Have you ever wondered how that huge laserjet printer in your office actually works? Guides like howstuffworks.com can go a long way toward helping you to understand the complex processes behind the operation of a laserjet printer, but even these easy to read guides are filled with a fair amount of technical jargon due to the nature of the issue being discussed. Understanding how a standard inkjet printer operates is fairly accessible to most people since spraying liquid ink onto a piece of paper is rather intuitive. However that process becomes much more complex when you start talking about lasers, positive static charges and heating pads just to put some ink on some paper!
Ultimately there are a few basic components that are ubiquitous amongst laser printers. First you have, of course, the toner cartridge containing the carbon and polymer powder that later becomes ink. This ink is fused to create your print job by running the paper underneath a big drum charged with static electricity, which holds the toner in place as it gets transferred to the paper. Essentially the drum has a positive static charge, and a laser is used to discharge certain parts of the drum to “draw” the image to be printed. Then toner is applied, which sticks to the discharged areas of the drum before being transferred to the paper. The paper, now laden with toner, is then run through a device called a fuser that heats the toner up and bonds it to the fibers of the paper, creating your end product.
To really understand how this process works and to view some visual guides that will clarify the picture more look online for step-by-step guides to laser printers, such as the one listed above. These teaching aides will go a long way towards helping you to better understand (and thus operate) your machine.