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History of Printing & Evolution of Modern Print Technology

The Evolution of Printing Technology

From the tablets used by the ancient Egyptians in 3000 BC to innovative and modern 3D printers, printing has changed dramatically over the centuries. Nowadays, printers are used daily across the world by nearly every business whether it be for memos, photographic art or 3-dimensional objects.

Printing Timeline

1440 - Printing Presses

The Gutenberg printing press was invented and was the first to enable mass printing back in the 1400s.

1910 - Screen Printing

This technique became widely used and enabled printing multi-color fabrics.

1923 - Spirit Duplication

This technique used two sheets of paper and was first seen in 1923. Impressions were done on the top paper while the bottom paper was waxed.

1925 - Dot Matrix Printer

This printer uses a printing head to strike an ink ribbon against the paper.

1938 - Xeroxing (Photocopy) 

1951 - Inkjet Printing

A commercial inkjet printer appeared on the market in 1951. This printer uses a nozzle to spray ink on the paper. 

1969 - Laser Printing

This technology uses a laser beam to sensitize parts on the drum. These sensitized parts then attract toner and transfer it to paper. 

1991 - Digital Printing

This technology allows printing directly from PCs and other devices.

2010 - 3D Printing

Although first patented in 1981, modern 3d printing wasn't quite refined until the early 2000s. This technology prints layers of material onto a surface to create 3d objects. 

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Last updated: April 22, 2024