How Does A Printing Press Work Inside?

The importance of printing

Maybe you’ve ever stopped to think about the inner workings of a printing press. And the truth is that we cannot deny the importance it has in our day to day even if we barely perceive it: from the newspapers (increasingly digitized) to the brochure printing they need to go through a printing process.

On this occasion from, we bring you a post about the origins and the first printing presses and their internal functioning.

The origins of the printing press

In the beginning, the documents circulated in a manuscript way among the monks and friars, who were those who received literate education. In the late Middle Ages, the woodcut began to be used: the text and the illustrations were incorporated into a wooden hollow that was filled with ink, the paper was placed on top and it was extended with a roller so that the letters were fixed. This expedited the elaboration of those documents and also cheapened the cost.

In order to facilitate the circulation of these texts, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press back in 1442. The innovation he introduced was that, instead of framing the text in wooden molds, he designed wooden tablets for each letter of the text or alphabet. Then he filled the iron molds to prevent wear.

The evolution that this art has suffered over the centuries is significant, especially thanks to new technologies that facilitate the process.

The printing press in the 21st century

The first thing you should know is that currently there are two types of printed: digital and offset. The first is the most domestic, where there are no intermediaries between paper and ink. The second is the most used, and it does have intermediaries between paper and ink: specifically rollers with a specific ink that leave layers of color that will later form images and texts.

Offset printing

This type of printing is the most usedand also the most amazing, since everyone who approaches him, ends up fascinated by its speed, precision and also because it is barely perceptible to the human eye.

A large percentage of the documents we see every day have gone through this type of printing. Despite the amount of colors that can show the final result, the truth is that part of the primary colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (not forgetting the white paper). This is what is known as the CMYK color model. From their combination, the rest of the colors are obtained except the metallic ones (progress is being made on them). This type of printing press has considerable dimensions and is composed of rollers, cylinders and plates.

The rollers wet areas that will lack image and thus create a layer that prevents ink. The following rollers are responsible for applying the ink in the offset cylinder, which is responsible for mixing and applying the color in the areas of the image. The next step corresponds to the trimming of the desired dimensions.