Products for home and office
In addition to its digital photography products, Ricoh is also well known for the development of office communications solutions, like high-volume copiers and printers, and for software solutions for mid-sized offices and larger manufacturers. Its portfolio also includes products like laser, ink and gel printers from the Aficio line for home users with high printing demands and small offices. Although the classic laser printers and ink jet printers naturally rely on toner and ink respectively, Ricoh's GelSprinter model has something new and innovative to offer. Cartridges are filled with semi-liquid gel which is then heated and liquefied. After application, the gel is immediately dried using a comparably wide printer head.
Gel vs. Ink
Ricoh's GelSprinter, like the Aficio GX 7000, produces finished prints quicker than classic ink jet printers because one needn't wait for the ink to dry. The printer can thus print more pages per minute, as there is no waiting time factored in to avoid smearing and smudging. Both text and images printed with gel printers from Ricoh offer a higher grade of resolution and clarity, as gel does not seep into the grains of the paper but remains on the surface. According to Ricoh, gel printing works on traditional paper types. Their special gel formula ensures that the gel dries immediately upon contact with the paper. Prints are said to be both waterproof and not sensitive to light, a claim that neither ink jet nor laser printers can make. At the moment, gel printing is more expensive and hasn't been overwhelmingly accepted by other manufacturers, meaning its popularity remains relatively low to date. Original gel for Ricoh gel printers, as well as traditional toner and ink for older models, can be found here.