Who invented the printing press? Johannes Gutenberg!
Who made movable type possible? Not Johannes Guttenberg. Bi Sheng.
This Chinese inventor used ceramic to make individual letters that could be lined up for printing. He did it more than 300 years before Mr. Gutenberg came along. Bi Sheng printed texts by placing the ceramic types side by side on an iron plate coated with resin, wax, and paper ash.
WHO CAME FIRST?
WHAT WAS THE FIRST BOOK?
It wasn’t the Gutenberg Bible. As far as we know, it was the Jiki,
a book printed in Korea using metal movable type—78 years before Gutenberg’s big book.
Fast forward to 3-D printing. Now toys, tools, furniture, prosthetic limbs, or fake human organs for surgeons to practice on can all come from a printer. What would Bi Sheng think? We bet he’d say, “I can hardly believe it!”
A 3D printed human brain that was made to assist medical students.
FAST FORWARD TO THE FUTURE
YOU’RE THE PRINTMAKER
Time to experiment for yourself. You’ll need:
• Styrofoam: Styrofoam
plates or leftover
(clean) meat trays
• Ball point pen
You need your Styrofoam to lie flat. Cut off the plate or tray’s rim.
Place the Styrofoam on top of a sheet of paper. Trace around it. Cut the paper into the same shape as the plate.
Draw on your foam. Choose basic images that will easily stamp. And remember—if you’re writing words, write backwards. Your finished image will be in reverse!
Trace it all over again. Push hard with your ballpoint pen. Make deep grooves in the plate in the shape of your image.
Time for paint!
You need only a little. Too much gloop might make your image unclear. Use a sponge to paint the flat surface of the entire piece of foam. The grooves should stay paint-free.
Press a piece of paper firmly into your painted plate.