Continuous Versus Drop-on-Demand Printing

Smart document solutions

Continuous Versus Drop-on-Demand Printing

For many people, an inkjet is an inkjet is an inkjet. However, those in the printing and office equipment industries know that this is certainly not the case. One machine can make all the difference, both in terms of having the right equipment for the job as well as having a quality machine like those made by Xerox. Smart document solutions are everything in the printing world.

When it comes to inkjet printers, there are two kinds: Continuous and Drop-on-Demand, and in this article we’ll look at both and their differences. Read on to find out more.

Continuous Inkjet (CIJ):

This method of inkjet printing relies on a method of providing a continuous flow of ink during the printing process. It’s quite a technical process, but in a nutshell, this is what happens:

A piezoelectric crystal within the gunbody of the printer vibrates and this causes the liquid to be released in a constant stream of droplets, which is how the flow is continuous. Each droplet is electrostatically charged; they move through an electrostatic field and electrostatic deflection plates, where they are directed towards the paper or whatever other substrate is being used.

This method of printing is typically used in package printing and is actually one of the oldest forms of inkjet printing.

Drop-on-Demand (DoD)

The name says it all – ink droplets are used only as needed with this technology and there are two different ways of making this happen.

Thermal inkjet technology (TIJ)

This is the one that people at home use most often when printing. A resistive element is heated and this then creates a thin film. This film, in turn, forms an expanding bubble that injects droplets of ink through a tiny nozzle onto the substrate.


This is found more often in industrial applications. An electrical field is applied to a piezoelectric crystal and this creates a distortion, which then creates pressure in the chamber where the ink is held. This pressure causes the ink to be pushed through the nozzle onto the substrate.

Remember that you don’t need to know exactly how our smart document solutions work in order to know that our Xerox machines deliver exceptional quality prints every time.

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