The Science Behind Digital Printing

Did you know?

The history of printing dates back to some time around 3500 BCE, when Persian and Mesopotamian civilizations utilized cylindrical seals to certify documents forged from stone or clay. Since then, the science behind printing has advanced to incorporate paper, ink, and mass production methods that allow a person or organization to print for nearly every purpose like never before.

We now print as a means to share information with others, be it our marketing services, the world’s stories, the daily news, or something in between. In fact, printing has become so significant that it’s now often considered one of the most important inventions of our time.

While much has changed from the days of old when printing was performed on clay and stone, digital printing has quickly become of the largest strides made in the world of printing. By utilizing complex machines that analyze and print directly to a surface, digital printing has established itself as the gold standard amongst other methods of printing that remain in use today.

But as is the case with most of the world’s advancements in technology, you may be wondering how digital printing actually works. What’s the science behind digital printing that makes it so special? To answer that question, we’ve broken the science down into something a bit more digestible. Read ahead to learn more about the science behind digital printing.

A Brief History

In 1993, a once well-known company by the name of Indigo launched the first digital color printer available for mass use. Quickly the invention took off overnight, as customers were given the ability to produce short-run, personalized, and high-quality printing options straight from their desktop. Slowly other brands the likes of Hewlett Packard invested in Indigo before buying the company outright in 2001. Since the launch of that first digital printer over 25 years ago, the digital printing market has only grown, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

But what made the Indigo printer so different and popular? Why was it only through the use of digital printing that such achievements could be made?

Let’s talk about that.

The Science of Digital Printing

Unlike older printers that used wet ink to transfer images via printing plates, the digital printer (most commonly inkjet or dry toner-based printers) assembled images for print through a complex set of numbers and formulas that stripped an image to its core – pixels. By systematically breaking down an image by each individual pixel, digital printers could control the deposition of ink, toner and exposure down to the very micron (about the width of a strand of hair), thus accurately replicating the image one would like to print.

But the difference between inkjet and dry toner-based printers is important to note as well. While inkjet printers dispose minuscule droplets of ink onto the paper that quickly dry, toner-based digital printers use a fine, plastic-based powder that is heated and “melts” to the paper. The dots created by the toner are in fact smaller than the inkjet droplets, and therefore create a greater amount of clarity for the final image.

By utilizing digital printing methods over traditional ones, a number of benefits occur. Time is saved, as printing plates don’t need to be created, customization becomes possible, and the overall cost goes down for those small but rather important printing jobs.

Next Steps

Digital printing has swiftly and efficiently altered the manner by which we print today. No longer are we subjected to wasting time by using standard printing plates that don’t allow for customization and require extensive periods of time to produce a finished product. Digital printing saves time while producing a higher-quality image unlike ever before. And the science behind digital printing – a complex set of data and formulas that ‘read’ an image and produce a near-identical copy  – is what makes it so truly remarkable.

Rhino Digital utilizes state of the art digital printing methods not only because of the benefits they hold over traditional printing methods, but also because they work. From posters to flyers to banners to bindings and everything else in between, Rhino Digital has your digital printing needs covered, every step of the way. Contact us to learn more about our services and hear from our knowledgeable staff, or instead give us a call at 503-233-2477 for more information.

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