What is different about offset printing from digital?

In modern printing houses use 2 main types of printing — offset and digital. What are their characteristics? What is different about offset printing from digital?

Facts about offset printing

Under offset is taken to mean a print with a special machine, which uses elements with applied templates images. These elements are usually made from metals. In addition, in the structure of a sheetfed offset press is applied the canvas made from waterproof fabric, usually rubberized.

In the printing process, the dye gets on the paper or other surface not directly, but through the activation of intermediate mechanisms. Mainly cylinder rotating around its axis.

In classical offset machines it is assumed the use of two cylinders: the first elements are printed, the other is called «offset» and is in contact with the paper or other surface on which is applied the image. The purpose of the offset cylinder to reduce wear of the primary (it contains printed elements). In addition, his involvement allows to distribute the paint across the paper or other surface smoother than if it were applied directly.

The main advantage of offset printing is the possibility to significantly reduce the cost of producing printed products (per 1 unit) provided that the circulation is quite large. In addition, offset printing can be applied to almost all types of paper. According to many experts in the field of printing, quality offset printing in many cases much higher than in the case of other technologies.

The disadvantages of offset printing include the necessity of preliminary preparation of printing elements is takes considerable time, and therefore performing online orders with the use of appropriate technology is not always possible. With small print runs using offset method is economically disadvantageous.

to content ↑Facts about digital printing

Under digital printing means with the output devices based on the use of images or icons in the form of graphic files that are located on your computer. The simplest and most affordable device for printing in a digital format printer. But he certainly has a very modest performance from the standpoint of the production of printed products in large print runs, so modern printers are specialized printing machines.

Unlike devices of the first type, in which there is a blanket cylinder located between the printing form and paper, in digital machines, the ink is applied to paper directly.

The main advantages of digital printing:

  • efficiency (no need, as in the case of offset printing, pre-printing to prepare the elements simply to access graphic files);
  • low cost printing unit 1 printing production at small and medium circulations;
  • the ability to print images of any complexity and color filling.

The disadvantages of digital printing can be attributed to the relatively high costs for printing of printed products in large print runs.

to contents ↑the Difference between offset and digital printing

The main difference between offset printing from digital in that the first technology in the classical version involves the printing of images based on pre-prepared forms, the second may use the form in the form of graphic files.

There is a significant difference also in the construction of printing machines of the considered types. To offset devices means the use of a multistage mechanism, which applies at least 2 of the cylinder core and offset. In digital devices, the paint is supplied to the paper or other surface directly.

It can be noted that in modern printing houses are utilized combined device — combining digital and offset printing.

Defining the difference between offset and digital printing, will reflect the findings in the table.

to content ↑Comparative table

Offset printing
Digital printing

Involves the printing of images based on pre-prepared forms
Involves the printing of images based on shapes in the form of graphic files is immediately ready for processing and transfer to paper or another surface

In most offset presses used offset cylinder, thereby reducing the load on the primary printing cylinder, and to ensure a more even distribution of paint
In most digital printing presses the ink is applied directly to paper or another surface

Optimal for printing large print runs
Optimal for printing small and medium print runs

Involves significant costs in time for the preparation of printing forms
Characterized by efficiency: due to the presence of graphics files, you can immediately start printing on paper or another surface

Filed in: Tip

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