Wireless Thermal Printers in Business and Home Offices

Thermal printers use heat to produce an image on thermal printing paper. A wireless printer receives print jobs via a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.

How does a thermal printer work?

Rather than relying on ink or toner, a thermal printer uses the application of intense heat on specially designed thermal paper to create an image. Black-and-white thermal printers are more common.

The wireless feature enables printing from computers, mobile devices, and wearable technology. Enabling both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi print options extends the square-footage reach of the printer. It eliminates the need to run cables to connect devices to the printer, while Bluetooth lets you print over short distances. Use wireless LAN 802.11b or 802.11g to securely protect data. Secure your Wi-Fi connection using virtual private network (VPN) software.

What are the most common business applications of these devices?

Use these printers for quick, single color printing of simple lines or text. The airline, banking, entertainment, grocery, healthcare, and retail industries use thermal printers to create bar codes, labels, receipts, and tickets. These models provide operation that is nearly noiseless.

What types of wireless thermal printers are there?

Two types of thermal models exist: direct thermal and thermal transfer. A direct thermal model uses chemically-treated paper. When the unit's thermal print head heats the paper, it darkens. Essentially, the ink resides inside the print material. These printers require no separate source of ink, ribbon, or toner. The thermal transfer type uses a thermal print head that transfers solid ink from its resin or wax ribbon onto a non-paper material such as nylon, polyester, or vinyl to create a permanent print. The process, called dye sublimation, sublimates the ink on the print head, meaning it turns it to gas before becoming liquid, then bonds it to the print material. A final application of a clear panel seals the print. Use direct thermal models to print receipts or shipping labels, but use thermal transfer models for printing signage, floor markings, and labels that must withstand extreme cold storage. These types produce safety signs and other markings that meet OSHA and NFPA standards.

You will find the following kinds of printers:

  • Standard full-page
  • All-in-one
  • Label makers
  • ID-card generators
  • Point-of-sale models
  • Mobile models
  • Workgroup printers

These models print in black and white, or color.

Who manufactures these types of devices?

You can find models of wireless thermal printers from Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Kodak, Polaroid, and Zebra.