A Bit About Printing Industry

From Woodblock Printing to a 3D printing
In this post we travel through time and, stage by stage, we look at the most important technological breakthroughs in printing. It’s an absorbing story spanning fifteen centuries, so we’ll have to content ourselves with an overview of the most important events.


Woodblock Printing We’re in 6th-century China during the Tang dynasty. One of many inventions to emerge from this great empire was a system of printing using wooden matrices that were engraved, inked and pressed onto a sheet of paper. The scope of this invention was such that, in modern Chinese historiography, printing is considered one […]


Movable Type Printing We’ve arrived at one of the most important stages in the history of printing: the advent of movable type. And once again, this invention came from China. In 1041, the printer Bi Sheng invented movable clay type. However, it had the drawback of breaking easily. In 1298, the inventor Wang Zhen began […]


The Rotary Press Let’s jump forward again, to the year 1843. We’re in the United States and Richard March Hoe has just invented the first rotary press, perfected in 1846 and patented in 1847. Initially, this system was hand-fed with single sheets until, in 1863, William Bullock introduced a press that was fed by a […]


Offset Printing In 1875, Robert Barclay invented the offset press for printing on metal. Then, in 1904, Ira Washington Rubel adapted the technology for paper. This indirect method of printing is based on a very simple chemical phenomenon: the repulsion between oil and water. The printing process is anything but simple though. An offset plate […]