Computers have revolutionised the way we now live and work, and a part of this advanced technology are printers. Whilst you may well use them on a daily basis without necessarily thinking, the world of printing has also evolved rapidly in recent times whereby we now have access to the highest quality printers suitable for all manner of projects, from the production of signage right through to use by architects for producing high level plans.
However, where did this all begin and how has the evolution of digital printing come about? Read on to find out whilst also discovering a few benefits of this innovative form of printing along the way.
The Early Days
Going way back, the first printing press was developed in the 1400’s by the German Johannes Gutenberg, however was remarkably slow and incredibly expensive, so even back then people were on the lookout for a quicker and cheaper alternative.
Moving forward a considerable number of years, electric printing presses were invented which led to the production of various materials from books and newspapers through to pamphlets and leaflets to become much quicker and be completed on a significantly larger scale; however there were even greater advancements to come.
The Emergence of Digital Printing
The first signs of digital printing came about with the invention of the computer back in the early 1990s. Xerox played a large role in the evolution and development of digital printing however there were many companies and individuals making continual improvements in the early stages. What made digital printing innovative and different from other methods available was the fact that a different image could now be printed onto separate pieces of paper whereas traditional printing involved using the same plates over and over again.
How it Works
From an image on a computer screen, digital printing presses enable images to be printed on a wide variety of different materials, from photographic paper through to vinyl and paper stock. With such innovations in technology, a user is now able to send what they would like printed through a network from wherever they are in the world; making it highly beneficial for businesses with associates at various locations who need to send information through to the head office from their current location.
The Different Forms of Digital Printing
Whilst digital printing can be defined as anything that is printed through the use of a computer or computerised system, it does come in different forms;
• Ink Jet Printing- this form of digital printing sees ink expelled onto the paper.
• Laser Printing- this method of digital printing involves dry-toner based inks and rather than expelling this onto the paper, it is infused through heat.
• Large Format Printing- for large scale printing projects, large format printing is required. Using printers with very large rolls of paper, this printing is commonly used for signage and graphics.
Whilst nobody can predict exactly what will happen in the future, it is probably fair to say that as technology continues to advance in the coming years, so too will the way we print materials, therefore suggesting the evolution of digital printing will still be in full swing for the foreseeable future!
This post was written by Oliver Kyle on behalf of Wide Format Solutions; a company at the forefront of the digital printing world with large format printers available for the professional.