix printer.
Dot Matrix Printer
Dot Matrix Print Head
Fixed Character Spacing
line matrix printer
An impact printer that prints a line at a time. Printronix pioneered this technology in 1974. Line matrix and band printers are the surviving line printer technologies, but line matrix can print graphics, whereas band printers cannot. Line matrix resolution is in the 70 to 140 dpi range and speeds range from 400 to 1,400 lpm.
Line matrix printers offer medium resolution, monochrome printing with a very low ribbon cost. They also provide high speed; for example, printing a three-part form at 1,200 lpm is equivalent to a 65 ppm page printer. Line matrix printers can exist in harsh conditions and are often found in warehouses and other industrial environments.
A Row of Hammers
The print mechanism is a row of dot hammers that is almost as wide as the page. The hammers are mounted on a shuttle that oscillates back and forth approximately two inches in a track. The hammers are magnetically released at the appropriate time and bang into a ribbon and onto the paper. See printer.
Printronix Line Matrix Printers
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