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3D Printed Letterpress Machine

Every day I am delighted by the creativity exhibited by entrepreneurs who follow their passion to apply new technology to an existing technology application.

At the intersection of antique and innovation is the duo of stampomatica analog printing machines: devices which rediscover the charm of traditional printing techniques, while using cutting-edge 3D printing technology for their manufacture.  During the maker faire rome 2013 , tecnificio and lino’s type have presented the two letterpress models: one which can print designs on business cards, and the second which creates graphics for postcards, invitations, or announcements.

My father published a small town weekly newspaper. Growing up I had hands-on experience setting wood block type for small print jobs.  I cleaned the Linotype that created lines of text from molten lead.  I witnessed the transition to computer generated text and printed paper that was waxed to layout an article.  Followed by camera to negative to print plate processing for offset press.

These days, woodblock type are collectible antiques, although a small but vibrant arts community uses them for creative graphic arts projects.  See what this looks like in the 2 minute video.

The use of 3D printing to recreate hard to replacement parts is an important application of the technology.  Its use to create type block and graphics is very interesting.  What Technificio and Lino'sType have done is go further to create simple press machines as well. This is a fine example of just how powerful 3D printing is as a technology.

Some might ask "Is this necessary? Computer generated copy and images are capable of such detail and depth and perfection."  I observe that the process of printing with movable type is a creative endeavor that reveals imperfections that exhibit real beauty and can deliver a more emotional connection.

My question for readers, to what other creative disciplines can 3D printing be applied? What do you want to see next?

View the original web page at stampomatica 3D printed letterpress machines - designboom | architecture & design magazine

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