Printing : transforming the technique

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Printing : transforming the technique Printing  appeared around 3000 B.C with the first image copied. At that time, the copy process was done by means of cylindrical seals used to print images on wax tablets. Today when think about printing, we associate immediately printing with paper , but the fact is that ,textile prints preceded printing on paper and the printing machines were to be invented hundreds of years later.

The increasing  need  for editing and copying text led to the development of rapid techniques such as the movable type, a system of printing  using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letterpunches. This method enabled printing of letters or even whole sentences, being more quicker and durable, leading to typography and fonts.

Anyway, the very first of the printing machines is considered to be Johannes Gutenberg’s flat-bed printing press, a device working by transferring image from an ink surface upon a media ( paper or cloth) by aplying pressure. This revolutionary device led to the creation of reproductions for mass consumption. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press led to the transformation of a relatively small activity in an industry with a very well defined structure.

Among other special printing techniques one can also include intaglio,  that involves incising images on a matrix generally made of copper or zinc, orriginating from the 1430’s.  To print an image on a intaglio matrix ink  was poured into its forms, after which the excess was removed with a special fabric so that the ink remained only in the cast incisions. To print the form from the mold, the paper had to be put over it and passed through a press. This technique has survived until today, being used to print banknotes, official documents or collection of stamps.

An important step towards innovation in printing was made when inventing  lithography (1796), a printing technique specialized for smooth surfaces using a number of chemical processes to convey the image. The printing process is based on a  hydrophobic chemical as the positive part of the  image and water as its negative side.

So, when you insert the media to be printed in special ink,the ink will catch the positive image and the water will wash the negative, removing it. This method of printing images showed increased efficiency in comparison to old methods, such as engraving being used widely today for almost any graphic elements printed on smooth support. Lithography technique is used in  producing maps, posters, brochures, wrappings ,books or newspapers.

Altough it was photocopying (1960), that represented  a revolution, especially in terms of office supplies technology, and is still widely used today,the technique is losing popularity gradually, with the increasing of the digital image processing. Thus, digital Press (1993) marks the beginning of digital printing that brings a number of innovations compared to previous methods, being more flexible, allowing printing on a much wider range of media, but also a much higher speed printing.

Technology is the engine that moves the trade and for technology compatible with your requirements the right place to look for it is which provides both technical and commercial information in order to choose the right equipment and materials needed in priting industry.

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