What Are The Three Printing Methods?
Printing is an industrial method for mass producing photographic images and text with a template or master pattern. Prints are produced through heat printing on solid or semi-solid materials, using a printing press. Printouts may be practical works of art, or they may simply contain logos, texts or images produced by the printing press. The earliest non-printed items featuring printing technology include cylinder seals and decorative objects like the ancient Cylinders and the ancient Cyrus Cylinder.
The first types of printing machines to be used commercially sold only in quantity to individual artists and craftspersons who independently produced their own works of art. In recent history, offset printing has become the principal means of mass printing used in most commercial environments. In this method, the image onto the plate is simply punched or molded into a solid piece of metal, which is then pressed or molded into the desired location. This technique allows for very high printing speeds. Individual components or single plates may be printed on special dies that make each individual element unique.
As printing technology evolved, so did the types of inks used in offset printing. In the early days, ink was usually made from gum or oil. Today, various pigments and other chemicals are sometimes used to produce color and luminosity. The dyes used in modern offset printing are often more vibrant and durable than those in older presses.
With modern offset printing equipment, multiple plates can be printed simultaneously. Multi-plate offset printing involves printing one set of sheets on a single offset press. All sheets that have been printed are then deposited on a plate, and as they pass through the offset press, the colors of the original ink are worn away and replaced by those of the replacement dye.
Digital printing on the other hand, works by using inks coated with fluorescent or reflective materials to transfer printed images to flat surfaces. This method is cheaper and faster than offset printing because there are fewer materials to purchase and no additional equipment is required. However, it has a shorter lifetime than traditional offset printing, and printing quality often suffers. Because the images are electronically printed, some of them become blurred when printed on colored paper.
These three different methods of printing stand alone as very popular printing presses. However, many businesses utilize them interchangeably because all three methods produce the same final product. There are still many presses available that perform one or two of these three functions, but most businesses opt to purchase a fully automatic or semi-automatic press that performs all three functions. These fully automatic printing presses are often used by companies that have high volume production. They are ideal for printing large volumes of data and for digitally receiving printed material, such as brochures and sales brochures.