What is a photocopy machine?

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A photocopy machine is an electronic duplicator that fuses a reproduced image to plain bond paper.


Most photocopy machines work as follows:

  • A copier drum is given a positive charge.
  • The image from the original copy illuminates the charged drum and a latent image is formed.
  • Static electricity attracts toner to the drum surface and a visible image is formed.
  • Toner on the drum is transferred to paper by positive charging.
  • After the image transfer process is completed, the paper is separated from the drum surface.
  • Toner on the copy paper is firmly fixed when the paper runs between heat and pressure rollers.
  • A cleaning blade wipes off excess toner.
  • The drum is exposed by a neon lamp to erase remaining static charge.

Photocopying is now widely available and is a fairly economical way to print a small number of books.


There are many kinds of photocopy machines available. They might have the following features:

  • Enlarging and reducing images
  • Copying in color
  • Making overhead transparencies
  • Collating
  • Stapling
  • Gluing

Here is a diagram of a photocopy machine:



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Page content last modified: 8 December 1998

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