Thermal printers create images using heat. Thermal printers are classified in two categories, thermal transfer (thermal wax) and direct thermal (thermal autochrome). Direct thermal printers use a specialized, chemically-treated paper called thermochromic, or just thermal paper. Applying heat to this paper causes it to change colors.
With direct thermal, paper rolls across the heating element on rollers. The areas that are heated change colors to form images or text. In contrast, with thermal transfer printers, the ink is held on a ribbon. Its consistency is wax-like, and when melted it's transferred onto the paper or other material. The heating elements in both designs are similar.
How Are Thermal Printers Used?
Labels, such as those on clothing tags and barcodes are usually created by thermal transfer printers. This is mostly because of the durability of the images and the speed at which these machines can create them. Depending on the kind