Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Printers & Scanners

Printers and scanners allow us to transfer the information we see on our screens and apply it to many different forms. We'll explore printer types, such as inkjets, laser printers and scanners.

Featured
How Scanners Work

Before the digital camera explosion, flatbed scanners were <i>the</i> way to get images into a PC and online. These devices turn images on paper into data you can access on a computer. Find out how scanners analyze, process and transfer images.


New '4-D Printing' Advance Makes Shape-changing Objects Inspired by Nature

"4-D printing" adds another dimension to 3-D printing, by creating objects that are programmed to change shape. A new Harvard development takes inspiration from nature.

How Printer Ink Works

Printer ink is such a common part of your everyday life that you might not have stopped to wonder about how the printer knows what to put on a page or how all those nozzles deliver just the right amount of pigment.

How Wireless Technology Changed Printing

Wireless technology has freed users from a sea of cables. How has it changed printing specifically?

Is printing still relevant?

It used to be that every home and office needed a printer. Now that's not such a necessity, but are we really ready to give up printing?

10 Ways to Save Money on Printing

Printing documents is costly, to the point that the expense sometimes might override your desire for hard copies. But there are a few tricks that will help you keep printing without breaking the bank.

What’s the difference between ink and toner?

OK, you know both go into (and come out of) printers, but do you know what the separate characteristics of ink and toner are?

How does your computer know how much ink is left in the cartridge?

Ink is costly, so you want to know you're getting your money's worth. Your computer will tell you when you need to replace your ink cartridges, but how does it calculate usage, and how accurate is it?

10 Ways 3-D Printing Could Change the World

You might think of 3-D printing as a way to make plastic models and parts, but people are embracing the technology for fashion, food, housing and a host of other things.

Inside an Inkjet Printer

An inkjet printer is any printer that places extremely small droplets of ink onto paper to create an image. Take a look inside one to see how they work.

You want to set up wireless printing on a Dell, but you're not sure how to do it. Learn about how to set up wireless printing on a Dell in this article.