IT’S 3D, BUT IS IT PRINTING?

Industries are abuzz over technology known as 3D printing, a process that produces three-dimensional objects from a drafted computer model. The technology has emerged in both commercial and industrial manufacturing, and is expected to more than triple in utilization over the next several years. According to Investors.com, companies have used it to create everything from auto parts and aircraft components to prosthetic limbs, architectural models and energy systems. But what is it really? And is it printing?

3D printing is a means of desktop fabrication. It is, by definition, a process of producing a three dimensional object from anything that can be obtained as a powder. A digital 3D-model is drawn using computer-assisted design (CAD) software, and then sent to desktop equipment for production. Fundamentally, the process is additive manufacturing – thin sheets of powder are laid down layer-by-layer to create the formation. Therefore, one might associate this technique with the process of laying down inkjet toner, and dub the practice “printing”. It is similar in concept, and subsequently the association may be fitting. Likewise, the process seems to warrant a description different than the familiar manufacturing terms – machining, turning, milling, and sawing – because these production processes are all subtractive: taken out of a larger whole.

But printing as we know it has always involved ink (or toner) and a substrate. The definition of print is “to produce by applying inked types, plates, blocks, or the like, to paper or other material either by direct pressure or indirectly by offsetting an image onto an intermediate roller”. Surely, as an industry, we print onto three dimensional objects. But is the actual process of producing a 3D object “printing” if it is void of ink?

We’re not so convinced that this method of production should truly be called printing. We contest that it might be more appropriately named fabrication, construction, or depending on its end-use, prototyping or modelling. But to deem it printing seems to stretch the definition of print as we know it. 

We invite you to share your thoughts and join the conversation here.  

Tags: 3dprinting

SPOTLIGHT ON: PREPRESS

  • Prepress processes 25 printing plates per hour. The monthly average is 2,400 plates.
  • Hatteras has been GRACoL certified since 2011. (GRACoL stands for General Requirements for Applications in Commercial offset Lithography, a comprehensive set of guidelines for planning and processing work for printers.) 
  • Hatteras has over 2,500 fonts on our server. 
  • We have 18 terabytes of archived jobs. One terabyte can hold up to a million minutes of MP3 music, and remember 8,000 times more data than the average human. 

SPOTLIGHT ON: MAILING

Since January 2011 Hatteras has:
Delivered over 5,735 mailings to the Post Office.
Mailed over 55,119,697 pieces.
Our clients spent over $16,902,986 in postage. 

Our inkjet addressing equipment uses UV curable ink, which will dry on any coated surface immediately as the piece passes under UV lamps, including laminated stock.

Each address in every mail file we receive is checked against the USPS database that we have on file, which contains all 152.1 million domestic delivery points.

All presorted mailings are cross referenced against that National Change of Address database, which contains information on the 39.7 million change of addresses that are filed with the USPS each year.

Union Square Subway Station from Hatteras on Vimeo.

Domination of Union Square Subway Station with large format graphics produced and installed by Hatteras.

Hatteras: Behind the Scenes

Take an inside look at what makes us who we are. 

(Source: vimeo.com)

Name (n):a word or term used for identification
Names are unique. They identify a single thing or individual, and are often the foundation of one’s identity.
Your name is one of the first things someone learns about you, and what they will use to recall you later. It represents who you are as an individual and distinguishes you.
Brand names function the same. They are the building blocks for developing brand awareness – how a company is perceived in the eyes of its customers.
In 2009, Hatteras made the insightful decision to change its name from Hatteras Press to Hatteras, with the tagline “Create. Print. Communicate.” Rather than the perception of being exclusively a printer as the name Hatteras Press suggested, we had the foresight to recognize the evolution of the industry and the expansion beyond ink and paper.
Today, we are Hatteras – still known for our printing expertise, but without limiting ourselves to the traditional perception. Our name, while shorter, has expanded our identity; it allows us to be recognized for all that we do, and the unique capabilities we have.

Name (n):a word or term used for identification

Names are unique. They identify a single thing or individual, and are often the foundation of one’s identity.

Your name is one of the first things someone learns about you, and what they will use to recall you later. It represents who you are as an individual and distinguishes you.

Brand names function the same. They are the building blocks for developing brand awareness – how a company is perceived in the eyes of its customers.

In 2009, Hatteras made the insightful decision to change its name from Hatteras Press to Hatteras, with the tagline “Create. Print. Communicate.” Rather than the perception of being exclusively a printer as the name Hatteras Press suggested, we had the foresight to recognize the evolution of the industry and the expansion beyond ink and paper.

Today, we are Hatteras – still known for our printing expertise, but without limiting ourselves to the traditional perception. Our name, while shorter, has expanded our identity; it allows us to be recognized for all that we do, and the unique capabilities we have.

Do you know why the screen angles in 4 color process printing are so important? The least visible color, yellow, is placed at the most visible angle 0º. Then the most visible color, black, is placed at 45°. The cyan and magenta are then placed between these two. Cyan at 15° and magenta at 75º. These angles are tried and tested standards that produce the most ideal printed images and also create the rossette pattern.

Do you know why the screen angles in 4 color process printing are so important? The least visible color, yellow, is placed at the most visible angle 0º. Then the most visible color, black, is placed at 45°. The cyan and magenta are then placed between these two. Cyan at 15° and magenta at 75º. These angles are tried and tested standards that produce the most ideal printed images and also create the rossette pattern.

Large format environmental graphics are and have been one of the most successful mediums for creating brand awareness. Learn about the high impact of such graphics, and our exclusive behind the scenes process.

Our newest addition to the office, a 25 ft. Hatteras lighthouse! 
Material: 3M IJ 8624 textured surface adhesive vinyl. 
Process: Printed on HP L28500 latex inkjet printer. Laminated with 3M 8524, specific for the textured surface vinyl. Trimmed, measured, and laid out for installation. Applied with high heat to conform to the crevices of brick and mortar. 

Our newest addition to the office, a 25 ft. Hatteras lighthouse! 

Material: 3M IJ 8624 textured surface adhesive vinyl. 

Process: Printed on HP L28500 latex inkjet printer. Laminated with 3M 8524, specific for the textured surface vinyl. Trimmed, measured, and laid out for installation. Applied with high heat to conform to the crevices of brick and mortar. 

Go to HatterasHelps.com and purchase your tribute to the Jersey Shore 12 month calendar for $25 with 100% of the proceeds going to help restore the shore. #sandy #jersey #staystrong #rebuild #charity #hatteras #manasquan #belmar #asburypark #springlake #seagirt #atlanticcity #avon #bradleybeach #bayhead #mantaloking #seabright #rumson #pointpleasant #seaside #lbi #restoretheshore

Go to HatterasHelps.com and purchase your tribute to the Jersey Shore 12 month calendar for $25 with 100% of the proceeds going to help restore the shore. #sandy #jersey #staystrong #rebuild #charity #hatteras #manasquan #belmar #asburypark #springlake #seagirt #atlanticcity #avon #bradleybeach #bayhead #mantaloking #seabright #rumson #pointpleasant #seaside #lbi #restoretheshore