As more and more people are able to afford inkjet printers due to their discounted and affordable prices, it is inevitable for them to ask not only about the origin of inkjet printers, but also the origin of ink itself. Since inkjet printers are the most commonly used printers, most are often familiar with its history and the fact that it was not invented until 1976, twenty years after the advent of laser printers. However, inkjet printers only gained popularity and became staple home devices in the 1980s after inkjet devices became capable of efficiently and accurately dispensing both original and discount printer inks.
Where Did Printer Ink Come From?
Ink can be defined as any liquid or paste that has a color or pigment. It was found that sometime around 2500 B.C. the Chinese and the Egyptians developed what is dubbed as the earliest form of ink. These types of ink are a mixture of soot and gelatin. At the time, soot was obtained from pine smoke and the gelatin was a combination of animal skin and lamp oil. In ancient times, different types of colored ink were produced by adding or substituting ingredients that had a distinct pigment. For example, berries with a strong red pigmentation could be used to produce red ink. As you can see, this is very different from how modern discount printer inks are produced, which is mainly through the combination of pure chemicals and pigments. The ink that began to be used for the printing press in the fifteenth century has a very distinct origin and composition. The advent of mass printing was unimaginable at the time of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press because printing with ink usually resulted in either blurry prints or prints with random ink spots all over. Eventually varnish-like ink was produced from a mixture of soot, walnut oil, and turpentine. This was produced and used specifically in printing presses and thus ink printing became commonplace, albeit not in the same manner we know today.
How Did Inkjet Printers and Discount Printer Ink Gain Popularity?
Prior to the production of inkjet printers, laser and dot matrix printers were the norm. The simpler technology and fewer internal components that make up the inkjet printing system enabled manufacturers to sell them for a fraction of the cost of laser and dot matrix printers. The cheaper price thus makes inkjet printers more attractive to regular consumers. As such, this has led to the wide use of inkjet printers in a majority of households today. In addition to the less costly printer device cost, inkjet printers have also become more marketable because of the proliferation of discount printer ink. Ink, when compared to toners which are used in laser printers, can produce printouts with finer, smoother, and higher quality detail. Additionally, inkjet printers are known to print more quietly than laser and dot matrix printers.
How are Ink Cartridges Replaced?
Just like toners, ink cartridges are the consumable component of an inkjet printer. As such, consumers need to regularly buy cartridges for continued inkjet printer use. There are two main ways to replace ink cartridges: buying original equipment manufacturer (OEM) ink, or buying discount printer ink. OEM ink and ink cartridges are produced by the same company that manufactured your printer. They carry the same brand name and are often recommended for the continued use of your printer. A free set of this ink usually comes when you purchase a brand new inkjet printer, although the free cartridge usually contains less than off-the-shelf OEM ink cartridges. On the other hand, discount printer ink and ink cartridges are produced by third-party suppliers and come at a discounted price when compared to OEM ink. These are usually generic and unbranded products sold at retail stores with a list of printer brands and models they are compatible with.
Why Would I Want to Use Anything Other than OEM Ink?
The answer is quite simple and has two components. The first component being that OEM ink is just too expensive for day-to-day use. Compatible ink is simply more affordable for the average consumer. The second component is that there are often intentional barriers placed by manufacturers to avoid the refilling of OEM cartridges. These two components not only make third-party ink more attractive to the average consumer but have also led to a growth in the number of compatible ink suppliers. Furthermore, researches show that a majority of consumers prefer the quality of printouts produced by discount printer ink than printouts produced using OEM ink.