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Digital Printing is a printing method that prints data/images directly from the computer onto a sheet of paper. This method of printing is ideal for printing short runs needed urgently. The traditional offset printing uses printing plates and is costly if you have short run (i.e. printing few copies of your stationery or marketing collateral) requirements or print on demand needs. The transfer of images directly to a substrate (e.g. paper) saves the costs of having to acquire plates which in fact take time to prepare.

One of digital printing’s main challenges or disadvantages is proper colour management which can deliver different colours from vendor to vendor or changing from machine to machine. Some of the commercial printers in Kenya do not observe colour management. To ensure accurate reproduction, we invest in resources and tools to calibrate Pulsar’s machines to ensure colour consistency is achieved. Without calibration between screen and final print, digital printing will have a lot of challenges.

Types of Digital Printers

Digital printers vary greatly i.e. from your normal office deskjet printer to the large format printers and digital printing presses. All have different application scopes as we explore below.

Inkjet Printers

This is the most common type of printer considering its wide application and use. It involves the spraying of ink droplets onto a substrate. This is done through a print head and depending on manufacturers and type of technology used, the spraying and ink type varies also. Some use thermal inks, others use gels, while some use dye or pigment-based inks. Large format printers use solvent-based inks due to their outdoor application requirements. This technology is available is almost all digital printer types i.e. from large format to digital presses.

More on inkjet printing here.

Laser Printers

This method of printing was made popular by Xerox Corporation in the 1960s era with their infamous photocopiers. They called this the xerographic process. It is a method involving the use of a laser beam on a charged drum to create a differential charged image. Toner then attracts over selectively charged areas and then transfers the image on a substrate e.g. paper. This is then heated to permanently fix the image on the substrate.

This technology is normally used in office printers as well as digital printing presses. Most give a gloss finish which is attractive to the eye.

For a detailed process, click here to find out more.

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