This is Not Your Daddy’s Xerox Machine: Types of copiers and printers

Things have changes dramatically since the first plain-paper copiers appeared en-masse in the early 1960s.  What passed for a “copier” then has little resemblance to today’s system machines.

While there are a number of types of color and blank-and-white copies on the market, there are basically three types of copy-creating devices (printers, copiers or facsimile machines):

  • Xerographic
  • LED
  • Ink stick

Let’s start with Xerography.  First demonstrated in the 1930s, it was originally called “Electrophotography,” but later changed to “Xerography”.  “Xerography” has its roots in Greek, meaning “dry writing.”

There are seven steps in the Xerographic process, which is still basically the same after almost 80 years.  This Wikipedia article details it (  Seven steps!

LED or light-emitting diodes are a variation: in the exposure step, a different type of light is used.

Then there are ink stick printers and copiers.  Owned by Xerox, the technology moves the ink from a reservoir to the drum in fewer steps.  The process involves fewer moving parts and less packaging.  It is also more reliable and less prone to failure.  For more info, go to this Wikipedia entry (

At any rate—fewer moving parts, less heat and environmental damage and lower overall cost makes these machines definitely NOT your Daddy’s Xerox machine!

The Office Farmer