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13 Digital Printing Technology Learning Objectives Explain how digital processes have affected the graphic communications industry. Compare digital printing technologies. Explain the practical uses of variable data printing and distributed printing.

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13

Digital Printing Technology

learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Explain how digital processes have affected the graphic communications industry.
  • Compare digital printing technologies.
  • Explain the practical uses of variable data printing and distributed printing.
  • Recall the purpose of digital asset management systems.
  • Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing.
digital printing overview
Digital Printing Overview
  • Digital printing technology
    • Eliminates time-consuming and costly preparation of film, plates, and inks
    • Provides customers with options that bring professional printing closer to desktop
    • Reduces number of workflow steps, making process simpler and more productive
digital printing overview5
Digital technology is used to:

Create text

Capture or create images

Create printing plates

Apply ink or toner

Major technologies include:

Electrostatic technology

Ink-jet printing technology

Digital Printing Overview
direct imaging di
Direct Imaging (DI)
  • Computer-to-press system
  • Eliminates production steps and variables normally associated with offset processes
  • Provide good image quality and reduced environmental footprint
  • Reduces makeready time and improves productivity
digital workflow
Digital Workflow
  • Creation of text and images
  • Importing text and images to create page layouts
  • Imposition and sheet assembly of laid-out pages
  • Platemaking and printing based on sheets on DI press
digital printing methods
Digital Printing Methods
  • Ink-jet printing is most common
  • Other types:
    • Electrostatic printing
    • Ionography
    • Magnetography
    • Dye sublimation
    • Thermal transfer
ink jet printing
Ink-Jet Printing
  • Uses digital data to control streams of droplets of ink or dye
  • Mostly variable data printing of single or spot colors
  • Three classifications
    • Desktop
    • Large format
    • Grand format
types of ink jet printers
Types of Ink-Jet Printers
  • Thermal ink-jet printers
    • Use electrical current, heat, and nozzle to transfer ink to substrates
  • Piezoelectric ink-jet printers
    • Use piezocrystals
  • Continuous ink-jet printers
    • Use continuously circulating flow of ink
types of ink jet inks
Types of Ink-Jet Inks
  • Aqueous inks
    • Withstand high temperatures without affecting chemical makeup of ink
  • Solvent inks
    • Have ingredients considered to be high in VOCs
  • UV-curable inks
    • Lack of VOCs
volatile organic compounds
Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Chemical compounds that emit vapors at normal room temperatures
  • Short term exposure to VOCs can cause:
    • Irritation to eyes, nose, and throat
    • Headaches, dizziness, or nausea
  • If using products containing VOCs, follow all safety instructions
types of ink jet printheads
Types of Ink-Jet Printheads
  • Fixed-head ink-jet printer
    • Built-in printhead
    • Printhead can be refilled when ink runs out
  • Disposable head ink-jet printer
    • Cartridge is replaced when ink runs out
electrophotography
Electrophotography
  • Most often seen in copiers
  • Most systems accommodate wide range of papers
  • Some are being used to produce content and contract proofing, including final output copies
electrophotography16
Electrophotography

(www.PrintingTips.com, owned by Austec Data Inc. dba Tecstra Systems)

ionography
Ionography
  • Used mainly for single- or spot-color printing
  • Used for high-volume and variable data printing

(www.PrintingTips.com, owned by Austec Data Inc. dba Tecstra Systems)

magnetography
Magnetography
  • Image is converted to magnetic charge on drum that then attracts magnetized toner
  • Faster than other types of systems
  • Commonly used for:
    • Single- or spot-color printing
    • Barcodes
    • Other types of variable data printing
dye sublimation
Dye Sublimation
  • Type of thermography
  • Ribbon made of panels of CMY pigments pass over heater
  • Pigments become gaseous and are transferred to substrate below panels
  • Ink is dry as soon as it is done printing
  • Panels cannot be reused
thermal transfer
Thermal Transfer
  • Type of thermography
  • Similar to dye sublimation
  • Printers use different ribbon for each color
  • Used mainly for one-color printing
  • Newer systems have multiple ribbons of different colors
  • Commonly used for color proofing
digital printing applications
Digital Printing Applications
  • Variable data printing
  • Distributed printing
  • Digital asset management (DAM)
variable data printing
Variable Data Printing
  • Enables quick and easy content changes at several points within print run
  • Basic template of printed material has certain sections designated as changeable fields
  • Produces customized and personalized materials
distributed printing
Distributed Printing
  • Electronic files are sent through WAN to be printed near point of distribution
  • Using color management systems at both ends of process helps ensure color consistency
digital asset management dam
Tasks include:

Downloading data

Processing data

Organizing data

Storing data

Transmitting data

Software-as-a-service (SaaS)

Data includes:

Design files

Templates

Images

Font files

Databases

Digital Asset Management (DAM)
advantages and disadvantages of digital printing
Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Printing
  • Digital presses offer quick turnaround times, greater flexibility, and cost-effective printing for short color runs
  • Eliminating much of traditional press preparation reduces overall cost of short color runs
  • Most digital presses do not produce high enough quality
electronic media waste
Electronic Media Waste
  • When computers and other types of electronics are thrown out, they become e-waste
  • E-waste is fastest growing cause of toxic waste in United States
  • Toxic chemicals found in e-waste can consist of lead and mercury
review
Review

What is direct imaging (DI)?

The process of sending digital files directly to press without use of traditional offset or computer-to-plate processes or chemistry.

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Review

What are two types of thermography? How do they differ?

The two types are dye sublimation and thermal transfer. Dye sublimation printers use a ribbon of panels of colored solid pigment. Thermal transfer printers use a different ribbon for each color.

review29
Review

What is variable data printing? What is it used for?

A type of printing that enables quick and easy content changes at several points within a print run. It allows customized and personalized materials to be produced.

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Review

What is digital asset management?

The protocol and resources established to handle all digital files and data.

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Review

What are three advantages of digital printing?

Quick turnaround times, greater flexibility, and cost-effective printing for short color runs.