Monthly Archives: January 2018

How Printers Evolved Over the Years

Printing technology is perhaps as old as the written word. As early as 3000 BC, the Egyptians
were using rounded seals to make impressions for royal seals albeit in Heliographs. Since
then printing technology has appeared in different forms, but some trends have been
consistent; printers have become smaller, faster and able to do more than simply printing.

Printing presses

The Gutenberg printing press was the first to enable mass printing back in the 1400s. The ink
was manually applied to text blocks which made impressions on paper. The impression
blocks were manually replaced for each page. This was incredibly slow. The steam revolution
introduced steam-powered printing presses that were first automated in 1914 that could only
print a few hundred pages per hour.

Screen printing

This technique started being widely used in 1910. Screen printing enabled printing multi-
color fabrics. It uses a squeegee to spread ink over a stencil which lets ink through open
spaces on the screen. Screen printing is still widely used in the developing world.

Spirit duplication (1923)

This technique used two sheets of paper. Impressions were done on the top paper while the
bottom paper was waxed. The pressure was applied to the top paper which made impressions
on the bottom paper.

Dot matrix printer (1925)

The dot matrix printer was popular for small and home offices up to the 1990s. This printer
uses a printing head to strike an ink ribbon against the paper. The dot matrix allowed
different fonts and graphics to be produced.

Xeroxing (photocopy) (1938)

This technology was originally called Xeroxing from the company that patented it. The
technology involves sensitizing paper parts using electric static. Dye is then sprayed and
bonds on these sensitized parts. Photocopying technology is still the preferred method for
hardcopy mass duplication.

Inkjet printing (1951)

A commercial inkjet printer appeared on the market in 1951. However, inkjet printers were
able to print from PCs in the 1970s. An inkjet printer uses a nozzle to spray ink on the paper.
Improved nozzle and inks have made inkjets the preferred printers for high-quality images
including glossy photos.

Laser printing (1969)

Laser printing is preferred for printing high volumes fast. This technology uses a laser beam
to sensitize parts on a drum. These sensitized parts then attract toner and transfer it to paper.

Digital printing (1991)

This technology allows printing directly from PCs and other devices. Letters and images are
digitized, and this image used to control the way toner or ink is deposited.

3D printing

Although the first 3D printer was patented in 1981, this technology has been refined in the
2010s. A 3D printer adds layers of printable material onto a surface to make a 3D object.

What kind of printer do you own, and why do you prefer it?

Printers To Look Forward In 2018

Cloud documents may be the future, but paper printing is still very much a necessity in offices and homes. There is still a very big crowd who feel better signing on the dotted line on hardcopy. Printers have become better and 2018 is bound to see printer technology get even better. All-in-one printers have become the top pick for many people for their versatility, and have become cheaper. Printer prices have gradually come down and this trend is expected to hold. What printers are expected to be favorites in 2018?

Epson Expression XP-640- Best for photos

The 640 is an inkjet that can print high gloss photos as well as scan and copy typical documents. It comes with 5 cartridges holding yellow, cyan, magenta, black dye and black pigment. The 640 will print well-saturated photos on both plain and glossy paper. The printing speeds for photos are also impressive at almost twice those of other inkjets.

Canon Imageclass MF217W- Best laser printer

Few printers can match the budget advantages of this printer. It is suitable for small and medium business offices with relatively high volumes to print. It is monochrome, which is good enough for business documents. Both scan and print speeds are impressive. It will connect over wifi, USB, Ethernet and Bluetooth.

Brother MFC-J985DW- Best volume printer

For an office with high volumes to print, the 985 offers both grayscale and color printing at impressive budgets. This inkjet will easily print 2.400 pages of black and white from a single black cartridge, and 1,200 color pages from the 3 color cartridges. It has an added fax feature on top of the copy, scan and print functions. It will connect to Bluetooth, wifi, LAN, and NFC (Near Field Communication) gadgets.

HP Envy 4520- Best for home office

The 4520 is versatile enough for any home printing needs. This inkjet comes with a 2-inch LCD panel for easy operation and will print directly from a USB flash stick. It prints both color and black and white at impressive speeds. The Insta Ink feature allows up to 50% saving when printing black and white.

Epson WF-2760- Best priced inkjet

While there are cheaper inkjets than the 2760, it offers duplex printing and automatic paper feeding, which are not seen in the competition at that price. The low price is offered without affecting print quality as the 2760 will print high-quality color and black and white documents. It will connect to LAN, Bluetooth, and USB.

What are your printing needs and which printer would you pick from the above choices?