Before print was invented, in Europe all publications were handwritten, production costs were really high and the press activities time-consuming. Knowledge was reachable by a few rich people which could afford to buy books. The ancient manuscripts were hand-copied by monks, who dedicated their entire lives to this type of activity. Over time, the techniques have been refined and the tools used have undergone changes or have been definitively shelved due to the appearance of new printing technologies and machinery. The turning point comes with the invention of movable type printing by the German Gutenberg. No longer people need to hand-write, but devices able to drastically reduce production times, maintaining higher quality considering the historical period. In recent years, technological progress has allowed printing technology to literally make great strides. Just think of the first needle printers of the 80s up to today’s laser printers, passing through inkjet printers. The first laser printer was invented in 1969 and was able to print over twenty thousand lines in less than a minute. This device has also allowed the commercialization and diffusion of digital printing in all homes in the world: anyone could print files and documents for work or study in a few seconds. The future, however, is called 3D printing: the creation of three-dimensional objects through additive manufacturing starting from a digital 3D model. The virtual object (the file) is divided into transversal portions of equal height and then sent to the 3D printer which proceeds to its reproduction through the use of different materials. Invented in the 80s by Chuck Hull, this type of printer is becoming more and more popular all over the world, it can be used in different fields: medical, domestic, food, space, building and not only. There are a lot of different models of three-dimensional printers: some are huge and are used for the production of large mechanical components, others are very small and are used to create small dentures, then used to perform implants on patients.
Monday January 22nd, 2018