Digital Printing Process Step By Step
Digital Printing Process Step By Step
Digital printing is a whole lot difficult than the Offset printing, why? Because it doesn’t involve indirect printing of the image over the desired printing material by turning the print over a secondary surface like the rubber blanket and then printing it over the desired surface. This is how offset printing works, but the digital printing is a whole lot different.
What is Digital Printing?
Digital printing as the name states is a digital method of printing the required image over the chosen surface by using the computer programming. In this type of printing a scripted image is provided to the printer and by decoding the message printer creates an exact image on the paper like the one provided to the computer.
First the provided image is thoroughly analyzed by the printer and then it is printed over the desired surface. As simple as that right? No, there is a whole other story to it.
How digital printing works?
Before cherishing the moment of appreciation while holding the final printed form in your hand, you should ponder over the various steps that led to this printed paper in your hand. Digital printing is not at all easy, it requires a complex approach through which the printing takes place. To keenly observe how digital printing does work, let’s have a step by step insight to the overall process.
1. Processing the image file
Before you can enjoy the final printed work in your hand, you need to create an image file on the computer and feed it to the printer from there. Everything starts with taking a common picture from the camera (You can also take any photo or image from the internet). Once you have the sample with you the next thing you have to do is equalize the resolution of the image. The standard resolution standard in the industry is 300dpi but a digital screen is only capable of showing an overall resolution of not greater than 72dpi.
Although the 72dpi image will look sharp enough on the screen but it is not necessary that it would appear the same on the final printed form. This is why you need to sharpen the resolution according to your required standards. Once the image has been edited and resolution stabilized, you need to save this final from of the image that will be used in further processing.
2. Color imposition
For some of you this concept might be new that actually four primary colors are used in digital printing, those primary colors being;
These 4 primary colors are then mixed within the printer to produce rest of the colors that looks so vivid and different from each other on the final printed form. But color shades can be indeed tricky that is where the imposition comes forward. When a color can’t be developed using these 4 colors, you would have to force the process by mixing a special ink i.e. metallic. Using this special ink you can create the missing colors very easily. Once all the colors against the saved image file have been developed the writing of the image over the digital plate can begin.
But before reaching there you need to make sure that the required color scheme has been developed, therefore you won’t have to go through the printing process again.
3. Writing image to the digital plate
Offset printing has a physical rubber blanket onto which the image is printed before being printed over the required printing medium. But in case of the digital printing difference lies in the fact that no physical plate is ever used to write the image over it.
Actually in case of the digital printing process the finalized or saved image is created over a digital plate, computer analyzes the image and then prepares the digital plate to be written using the wired connection with the printer. The image is digitally converted over the digital plate and is written on the basis of color preferences. As discussed earlier only 4 colors are used in printing, that is why firstly all the Cyan based components of the image are copied over the digital plate and then they are removed altogether. Then comes the yellow ones and they are also removed once they are written over the plate and then follows the remaining two and finally the writing sequence has been successfully completed.
Now printer has the printing instructions on the digital plate, ready to print over the chosen surface, now comes the feeding of paper into the printer and continuing the printing process.
4. Printing over the paper
Once everything is accounted for and the printer is ready to print the required image over the digital plates is finally printed over the chosen surface i.e. paper. For this to happen first the paper is fed to the paper feeder of the printer and then print command is executed from the computer, the printer starts taking in paper from the paper feeder and the digital plate starts printing the required image over the paper. Usually toner or liquid ink is being used for this process, while toner might not be a cost-effective option therefore liquid ink is much preferred here.
It provides with a shiny, classic and in-depth printing experience. Once the image has been printed over the required surface the paper starts to roll out of the printer really slow. In case of the toner printing you need to give it a few minutes before touching it, otherwise the ink shall disperse over the paper and the printing quality might be altered from the standard. But if you have used the liquid ink, the final printed form will already be dried out and you can readily use the finished printed copies.
Now you have a clear distinction between the offset printing and the digital printing and how it is not just about pressing a small button over your digital printer and getting the required image in the printed form. A series of the sophisticated processes takes place before you can print from your digital printer.