Advances in Printing: From Dot Matrix to Now

Anyone who is over forty will be able to remember the old dot-matrix printers. Super loud, very slow, and hugely limited. Back in the day, they were miracles that meant school projects and university assignments no longer needed to be handwritten. But in the space of twenty years or less, those old school printers have now become completely obsolete, replaced with state-of-the-art equipment that can do almost anything.

Modern marvels if you will, although marvels that in twenty years or less, will probably have been rendered obsolete themselves. Regardless of that, let’s have a quick look at some of the tasks and actions modern printers are able to fulfill.

 All in one

In much the same way that you once had a phone, a camera, and a calculator, but now you just have a smartphone; so too was there a time when you would have had a printer, a copier, a scanner, and a fax machine. Modern advances have naturally seen these pieces all morph into one complex machine. A great example of this type of technology is the HP Laserjet managed e87650 series. There are others that are similar, although people in the know seem to be convinced that the product put out by HP is the leader in the space.


Taking and printing photographs has become increasingly simple with the advent of digital cameras and then the incorporation of the camera into the phone. It means that almost everywhere that you go you have a camera with you and that in turn translates to lots of pictures. Once getting pictures printed involved a trip to the photographic shop to get the work done, but now most modern printers can be fitted with photographic paper and left to do the business themselves.


Printers are almost able to create books by themselves as they now have the capability to print huge quantities at a time and to sort they go. In other words, if you want to print fifty copies of a hundred-page manual they will do it so that the pages come out in order, ready to be stapled and bound, and distributed. A similar job on the old dot matrix would have been possible, but you would probably have had to book off the better part of a day to do it.


This is incredible technology and printing has now taken a quantum leap forward into three-dimensional space. In short, the latest printers don’t just lay text or ink down on a page, they are able to build things up in complicated shapes. It is an engineering breakthrough of note that has enabled designers and investors to produce all sorts of products quickly and easily and in masse. The typical question from most people is what can you print with a 3D printer? Some examples of items that would work well would include things like a chess set, or showerheads or flower pots or measuring cups. The reality is that the list is endless – simply apply your imagination and you will understand why the world of printing is set to move even further away from the dot matrix in the next little while.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan