3 Different Types of Printing Processes

Printing is an industrial method for mass reproduction of images and text with a substrate. This method uses ink rollers in a printing press, mechanical devices, and inks fed by compressed air to form texts, images and paintings. Early printing methods include engraved cylinders, wooden blocks printed on wood, metal plates imprinted with text, and even pieces of pottery that have been inscribed with images.

Modern printing technology has developed into different types such as lithography, digital printing, sheet printing, digital ink printing, gravure printing, screen printing, and LED (light emitting diodes) printing. Early methods used the same printing press to create a consistent image, although this was not always so. Modern printing machines often incorporate automatic feeders that help keep a constant printing height, and use automatic inks that are pre-determined. The inks themselves are usually inks colored to give a wide range of colors to work with, although some printing equipment uses monochrome inkjet printing technology.

Screen printing is one of the oldest forms of printing. Invented around 1793, it involved creating a raised area of a solid colored piece of paper or other material on a metal plate. The raised area was then printed with ink that was mounted on the plate’s surface. This printing method was often used to create raised patterns and images, although it was also used to create simple texts and decorations on the plate’s flat surfaces. Monochrome printing on raised areas was first introduced in the early 19th century with the invention of the printing press.

lithography involves creating a printout from a photograph or drawing on a flat substrate, such as a sheet of newspaper. The basic components required in lithography are ink cartridges that contain color ink, a printing media such as paper, and a printing machine that presses the ink through a plate onto the substrate. Modern technology has dramatically advanced the capabilities of modern lithographers. Some techniques, such as gravure printing, have even become so advanced that they can create a photographic image from a photograph. Lithography was most often used for printing letter head, legal notices, business documents, and maps.

The third type of printing process we will discuss is prepress printing. Unlike lithography, which was typically done by manually throwing the ink on the plate and spreading it uniformly over the surface, prepress printing involves injecting the ink into a printhead that builds up a printing roll over a heated platen. This printing process eliminates the need for manual mixing of the printing media. Prepress printing usually requires a separate, specialized machine room because of the specialized equipment that is needed to prepare the substrate.

The printing press is one of the most important pieces of equipment in the home printer market. Many of today’s technologies, such as dye sublimation, thermal transfer paper, and even computer-assisted design software, have greatly reduced the costs associated with producing professional looking printed materials. While the cost of many printing presses is rising rapidly, new techniques are making advances that are quickly replacing older technologies. Depending on your intended use, a printing press may be an expensive piece of machinery, but if it’s well-designed and used correctly, it can offer great value for money and provide years of high-quality printing.