Not your father’s printer

First slide

I remember dot-matrix printers. They were also called impact printers because the print head struck an ink-infused ribbon creating sharp text like a typewriter - remember those? They were loud and fast, and they didn't do color, but you could crank out forms and labels quickly. I guess you could do color if you put in a red ribbon, but all your text would be red. You could also use another relic of the past, carbon paper, to create multiple copies at one time, because printing multiple copies of the same document on the printer was an assault on your ears.
Technology has moved on to laser and inkjet printers giving people more graphic and color capability and quieter output.
The printer industry has taken a logarithmic jump to 3-D printing recently that allows the ordinary person to be an industrialist by creating solid plastic objects. For a few thousand dollars, you can produce models that can be an educational bonanza.
Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Vienna received a 3-D printer from an anonymous donor. Right now, they're just getting their feet wet cranking out plastic nuts and bolts, but they're planning for much more.

Three-dimensional printers are slow, noisy and just one-color, but, in time, they could change everything.
By the way, I looked online and you can still buy dot-matrix printers.
Read the new 3-D printer at OLGC, and see more pictures and video here.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016