How Does a Photocopier Work?
This is a 10 step guide into how a photocopier works:
- The user places the document they want to copy onto the glass
- A bright light moves across the document and scans it. More light reflects off the white areas than the black areas with ink on them
- An electrical shadow of the document forms on a part of the copier called the ‘photoconductor’. A photoconductor is a rotating conveyor belt inside the photocopier coated in a special chemical
- As the photoconductor rotates, the shadow is carried with it
- An ink drum touching the conveyor belt puts particles of powdered ink onto it, called toner
- The toner has been electrically charged, so it sticks to the electrical shadow to form an image of the original document
- A sheet of paper is fed up from the tray on another conveyor belt. As it moves along it’s given it’s own electrical charge
- When the paper moves close to the upper belt it’s electrical charge attracts the toner particles away from the belt. The image is transferred from the belt onto the paper.
- The now-inked paper passes through a set of hot rollers called a ‘fuser unit’. The heat and pressure from this fuse the toner to the paper
- The completed copy comes out of the photocopier into the paper catch area. The heat you feel on a fresh photocopy is because of the fuser unit, and it may still have a small electric charge on it – try sticking it to your jumper!