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A Brief History of Printing [Infographic]

Posted by Confessions of the Professions in Confessions

Michael Alvarez


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Learn about the history and evolution of printing starting with interesting facts about the first printing in China, the oldest known woodblock, technology evolution of printers by Johann Gutenburg, what offset printing is and how it is used in everyday printing operations, the first printing business was established in 1685 in St. Marys City, and other facts.

Starting from 200 and making our way through history we show you how printing has changed and evolved over the years and how it continues to change.  With the latest evolution in printing, 3D printers, it seems like the limits are endless.  You are now able to print out anything and everything.

Print clothing, guitars, food, homes, cameras, artwork, body parts, robots, prosthetics, and much more.  Make sure to take advantage of all these printing innovations that have been happening and use them to your advantage.  It seems like there are no limits when it comes to the evolution of printing and 3D printing.

A Brief History of Printing [Infographic]

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A Brief History of Print

Interesting Printing Facts

Printing was first thought and developed in China

Printing is considered to be one of the four greatest Chinese inventions

The oldest known printed work by Chinese is a woodblock-printed Buddhist scripture of the Wu Zetian period (684-705 AD)

Johann Gutenberg developed European printing technology in 1440

William Nuthead founded the first printing business in St. Mary's City in 1685

The Maryland Gazette was founded in 1727 and is the oldest, continuously published newspaper in the United States

The first offset printing press was invented in 1903 by Ira Washington Rubel

Offset printing is where an image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket and then applied to the printing surface

Landmarks in Printing Technology

Woodblock printing (200)

Moveable type (1040)

Printing press (1454)

Aquatint (1768)

Mezzotint (1642)

Etching (ca. 1500)

Lithography (1796)

Chromolithography (1837)

Rotary press (1843)

Hectograph (1869)

Offset printing (1875)

Hot metal typesetting (1886)

Mimeograph (1890)

Screen printing (1907)

Spirit duplicator (1923)

Dye-sublimation (1957)

Phototypesetting (1960s)

Dot matrix printer (1964)

Laser printing (1969)

Thermal printing (ca. 1972)

Inkjet printing (1976)

3D printing (1984)

Digital press (1993)

The evolution of the process of printing has brought us to some amazing places! Look at 10 of the most amazing things we can create now with 3D printers!

3D clothing can be printed specifically for the person who will wear it, ensuring a completely perfect fit.

Traditionally made of wood since around the 12th century, guitars can now be made from plastic by 3D printers!

Including plumbing and electric, a full-sized house (2,320 sq. meters) can be 3D printed in less than 20 hours.

Camera Lenses
Some high-end 3D printers can already print glass objects, and eventually you'll be able to make a glass lens in your home that rivals commercial lenses —at just a fraction of the cost!

Andras Forgacs, CEO of Modern Meadows, who became the first person to eat a piece of printed meat earlier this year.

3D printing offers another medium for artistic expression —the results are astonishing! The raw materials are less expensive than traditional art supplies, too!

Instead of paying $10,000 for a mechanical prosthetic after losing 4 fingers in a carpentry accident, Richard Van As decided to build his own prosthetic at home using a 3D printer.

Body Parts
San Diego research company Organovo has successfully printed human liver tissue. The printed tissue is capable of performing all the functions required of a liver. This technology could save thousands of lives a year.

MIT and Harvard collaborated to make a robot that assembles itself thanks to "shape memory polymers" which fold themselves into the right shape once they've been printed.

3D Printers
Called RepRap, the printer can print all of the pieces used to make it except for a few metal nuts and bolts. The replicated RepRap can then start making a child of its own.

Still printing in 2-D?

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Michael Alvarez has been working in the electronics and technology field for over 20 years. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise of ce255a printer toner with others; while continuing to grow his knowledge.

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