There are a lot of different types of printing methods available and they continue to evolve. Each type is for a different need, meaning that a business can choose a printing technique that best suits them for their services or products. Printing has been around since before 250AD.
The oldest known printing method is known as woodcut and works by carving an image on a wooden surface. Printing has evolved considerably since then – instead of manually carving the wood, you can choose from a variety of technologically advanced techniques. If you want to know all the different types of printing machines and how they differentiate from each other, make sure you read our article until the end.
Offset printing machines
Usually used for rough surface media like canvas, cloth, and wood, it can also be used for paper, stationery, books and more. Offset usually known as offset lithography or offset printing, is a very popular technique for mass-producing prints. It involves printing aluminum plates, which each hold a different image off the content that needs to be printed.
These plates are then transferred onto rubber blankets or rollers before going onto the print media, which can be any type of paper. The metal plates do not come into contact with the print media only which extends the life of the plates considerably. The flexible material on the rollers also means that the machines can be used on media with rough surfaces.
Offset printing is known for consistently producing very high-quality images.
Cylindrical screen printing
Cylindrical screen printing machines are also known as round screen printing machines. These machines are designed to print on square, oval, round and other special-shaped surfaces. These can print on all types of material, whether metal, glass or plastic. These printing machines and techniques are mostly used for various food containers, beverages, pharmaceutical bottles, cosmetics, etc.
If you are looking for cylindrical screen printing machines, you should check out Once-Tech.
Flexography printing machines
Used for label and packaging or anything with continuous patterns like a gift wrap or a wallpaper. Flexographic printing machines are the modern version of letterpress printing machines and are usually used for printing on an uneven surface. This type of printing uses semi-liquid and quick-drying inks that can be used for bigger volume jobs.
Flexible photopolymer plates are wrapped around rotating cylinders on a web press. These plates have a slightly raised image of the content that needs to be printed and is rotated at high speeds so the image transfers on the print media.
Digital printing machines
Mostly used for more simple media like signage, posters, menus, letters, labels and more. Digital printing is the most modern method that uses different types of techniques like laser and inkjet printing. In digital printing, images are sent directly to the printing digitally in files such as PDFs.
This eliminates the need for printing plates. The quality might not be as high as to offset printing, but digital printing allows for quick changes and allows companies to print on demand. It is also great for smaller jobs, people can request even just one print like a piece of paper.