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Printing consumables: what are we talking about?

Laser cartridge

A laser cartridge contains toner, made up of tiny particles of plastic, resin, and black or colored pigments (cyan, magenta, yellow). This powder is fused onto paper to create high-quality prints.

Usage: Most commonly used in professional laser printers, including office printers, photocopiers, multifunction devices, large-format printers (posters, architectural plans, etc.), and industrial printers (industrial production, coding, marking, labeling, etc.).

Inkjet cartridge

An inkjet cartridge contains a reservoir of liquid ink and a print head with nozzles that spray tiny droplets of black or colored ink onto paper.

Usage: Used in inkjet printers such as home printers, all-in-one printers, large-format inkjet printers, photo inkjet printers, and thermal sublimation printers (for special media: t-shirts, mugs, etc.).

Toner refill bottle

A toner refill bottle contains toner powder used to refill laser printer cartridges. It allows users to replenish their empty cartridges with toner, thus extending the cartridge’s lifespan and reducing printing costs.

Usage: Used in laser printers, especially office printers, multifunction devices, large-format printers, and professional photocopiers.

Waste container

A waste container is a removable compartment or container specifically designed to collect waste generated during the printing process: used toner (not fixed on paper), excess ink, cleaning residues, and even paper trimmings. Its role is to maintain printer cleanliness and facilitate waste disposal to ensure print quality and proper device functioning.

Usage: Used in professional laser printers and multifunction devices, laser photocopiers, large-format printers, and 3D printers.

Photoreceptor drum (or imaging drum)

The photoreceptor drum (or “imaging drum” or simply “drum”) is a photosensitive cylindrical surface usually made of aluminum or a similar material. In the laser printing process, it captures the electronic image of a document to be printed, allowing the transfer of toner onto paper to create high-quality prints.

Usage: Used in professional printers, laser photocopiers, multifunction devices, large-format printers, and industrial printers.

Other cartridges

Other printing consumables are increasingly rare due to the progressive obsolescence of associated machines.
This includes ribbon cartridges, franking machine cartridges, and thermal transfer cartridges, which are dedicated to specific tasks such as continuous form printing, automated franking, and the production of labels and outdoor-use media. These cartridges have become marginal due to advancements in printing technologies.