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The Cost Of Printing - Past To Present

Oct 15, 2007
Printing has come a long way since the classical age of printing in the 1450s. The first printing press was devised by a German man named Johannes Gutenberg. The first printing houses were very labour intensive. A pressman was given the arduous task of working the press. Print shop apprentices prepared ink, dampened sheets of paper and assisted the press. At the time literacy levels were low but these apprentices were required to know Latin. Gutenberg also used his skills as a goldsmith to develop the first form of oil based ink. This ink was far more effective than its water based predecessor. The fact that printing high quality sheets in your own home is both possible and affordable is a marvellous achievement.

High quality printing depends on the smooth flow of ink from the cartridge to the paper. In inkjet and bubblejet printers this is maintained by heating the ink. Thermal inkjets have a small element that warms the ink. The warmed ink creates an air bubble that forces ink through the ink nozzle. The main thing that hinders the printing process is when the ink becomes dry at the print head. Problems also occur when an ink cartridge begins to run out of ink. The ink acts as a coolant to protect the metal heating elements. When it runs out the element can burn out and damage the print head. It is therefore important to keep your cartridges topped up.

Cost has always been the most important factor in printing. In the 16th Century the publishing industry was relatively new and the market for publications was extremely unstable. Publishers joined together in syndicates to share the risk of printing and if successful the profits. Publishers also published in instalments to spread the cost over a period of time. By the 17th Century publishers were printing to subscription. Potential buyers would sign up to a copy of a publication. If there was not enough demand to make money the publication would not be printed.

Nowadays the cost of ink tends to be the defining factor of usage. Brand name ink cartridges such as inkjet cartridges examples of modern types HP, canon, Epson and are varied in expense but can be expensive. This is often because the manufacturers name increases the perceived value of the ink. There are alternative methods of getting cheaper ink. It is possible to refill empty ink cartridges, buy remanufactured cartridges or use a compatible ink cartridge. A refill will refill your cartridge. A remanufactured cartridge is a brand name cartridge that has been professionally cleaned and refilled. A compatible ink cartridge is a cartridge built to the same specification as a brand name cartridge but without the name. These options can save the consumer up to 85% off their ink bill.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has researched the developemnt of ink production providing insight into its evolution to date. Visit http://www.inksave.co.uk/ to find out more on inkjet cartridges HP, canon, Epson.
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