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History of the Computer Printer

Here’s a bit of background into the history of the printer.

The first computer printer

The first high-speed, non fluid printer was manufactured in the early fifties, by Remington Rand. This printer was used in combination with the UNIVAC computer. It was essentially an evolved form of the electric typewriter, and the same ‘typing’ mechanism was used in these printers, but the actual printing was directed by the computer, instead of fingers.

The laser printer

A type of dry printing press, initially called electro-photography, was invented by Chester Carlson, in 1938. This system was later called xerography. It became the basis for the laser printer technology that we know today. In 1975, the IBM 3800 laser technology made it possible to print text and high quality graphics onto paper.

The dot-matrix printer

In 1970, Digital Equipment Corporation produced the first dot-matrix printer, the LA30, which was able to print 30 characters per second. Improvements to speed and usability followed the same year when Centronics Data Computer Corporation introduced Model 101 with printing capabilities of 165 characters per second.

The ink-jet printer

The first laserjet printer was introduced by Hewlett-Packard in 1976, although it was not marketed until the late eighties. It was slow, had problematic ink cartridges and made nasty smears. The technology behind the laserjet was invented by Canon. Having gone through many changes and improvements over the years, inkjet printers are now among the most popular in the world.

The printer as we know it today

The printer of today is kind of a centipede. Faster and more versatile than ever before, this nifty and innovative piece of electronic equipment does not only print anymore. It can do your photocopying and scanning as well, which doesn’t only make our day-to-day jobs a breeze, but it also gives us a lot of extra time and reduces the need for physical space in our offices. Printers have also become much more economical in price, which makes it possible for everyone to own one, whether for personal use such as printing photographs, or for use in our small home businesses.

Revolutionary 3D printing technology

One dimensional printing has given way to two-dimensional printing, and in the past couple of years we’ve seen the development of the incredible 3D technology emerge, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities. 3D printing has become extremely popular, with many printing companies jumping on the bandwagon. 3D printing applications are unlimited. This technology is used in all sectors of today’s design and manufacturing industry, from prototype testing to molding and casting to fine feature applications. The marketing sector is also hugely benefitting from this revolutionary printing technology with the creation of comprehensive visuals and all types of other marketing aids. Other current uses are the manufacturing of prostheses and even bio printing of live tissue for the creation of organs for transplantation purposes. The possibilities are endless.