Dot matrix printer advantages and disadvantages

A dot matrix printer is an old printing technology that adopts its name from how it prints characters onto paper. It is made up of a matrix of tiny pins that create a character on paper by striking an inked ribbon against the paper. It is categorized under impact printer since the paper makes contact with the printing mechanism to make characters.

The most common industry that uses dot matrix printer today are a financial institution or other that requires to keep a copy of the data produced. 

How dot matrix works.

When the printer receives the command to print the printing head which contains a matrix of pins moves across the paper while the paper moves vertically through the printer. Depending on the image or character to be printed the correct pins are selected and they strike the paper through an inked ribbon. 

The strike transfers the ink into the paper to create dots that make up the image. The characters created are low-resolution text compared with modern printing technologies such as inkjet and laser printers.

Characteristics of the dot matrix printer

  1. They use a matrix of pins or wire to make inked dots on paper.
  2. They are impact printers.
  3. Make noise when they print.

Advantages of dot matrix 

  1. They can generate carbon copies of printouts. The printer is capable of using multipart paper to generate several copies per printing.
  2. They can print on a continuous piece of paper. This can be used for records that continue monitoring like recording of logging data.
  3. Dot matrix printers have low printing costs per paper
  4. They are built to last long and they can work in harsh environments without any issues. 

Disadvantages of the dot matrix printer

  1. Makes noise while printing. Since they are impact printer they make noise as the printing head strike the ribbon against the paper.
  2. Compared to other printing technology they are slow.
  3. The printout is of low quality and resolution.
  4. They are limited to printing in black color only.
  5. The ribbon will require replacement after some time for optimum operation.

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