Types of printer and their pros and cons...

  • Laser printers produce a much higher quality print. This type of print could be preferred by certain job descriptions like photographers.
  • Laser printers can print faster than inkjet printers. It won't matter much if you print a few pages at a time, but high volume users will notice a huge difference.
  • Laser printers produce perfect sharp black text. If your print jobs are mostly text with occasional graphics, laser is the way to go. Laser printers also handle small fonts and fine lines far better than inkjet.
  • Price-by-price comparisons favor laser printers over inkjet printers for documents that aren't graphically complex. Although they're more expensive, laser toner cartridges print more sheets relative to their cost than inkjet cartridges and are less wasteful.

• Although laser printers work faster, they take time to warm-up.

• Although toner is cheaper in the long run, upfront costs for laser printing are more.

• Toner leaks are a nightmare.

• Laser printers can't handle a variety of paper or printing materials like inkjets. Anything heat-sensitive cannot be run through them.

• Home laser printers can handle simple graphics, but smooth photographs are a challenge. If you want to print photos, go for inkjet.

• There are some compact laser printers on the market, but in general, laser printers are bigger and heavier than their inkjet counterparts.

• Great for photos and image-heavy documents. Inkjet printers do a better job of blending smooth colors than laser printers.

• Inkjet printers have a low start-up cost. Printers are less expensive than laser printers and inkjet ink cartridges are cheaper than toner cartridges.

• Inkjets can print onto many types of paper, including glossy photo paper, textured stationery and even some fabrics.

• Almost no warm-up time is needed before printing.

• Inkjet cartridges can be refilled and reused, cutting down on waste and saving money.

• Inkjet printers tend to be smaller, lighter and easier to maintain than laser printers.

• Inkjet ink is more expensive than champagne.

• Inkjet ink is water-based, so prints are susceptible to water damage and fading.

• Ink cartridges need frequent cleaning. Although printers perform this maintenance automatically, it wastes lots of ink.

• Inkjet printers are getting faster, but are still very slow compared to laser printing. High volumes are a challenge with inkjets.

• Some inkjet printers will produce gray, fuzzy text if printing on plain office paper.

• Inkjet printers for home use have low-capacity paper trays of around 50-100 sheets. Output trays are nearly nonexistent. This might be a problem if you print a lot.

  • 3D printing provides a wide variety of manufactured products, including customizable products and even an individual’s personal designs.
  • Products can more quickly go from just a design to an actual prototype.
  • Just like the previous advantage, the manufacturing speed for a large number of final products is equally fast.
  • Even though the initial setup costs are higher, 3D printing has become cheaper than cheap labor in third world countries. Additionally, the costs of 3D printing are still decreasing, with the potential of 3D printers in homes in the near future. Furthermore, the costs of customized products are the same for mass production products.
  • With traditional manufacturing technologies, it is much faster and cheaper to manufacture additional products that you probably know that you will eventually need. However with 3D printing, only products that are sold need to be manufactured, thus warehousing of excess inventory is significantly less needed.
  • More engineers are needed to design and build 3D printers, and more technicians are needed to maintain, use, and fix 3D printers too. Additionally, with the lower cost of manufacturing, more designers and artists would be able deliver their products to the market. Even more domestic jobs for shipping these products should be created too.
  • One of the innovative products that 3D printing may provide is the manufacturing of customizable human body parts or organs. While these usages are still experimental, the potential advantages are huge. Imagine doctors quickly building and replacing critical organs, such as the heart, lungs, or liver that will have almost no chance of donor rejection, since the organs will be built using the patients’ unique characters and DNA.
  • As with all new technologies, manufacturing jobs will decrease. This disadvantage can and will have a large impact to the economies of third world countries, especially China, that depend on a large number of low skill jobs.
  • Currently, 3D printers only manufacture products out of plastic, resin, certain metals, and ceramics. 3D printing of products in mixed materials and technology, such as circuit boards, are still under development.
  • With 3D printing becoming more common, the printing of copyrighted products to create counterfeit items will become more common and nearly impossible to determine.
  • 3D printers can create dangerous items, such as guns and knives, with very little or no oversight.
  • One of the dangers of 3D printers is that they will be used to create more useless stuff that is bad for the environment and wallets. Fortunately, there are new methods of automatically recycling objects made by 3D printers that hold promise of better recycling in the future.
  • Currently, 3D printers are limited with the size of the products that they can create. Ultimately, large items, such as houses and building, could be created using 3D printers.

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