The printer is something that you may use every day; you will find at least one in every office up and down the country. But it is often overlooked that they have had a huge impact on the world, making room for change and modernisation. Today, we will look at how the printer has evolved, and the effects it had on the world around us.

Before the Printer

Before any type of printer was invented, books had to be written by hand, which meant that they were reserved for the richest members of society or large organisations like the church. These organisations held a great deal of power, as they controlled the flow of information to those who couldn’t afford to own books, and who most likely were not able to read.

Early Printing Methods

The invention of the first printing press is usually credited to Johannes Gutenberg, who was a 15th century inventor and goldsmith. However, this is not strictly true, as we can date the technology back 600 years previously to Chinese monks, who created the method of block printing – a technique which involved coating wooden blocks in ink and pressing them into paper.

Gutenberg’s Press

The inventor is thought to have begun his work on the printing press in the 1430s, using his knowledge of metals to create type blocks from a uniform template. His press mechanized the transfer of ink from movable type to paper. His invention allowed for the mass production of books at a fraction of the cost, meaning that they became more available to those who were previously unable to afford these luxury items.

The 3D Printer

The most recent evolution in printing technology is that of the 3D printer, which can print in materials such as plastic to create just about anything you can think of. The possibilities really are endless. There are many incredible uses for these machines, which look set to change the world once more by providing a cheap and accessible way to create anything; from prosthetic body parts, to houses and 3D sonograms.

Here at Airedale Springs, we’re pretty excited about the implications of the future of printing technology, as we own our very own 3D printer! You can read more about our investment in the future, including investment in 3D printing technology. In the meantime, if you are in the market for springs, we’re your first port of call. We supply a huge range including tension springs, torsion springs and compression springs. For more information about any of our products, please contact us by calling 01535 643456 to speak to a member of our team.