As an alternative to laser or inkjet technology, Xerox offers solid-ink technology printers. A solid-ink printer uses solid sticks or blocks of ink instead of toner or inkjet cartridges. Xerox claims that solid-ink printers offer better colour consistency, are less expensive per sheet of printing and are more environmentaly friendly, producing less waste than lasers and inkjets – http://www.office.xerox.com/solid-ink/enus.html. The technology uses solid inks that are melted and sprayed onto the page as droplets, in a manner not dissimilar from inkjet printing. But because the inks are solid at room temperature, they can be supplied in blocks that are simply dropped into the printer, rather than being contained in a cartridge.
Now solid-ink technology is available in the UK with the launch of three Xerox ColorQube printers. However, they are out of the reach of the home user, costing around £13K each.