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The Dot Matrix Printer – Delving Into Its Past And Current History

The world of printing is one that has enabled humans more benefits than ever before imagined. It has enabled us to capture the words of wisdom from some of the most influential and iconic people in history, it has allowed businesses to thrive, people to print of information in a matter of seconds and with the click of a button, and now is even used to 3D print body parts for the use in transplant surgery.

As the innovation and technology used advances with each passing year, the ability to print is also evolving. It will only be a matter of time before we will be able to 3D print our own houses and cars. But printing hasn’t always been at the high standard it is at today. While looking back in the printing past, the dot matrix printer is where the standard and technology used for printing began to evolve.

Before the era of the Dot matrix printer, printers were rather basic systems which involved single directional elements to transfer ink or toner from one surface onto another. The dot matrix printer was the first to use a method similar to that of a typewriter. By making use of an ink saturated ribbon, the printed could strike the ribbon against the paper to transfer the ink, however, typewriters stuck to a single style and font, whereas the dot matrix printer could utilise microdots in an up, down, left, right, and diagonal direction. This gave birth to the opportunity to print different sizes, styles, and fonts with ease.

While the dot matrix printer reaches back to 1925 when its first predecessor was invented, it wasn’t until the 2090’s that it began to make an impact in the world of printing. The DECwriter LA30 was the first commercially accepted dot matrix printer and first gained popularity in 1970, and the later device the DECwriter LA36 was the model that achieved great commercial success around the world and was capable of a print output of 60 words per second. The format was updated slightly right up through to the 1990s.

Today's world does not favour the dot matrix as much as it previously had due to what is now classed as low-quality printing. The printers of today provide crystal clear, clean-edged, and realistic colour printing and at a much faster speed. But if it wasn’t for the dot matrix and the utilisation of multi-directional printing heads, printers would have most likely never evolved as much as they have.