drum printer

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drum printer (barrel printer) A type of solid-font line printer, first marketed in 1955 but now becoming obsolete. The font is etched or engraved on the outer surface of a cylinder – known as the drum (or barrel) – that extends across the full width of the line to be printed. This was the first type of computer printer to use the ‘hit-on-the-fly’ principle, used on chain printers and train printers and current band printers, and it was a significant change from the mechanically intensive printers that preceded it.