The term digital printing broadly refers to the printing of a digital image onto different kinds of media such as paper. The source of the image used is more often derived from a device such as a desktop computer. Digital printing presses are machines or devices that imprint a digital image onto a surface. The presses usually apply pressure onto an inked surface and the image is then transferred onto a medium such as cloth or paper. Digital printing has now become the standard form of printing across the world. It is fast, cost effective, works on a variety of surfaces and produces clear images.
One of the main differences between traditional printing methods and digital printing is that printing surfaces are never replaced repeatedly. In analog printing systems, the surfaces are repeatedly replaced, resulting in a much slower process. Digital printing is, therefore, a quicker process in comparison. This helps reduce the time in producing prints.
The most commonly used printing methods are inkjet and laser printing. Laser printers print digital images on a surface with the ink sticking on the surface without penetrating. Digital printing presses come with an inbuilt multi-color registration system. This system and the printing surfaces are some of the biggest advantages that digital printers have over analog presses.
Digital laser printing: In this method, digital images are imprinted onto light sensitive, true, photographic paper using a laser beam. The images are then processed into prints using fixers and developers found in modern presses. The resulting prints are genuine photographs with very crisp images with continuous tone. Archived images always have quality as high as the printed ones. Even when large images are needed, the quality does not change as no lens is used. This results in very accurate, clear and crisp images as compared to other forms of printing.
Inkjet printing: This form of print uses computer images that are then transferred without distortions to an inkjet printer. The technology used here was developed by Kodak and other firms. Modern printing presses using this technology, use solvent-based and pigment-based fade resistant inks. They also use archival substrates which are particularly designed for fine-art printing. One advantage of digital inkjet printing is that it allows for the printing of all types of digital art. These can be printed separately for larger art pieces or single finished artworks.
Digital technology offers a high quality level of digital printing with unique capabilities. This is why it is now an important tool for different applications. The benefits include:
Major applications include print on demand, advertising, production of direct mail documents, variable data printing, printing of photos and desktop publishing. There are several companies that directly benefit from use of modern digital presses. These include document printing companies, marketing and advertising firms, architectural firms, photography industry, fine arts companies and those engaging in desktop publishing
Digital printing finds application in many different fields. It has changed the way printing is conducted in the modern world, helping to cut costs, improve prints and with a faster output. We are in the technological era and it keeps improving in almost all fields. Printing technology is also on course and we are yet to see even better quality outputs!