Thermal Printer Description
As the name suggests thermal printers use heat to create an image. A digital printing process that uses selective heating on thermochromic paper also known as thermal paper for short. When the paper passes over the heated print head the coating turns black in selected areas producing an image. There are also two-colour thermal printers which use different temperatures to create a secondary colour which is usually red.
Thermal printers are usually cheap, quiet, fast and consume less energy making them more ideal than dot-matrix printers. They compete in a similar arena of applications with commercial tills being the most common. Roll based printers like thermal printers can also be refilled a lot faster so it makes them ideal for information kiosks, petrol pumps, other points of sale, information labels and in hospital machines that print rhythm strips of the heartbeat.
Still commonly used in seafloor exploration and engineering geology due to their portability, speed, and ability to create continuous reels or sheets. Typically thermal printers found in offshore applications are used to print realtime records of side-scan sonar and sub-seafloor seismic imagery. In data processing, thermal printers are sometimes used to quickly create hard copies of continuous seismic or hydrographic records stored in digital SEG Y or XTF form (formats containing geological data).
Fujitsu, Epson, Black Copper, Tysso and Speed-X produce thermal printers more geared for point of sale like uses.