Why do printers make so much noise before and after actually producing a document?

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Why do printers make so much noise before and after actually producing a document?

In: Engineering

Howdy there, printer technician here.

There are several parts in the machine that get “synced up” before pulling the paper through.

It’s easy to get deep in the weeds on the types of printers and how they work, but the most common method is by using a laser to draw the image on a spinning tube, the toner attaches to that drum as it spins, and then the paper is pulled past the spinning drum and through a heated roller that melts the toner into the paper.

So, before the paper even gets picked up the machine has to

1. Spin the hexagonal mirror that the laser bounces off of to write to the drum–this is the initial high pitched whine you hear
2. Clean any leftover toner from the last print off of the drum–this part usually sounds more “rumbly”
3. Move new toner to the drum to be put on the next page
4. Make sure the heated roller is up to the exact temperature to melt the toner without burning the paper–most machines have ceramic heating elements that take a few seconds to warm up

…and on top of all that, there are anywhere from 4-10 ventilation fans that all turn on to make sure the above processes don’t get too warm.

For inkjet as well they like to purge a little bit of ink if it hasn’t been used in a while, it’s a lengthy and noisy processes that wastes some of your precious ink, but it protects your printhead and makes sure your prints come out properly.