This Week in Imaging: Why Print Matters – Then and Now

While we all hear a lot of negative talk about print – from recalcitrant printers that sometimes won’t print, to the cost of supplies – we were reminded this week of the great contributions print has made to the human race, which wouldn’t be where it is today without print.

Let’s start with the Gutenberg Press, invented in 1440 Germany by Johanes Gutenberg, and which led to the democratization of knowledge in Western Europe, and which arguably made democracy possible. Early in 8th century China, moveable type had also been developed, which led to printed books and the dissemination of knowledge in the 800s.

More recently, 3D printing, which is based on 2D inkjet printing, continues to advance, ushering in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes, among other things, artificial intelligence and 3D printing. Benefits include print-on-demand of manufacturing parts, saving on the costs of stock-piling parts, and printing only parts that are needed, as well as fast production of parts for the healthcare industry.

Other benefits of 3D printing include housing for those around the world suffering extreme poverty. This week, Fast Company reported on non-profit organization New Story, which is 3D printing homes for those in need.

3D-printed homes in Mexico Photo: Joshua Perez/courtesy New Story

These homes were 3D-printed by 3D-printer company Icon’s Vulcan II. The first two homes were built in 24 hours over a total of two days. The people who will inhabit them will be moving from dilapidated shacks to modern homes with plumbing and indoor restrooms.

So the next time someone maligns print, let them know that print has made possible immense advancements for the human race – and is continuing to do so.

This Week in Imaging


Xerox Makes New Offer, Appeals Directly to HP Shareholders

Market Research

Slight Decline for Wide-Format Printer Market

Financial News

4L Announces Debt Restructuring Agreement

Supplies News

HP Hit With Another Firmware Lawsuit

Canon Obtains Amazon Take-Downs, Settles with Matthias

Canon Announces New Toner Takedowns

Other News

China Moves to Ban Foreign Tech from State Offices

HP Continues Shift to Contractual Model with New Financing Model

HP to Build New Campus in Vancouver

Ricoh Touts Success of Latest Dealer Conference

3D Printing

Xerox Touts 3D Liquid-Metal Printing for Manufacturing