Printing Press Tour

Shenzhen Adventure Day 11

Today we got to see a printing press. Printing presses are pretty cool; they’re a pretty old technology which one might argue was the driving force behind the renaissance.

Printing

Printing presses are fast. If you’re looking to get something made at one of these factories, you need to order at least something like 10,000 copies because it prints that many in about the time they can turn the machine on and off.

Gold Leafing

One of the coolest processes we got to see at the factory was how they gold-leaf page edges.

Basically, they sand down the edges of a block of paper to be super smooth.

And then they press a piece of foil onto it.

The result is very shiny!

Paper Cutter

Imagine cutting a piece of paper. Now two pieces. Four? 16? 32? At a certain point, the paper becomes too thick to easily cut.

Now imagine you aren’t just trying to cut it, but you’re try to make a perfect edge, uniformly.

At a printing press, they cut thousands of sheets simultaneously. That requires a really sharp knife, a lot of pressure, and a highly attentive worker.

At the factory, pages are typically cut twice. The first time is to cut to the general size of the job and the second time is done as a trim on the finished product to remove the edges.

Binding

These big rotary machines are used to bind pages

Special Requests

Printing presses – or at least this very awesome one – can accommodate a lot of special requests.

Here are a few examples of special processes

Adding a bookmark

Plastic window

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