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Ink Sticks: The Evolution of Printing

No longer do workgroups, offices, and households have to deal with leaky cartridges or stains from printer ink. Over the last couple decades, Xerox has been forming a solid ink to be used in printers as a way of applying color to substrates. What they have developed are cartridge-free cubes of solid ink that can be handled just like a crayon. This means less waste, no need to recycle anything as nothing is left over, and no annoying smart chips that prevent users from printing. The ink is simply a solid cube of color that will melt inside the printer and adhere to media passing through the machine.

The ink sticks have similar properties to wax and are a formed from a non-toxic, resin-based polymer, similar to a crayon. This is a unique item that can be handled without fear of smudging on clothes or staining hands or furniture. This breakthrough in ink innovation and color application is also environmentally friendly having a wax-like base that is formed from all natural elements such as plants and food-grade processed vegetable oils.

A huge advantage of the solid ink sticks (also known as color ink stix) is that they do not have any moving, complicated components that the aqueous ink solutions need to be housed in. This eliminates third party manufacturers of cartridge components and keeps everything in house (or made and shipped from one location) for better quality control and care. This will also help to reduce the cost to manufacture the solid ink sticks for lower consumer pricing.

The solid ink sticks are also much easier to transport as their solution will not coagulate in one spot of the cartridge which can cause leaking and uneven ink distribution that lowers the quality and longevity of the applied ink. Moreover, the solid printer ink sticks demand up to 30% less energy to function, lowering the amount of energy needed to print and leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

The Story

In the late 80s and early 90s, scientists started working diligently to bring the next wave of printing advancements to the consumer in the form of an ink replacement that leaves no waste when consumed and will not stain surfaces it comes into contact with. The idea was formed by looking at the design of a stapler, as the staples do not have a need to be housed in a cartridge and are directly loaded into the device with no waste left over after consumption. The replacement staple properties were precisely what they were looking to accomplish with their printer replacement components.

Their ideas culminated on forming a solid ink with no cartridge that users could pick up and load into the printer with their hands. Their main goal for the project was originally to just get color onto the page which turned out to have its own complications. The first concept ink stick required special paper to print onto as the formula would not stick to ordinary surfaces.

Throughout the development process, there were several things to consider in order to bring consumers a product they would actually use and enjoy. For example, when things are complex, they become more expensive for the consumer, so the development team had to find the simplest ways to obtain and create the components that go into the solid ink mixture.

Over the years this solid ink technology has been refined into a crayon like substance that has its own unique properties and molecular makeup. In fact, scientists have created nearly 5000 new molecules and around 700 new dye formulations to create the four standard color ink sticks that provide a wide color gamut and unmatched print quality.

When the ink sticks are printed onto media, they create a thin layer of the resin-like substance on the surface covering anything that was previously on the page. This lets businesses recycle unwanted or used documentation by printing over the unwanted images and texts instead of throwing them out or shredding them. This also gives projects enhanced vibrancy that outclasses inkjet and toner application results.

The formula used to create Color ink sticks are much easier to apply onto substrates making the speeds exponentially higher as well. The steady ink consistency and layering effect of the solid ink sticks give them unmatched printing speeds compared to laser toner and inkjet printing. So far the team at Xerox has been able to reach printing speeds up to 2000 pages per minute, only being limited by the size and power of the stepper motors (or print engines).

Currently, the solid ink sticks are only used in some Xerox printer models including the Xerox ColorQube printers and some Xerox Phaser models.

What is a Toner Cartridge?

Toner is a reasonably familiar substance to most people working in offices or for companies that have office photocopy machines and big industrial printers. These machines inevitably use toner to form images and text onto a sheet of media, usually being a plain white piece of paper. In other words the toner acts with the same purpose ink has, although ink is an aqueous solution whereas toner is in the form of powdery, dust-like solids. And due to the fact toner is a powder, cartridges should not be shaken as the material can spread through the air and adhere to unwanted surfaces, permanently dying them. Before handling any toner cartridge, make sure you are aware of the potential dangers and health risks involved with these units by clicking here.

In its early form, toner was a mix of carbon powder, iron oxide, and sugar. Eventually, to improve the quality of the printout, the carbon was melt-mixed with a polymer. The polymer is a thermoplastic that now comprises about 40 to 95 percent of the toner mixture and is crucial to binding and carrying colorant to the drum unit and substrate. The polymer is often referred to as the “binder” being able to hold the toner powder mixture together, carrying the powder to the transfer belt or drum unit, and holding the mixture in place for the heated fuser rollers to bind the powder to the paper with heat and pressure.

To better understand this process, let’s take a look at the different components that make up a toner cartridge and their functions. A basic toner cartridge contains several parts; one common component in each cartridge is the hopper which houses the toner powder until being picked up by a magnetic developer roller. The magnetic developer roller is a cylindrical sleeve used to transfer image forming toner powder particles to an image forming drum unit. This roller protrudes partially into the hopper and has several magnetic beads inside that will attract the toner powder mixture from the hopper to the roller during the printing process. As this piece rolls, the picked up toner is brushed against the drum unit.

The drum unit, having a greater static attraction, will once again pull the toner powder but this time from the magnetic developer roller. Any excess powder on the developer roller will be scrapped off with an MDR Doctor Blade before passing by the drum unit. The MDR Doctor Blade is a precision leveling blade that is designed to keep only one layer of toner powder on the developer roller. This ensures more evenly distributed toner and helps to prevent the drum and toner cartridge from clogging. The magnetic developer roller also has a secondary blade, known as the MDR Sealing Blade, to clean off any powder left on the surface of the roller after passing by the drum and before rotating back into the hopper section.

The drum unit itself is sometimes included with the toner cartridge in 2 in 1 or all inclusive toner cartridges. And whether the drum unit is a separate unit or has been included with the toner cartridge, the drum serves the same purpose. The drum is a photoconductive cylinder that contains a laser neutralized image of the project about to be printed out. A laser will actually neutralize parts of the drum unit, based off the desired image about to be printed. The neutralized parts of the drum will not be able to attract toner, which is how the drum forms an image, only being able to attract toner where desired on the image. Once the drum unit has picked up the toner powder from the developer rollers, the unit will then transfer them immediately to the paper substrate passing through the machine.

To keep the drum unit charged, a primary charge roller inside the toner cartridge rests against the unit, recharging the drum and eliminating neutralized areas of the unit. The drum also has a cleaning blade know as the Organic Photoconductor Wiper Blade. Any extra toner left on the surface of the drum unit after transferring the powder to the paper will be scrapped of by the wiper blade into the waste container. The last part to creating a printout involves the fuser rollers and some assisting transfer rollers that drive the media through the machine and are usually separately sold components that do not need to be exchanged as frequently as toner cartridges or even drum units.

All these components are necessary pieces to having a functional toner cartridge that can produce images onto a piece of paper using pigmented polymers, colorants, and carbons as the ink or image forming material being adhered to media. The current laser toner cartridge powders are comprised of a mixture of colorant pigments, external additives, and wax substances in addition to the binding polymers. The external additives can be iron oxide molecules, chemical release agents, charge control agents, and flow agents all designed to keep the mixture at optimal functioning compositions. Many toners now have protective wax coatings encapsulating each toner powder particle for longer lasting printouts and resistances to smudging and blurring.

Ink or Toner?

Ink and toner share many similar aspects, both being able to administer color and black pigment onto media forming specified characters and integrated images that make up a printout. Each is comprised of three main elements, a vehicle, a pigment, and a holding cell. Both laser printers and inkjet printers also come in a variety types from All-In-One devices, being able to print, scan, copy, and fax, to monochrome machines that were designed to handle black and white or grayscale only printouts. These machines can be used for the same purposes, having the ability to complete nearly any type of printout, although toner and ink have distinct advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of printing you are performing. To help better understand which type of printer will be more beneficial, we have to first understand to main properties of ink and toner.

Printing ink is a liquid or paste based solution used to create shapes and patterns onto the substrate. The liquid solution is housed in a reservoir within the cartridge until being forced to the release chamber(s). Once inside the release chambers an impulse will trigger a reactive element embedded to the chamber to forcibly jet out or drop the pigment through a nozzle and out onto the media. The reaction will also force new droplets into the chamber for rapid reproduction.

Toner is a type of concentrated pigment or dye-based powder used in laser printers to complete the electrophotographic process. The powder is stored within the cartridge compartment known as the hopper. The powder in the hopper is a carbon-based polymer that will attract and repel from particular static electrical charges which is the key to applying the powder to the substrate. A transfer roller will pick up the oppositely charged toner particles from the hopper and roll the particles against an imaging drum unit that has an even greater opposite electrical charge. The laser printer will create a light impression on the drum successfully creating a magnetic impression for the toner to attract to. Once the toner is placed onto the media, a pair of fusing rollers will actually melt the powder into the page to create the desired images.

There are three main properties to consider when choosing whether to print with toner or ink, including how they dry, the structural design, and the optical output. With a laser toner printer, the fusing rollers will burn the toner that has been layered on the substrate to adhere the particles to the page. Inkjets will apply an ink solution that rapidly dries being exposed to the room temperature air. The speed at which the ink will dry varies, depending on the added drying or thermal agent inside the ink mixture.

The cartridges are also made in completely different sizes and shapes, with toners generally being much bigger in size due to the amount of components (or pieces) needed to apply the pigmented polymers. And having an entire roller covered in particles that spans the size of the accepted media and a drum unit that holds an image, allows the laser toner to swiftly reproduce that same image, which is ideal for printing out multiple copies of one page. Inkjet printers will slowly render and apply ink as the cartridges pass over the media to help capture fine details, making them better for single page printing.

Toners are made and formed with very specific particle solutions and processes that pertain to the particular printer model. For example, some toner particles can be shaped by a vortex procedure giving each grain a rounded shape, whereas the more typical chemically created particles contain jagged edges and can damage rollers that are made to transport rounded particles. Therefore, most toner cartridges will only work with a specific printer or series of printers. The inkjet cartridges, on the other hand, are often interchangeable with several printer series and even manufacturers. When the ink formulations are changed, the viscosity is usually balanced between inkjets allowing almost any printer to apply the contained ink as long as the cartridges have the same size and shape.

In general Inkjets will be able to produce higher quality images and photographs, whereas the toner particles are able to create higher quality text documents. The laser toners will also be able to produce more printouts due to the sheer amount of pigment able to be held by the toner cartridges as opposed to the ink cartridges. Ink cartridges are typically more expensive when comparing the cost to print per page although they can provide a wider color gamut to work with and added definition. So depending on what types of printing you are performing more of, will determine the type of printer and cartridges that will be more beneficial. For the photograph enthusiast, inkjets are recommended for added detail. To create multiple copies of a single page or text documents, a laser toner printer and toner cartridges will be better for your overall printing needs.

IBM Infoprint Series – An affordable choice for any office!

IBM known the world over for being a titan in the information technology industry are also the creators of imaging peripheral devices like the Infoprint. With the demand in businesses to create quicker and more accurate ways of producing output while saving money the IBM Infoprint is a high performance laser printer that can enhance the output of any company. carries a full line of genuine, remanufactured and compatible laser toner cartridges for uses in the IBM Infoprint series machine. offers high quality product along with a low cost in comparison to other retail and online outlets.

The IBM Infoprint Series in itself is a low cost machine ideal for small business or personal office use. The IBM Infoprint produces the fast and high-resolution results you are accustomed to from industry laser printers. The remanufactured and compatible laser toner that provides is tested and either meets or exceeds the ISO9001 standards. This ensures a quality product that will not affect the authenticity of your Infoprint warranty. Each cartridge we list is accompanied with a page yield percentage. While Infoprint laser toner cartridges tend to be high capacity, it is a useful reference to know what you are paying for. believes in offering the highest quality product at a reasonable cost. Our satisfaction is our highest priority. We back every toner cartridge we sell with our 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are not pleased with the performance of your purchase in any way you can simply return it for a full refund of the cost of the item, no questions asked. also offers an even exchange program for any damaged, incompatible or miss-ordered product, all at no extra cost to you. Our dedication to your satisfaction and customer service is what sets apart. will guide you through the entire laser toner cartridge purchase process, from choosing a compatible cartridge for your IBM Infoprint device to the shipping options you can use to get your toner product to you as quickly as possible. Contact us at 877 INK-GRAB for and speak to a customer service representative about any questions or comments you might have. offers a newsletter chock full of ways to save money on toner. Simply sign up and start browsing through discount codes and special coupons that might apply to your IBM Infoprint toner cartridge purchase.

IBM LaserPrinter – Toner is more affordable than you think!

IBM LaserPrinters are another in the line of quality office imaging machines the technological giants offers the general public. Perfect or the small business or seemingly any office situation, the IBM LaserPrinter provides high yield page coverage with quick output and quality laser resolution. Like the Infoprint and Infoprint Color before it the Laserprinter is ideal for high traffic office use and maintains its IBM quality and attention to innovation. carries the entire line of genuine, remanufactured and compatible laser toner cartridges for your IBM LaserPrinter model at a comparatively low cost to other retail and online outlets.

The IBM LaserPrinter, like every model printer IBM has ever released is a precision machine capable of maximizing office output to new levels. stocks all the toner you need to keep you LaserPrinter model humming. Each laser toner cartridge we sell is certified by ISO9001 standards, ensuring a high quality that will meet or exceed your expectations. Often IBM replacement toner can run fairly expensive. offers high capacity cartridges at low prices so it doesn’t take an arm or a leg to keep you IBM Laserprinter producing. Each toner cartridge is listed with a page yield percentage for tracking reference.

As with all IBM printer ink products, offers out 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. In the event that you are fully dissatisfied with our toner product you can return it for a full refund for the cost of the item, no questions asked. Damaged and incompatible cartridges can be returned and exchanged for sound and correct product at no extra cost to you. is committed to providing a high quality product that satisfies the IBM LaserPrinter Series user. This commitment shows in our guarantee and our service to you.

Call at 877 INK-GRAB for any questions you might have concerning a purchase or if you have compatibility issues or problems with installing a cartridge into your IBM LaserPrinter machine. Our expert customer service team will guide you through the entire process to ensure you receive the type of quality laser toner product you are accustomed to getting for your IBM machine. Browse our newsletter for special deals that can increase your savings. regularly updates discount codes and coupons that might apply your IBM laser toner cartridge purchase. has all of your IBM LaserPrinter toner solutions.

Kodak – A company that transforms with technology

When you hear or read the name Kodak your mind quickly jumps to the multinational corporation that has dominated the photo and film development industry for over 100 years. With the advent of computer technology production of scanners and more importantly digital cameras, Kodak has seen the need to expand its company horizons and offer digital printing solutions that support the Kodak brand of digital cameras in every way for its customers. Kodak offers all in one multifunctional units as well as photo printers for personal and professional use. Offering monochromatic and color models of printers, Kodak is keeping itself at the forefront of quality imaging., a leading source in the inkjet and toner distribution industry, provide all you need to keep your Kodak printers stocked with inkjet. Our genuine, remanufactured and compatible inkjet is certified by ISO9001 standards. ensures that the inkjet we provide for the entire line of Kodak all in ones, and photo printers will meet or exceed these standards and more importantly, your standards. The commitment to customer satisfaction is unmatched in the industry. We are always looking for ways to improve our service to you. lists a page yield percentage for every inkjet cartridge we sell and our 90-Day money Back Guarantee backs every single item in our stock. If you are not satisfied with your purchase in any way simply return it and will refund you the total coast of the item, no questions asked. You can return any item for an even exchange in the event of any damage it may incur during shipping or if it is in someway incompatible with your Kodak machine. Kodak has staked their reputation on the quality of their imaging and digital imaging products and is a whole-hearted participator in this philosophy.

If you have any questions or comments concerning which Kodak remanufactured and compatible ink products we carry you can contact us at 877 INK-GRAB or simply continue to browse our Kodak link. Our expert customer service team is ready and willing to help guide you through your foray into Kodak inkjet products. Sign up for the newsletter and be the first to browse through special deals that can save you loads of cash. We routinely update the newsletter with discount codes and coupons that offer all sorts of saving s on all Kodak inkjet ad printer supplies. is your Kodak inkjet authority.

Kodak All-in-One Printer is quite impressive

The Kodak all in one series of photo printers is a perfect compliment to your Kodak camera. Compact, versatile and always producing quality photos, these multifunctional machines produce images with stunning resolution while offering several other functions that make your life and/or business simpler. Kodak all in ones are high capacity by nature, so you can print more photos and save more on ink than rival photo printers. carries the full line of genuine, remanufactured and compatible, high capacity, high quality Kodak inkjet cartridges and printing supplies at a lower cost than other retailers and online markets only increasing your savings.

Kodak has long been a leader in the imaging industry. A pioneer in photo development Kodak has introduced a line of multifunctional units that could satisfy any professional let alone amateur photographer. provides ISO9001 certified inkjet for every all in one model that Kodak offers from the ESP-3 to the ESP Office 6150, all guaranteed to be of the highest quality and feasible for use in any Kodak unit without fear of voiding your warranty. Each cartridge is listed with a page yield percentage to be used as a reference when framing an inkjet order for you Kodak All In One printer.

At we are so sure that our product is elite that we offer out 90-Day Money Back Guarantee as proof. Every remanufactured and compatible inkjet cartridge we sell is fully refundable. In the event of damage or incompatibility you can return an item for an even exchange at no extra cost to you. If you are completely dissatisfied with your inkjet will refund you purchase in full, no questions asked. is committed to providing a high quality, high capacity inkjet product, at a low cost with superior customer service.

Contact us at 877 INK-GRAB and speak to a representative form the customer service team. Our expert salespersons will guide you through the entire purchase process from choosing a compatible remanufactured product to shipping and receiving. Our customer service professionals will aid you in your Kodak All In One Inkjet solutions. Browse the newsletter for special deals that might apply to savings on your ESP-9 or 5250. regularly updates discounts codes and coupons to increase you savings on all Kodak inkjet product. is you chief source for inkjet compatible with your Kodak All In One series machine.

Kodak EasyShare Printer Ink Cartridges

Another in the line of the Kodak multifunctional set, the Easyshare series is an absolute do-all photo printer. With all the network capability you could want form a compact printer dock, the Kodak Easyshare is ideal for your Kodak Easyshare camera, turning stunning vistas into stunning portraits and memories. This small printer dock produces professional quality images perfect for desktop framing. carries all the inkjet you need for the Kodak Easyshare Series of photo printers all at a lower cost than you will find at alternative retail and online outlets. understands the ease and convenience of the Kodak Easyshare photo printer dock. With the compatible Easyshare camera, this Kodak machine becomes an instant memory maker, capable of printing thousands upon thousands of fond memories for posterity. supplies Kodak Easyshare owners with genuine, remanufactured and compatible inkjet that passes the scrutiny required to be ISO9001 certified. Whether you own an Easyshare 5100, 5300 or 5500, you can be sure the inkjet product you receive from will be of the highest quality. also lists each cartridge with a page yield reference to help you track how much inkjet you might need for your Easyshare model.

All Easyshare inkjet genuine, remanufactured and compatible, is fully refundable at We offer a 90-Day Money Back Guarantee on every cartridge we sell, no questions asked. If there damage your inkjet purchase or if the cartridge in incompatible with your machine you can return it for an even exchange of a working or correct product. is committed to providing the highest quality inkjet along with the best customer service you can find on the Internet. At you will find the highest quality inkjet you can find or your money back.

Contact at 877 INK-GRAB with any comments or questions you might have concerning your order. Our top-notch customer service team will guide you through the entire order process. We have answers to all of your questions regarding compatibility, installation, performance, capacity and shipping, simply give us a ring, and learn more. Browse our newsletter and find more ways to save on Kodak inkjet products. routinely provides discount codes and special coupons that enhance savings on Kodak Easyshare inkjet as well as other printer supplies we carry.  Sign up to the newsletter today and start saving on all Kodak Easyshare Series inkjet.

Kodak Photo Printer Series Ink Cartridges

Kodak is a worldwide leader in camera making and development along with the development of film and now digital images. This multinational company has long produce merchandise of high quality and innovation. The Kodak Company has several printer dock devices that allow a Kodak camera owner to instantly print photos by using merely a camera and printer dock. The Kodak Printer Series is another device in this long line of printers. Print directly from media cards and cameras with Kodak PERFECT TOUCH technology. This technology analyzes your prints while still in preview mode for dark spots and blemishes and automatically touches them up. carries the full line of genuine inkjet required to print memory after memory in your Kodak Photo Printer. Our genuine Kodak color inkjet comes with a package of waterproof and stain-resistant photo paper, part of a package we offer Kodak customers at a comparatively low price to alternative retail and online markets. This product is genuine Kodak so you can be assured of its high quality and ability to produce high-resolution images for the life of the cartridge. lists each package with a page yield percentage so you know exactly how much you need to purchase. is proud to be able to offer a product of such high quality from a company that stands head and shoulders above the rest in its industry. The Kodak Company is synonymous with high quality photography. We at confidently offer our 90-Day Money Back Guarantee on every single inkjet and photo paper package we carry. If you are not completely satisfied with the level of quality simply return it to us for a full refund, no questions asked. You can also perform an even exchange on any inkjet and photo paper product that is damaged or in any way incompatible at no extra cost to you. is committed to your satisfaction. You customer service is our highest priority. Contact us at with any comments or suggestions you might have to make our service to you a better experience. You can speak to an customer service professional with any questions you might have about these genuine Kodak inkjet and photo paper products. Browse our newsletter and find big savings on these Kodak inkjet products. regularly offers discount codes and coupons on inkjet and toner products so be sure to look for any saving opportunities that might apply to your Kodak Photo Printer Series ink.

IBM Network Series Toner Cartridges

IBM, in an effort to improve office efficiency in every way, introduced the Network Series Printer. Fairly compact, quick and reliable, this printer enhances any office space with it workhorse mentality. With all the features you would expect from an IBM laser-imaging machine, the Network Series is welcome member to your office solutions. carries a full line of genuine, remanufactured and compatible laser toner for the Network Series machines. offers a high capacity, low cost alternative to other retail and online outlets without sacrificing the quality you have become accustomed to as an IBM machine. supplies IBM office machine owners with all the inkjet and laser toner solutions you need to keep your machines performing at their highest levels, this is no different with the IBM Network Series of printers. Providing monochrome and color toner cartridges that are all certified by ISO9001 standards, ensures high quality ink for highly important printing. Each cartridge we offer is listed with a detailed page yield percentage so you can keep track of the amount of toner you need for your machine. This reference tool helps prevent accumulating overstock that could be damaged or ruined when stored in under the wrong conditions.

As always, backs every single laser toner cartridge remanufactured and compatible for the IBM Network Series of printers with our 90-Day Money Back Guarantee. will provide a full refund for any product you deem to be unacceptable. If you are not satisfied with an product you get you money back, no questions asked. If a product is somehow damaged or incompatible you can exchange the item for the correct toner cartridge for no extra charge. Simply contact an customer service professional and let us help you receive full satisfaction with your purchase.

Our commitment to your satisfaction is unmatched in the industry, as is our customer service team. Knowledgeable and helpful, our customer service representatives can guide you through the entire purchasing process and will be there with the solutions for any problems that might occur along the way. Contact at 877 INK-GRAB and speak to a customer service professional. Sign up for the newsletter and find more ways to save on IBM toner products. We regularly update the newsletter with discount codes and coupons that might apply to a potential IBM Network Series Printer toner cartridge purchase.

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