Three Reasons Why Blueprint Printing Is Unlike Any Other Kind Of Printing
Blueprints are the maps of projects to come. They are highly technical drawings of homes, buildings, and other structures ordered by a private or public party. Yet, where do these paper drawings come from? Before there were computers, architects would draw out every single sheet of the blueprints by hand. In the modern age, there are blueprint printing services that print and churn out each design page faster than an architect could ever draw them. Printing blueprints, however, is unlike any other kind of printing, and here is why.
The Paper Is Not Your Typical Copy Paper
The paper you usually load into a copy machine or printer is not the same kind of paper loaded into a blueprint printer. Blueprint paper ranges from the waterproof white paper with smudge-free blue or black ink, to the traditional blue paper with white outlines and building details. It is heavier, denser paper that can survive just about anything, including a flood, so that your blueprints will never be lost or destroyed.
Your Printer Is Not Your Typical Printer Either
Given the size of most blueprint sheets, you cannot walk into any business printing shop and just print these out. You have to send the work to a company that specializes in printing blueprints because they have the massive printers used to make the blueprint sheets. Additionally, these companies are able to downscale a printed sheet if you want or need portable, individual sets of blueprints to look at or give the client to look at while you are away from a building site.
Ink and "Ghost Ink"
The ink used on blueprints is still fairly typical of most printing inks. It is black or blue on white sheets, but contains an additive that makes it impossible to smudge, smear, or wash away/blur if something wet gets on the blueprint. "Ghost ink," or the white ink used on blue blueprint paper, also cannot be smudged, smeared, or wiped off, but the blueprint printer has to be set to print white ink.
A reverse blueprint printing process may also be used in place of the "ghost ink" process. It prints blue filler ink on white paper, leaving the design white from the paper itself while it fills in the rest of the areas with blue ink. This second technique is more costly, as it is considered a "full color" copy, but it is not much more expensive than a cup of coffee.