Some retail cash registers or older fax machines might contain thermal printers. Thermal paper is chemically treated and has a waxy quality. Thermal paper becomes black when heated. After a roll of thermal paper is loaded, the feed assembly moves the paper through the printer. Electrical current is sent to the heating element in the print head to generate heat. The heated areas of the print head make the pattern on the paper.

A thermal printer has the following advantages:

A thermal printer has the following disadvantages: