Blueprints: From Drawings to Digital

Blueprints: From Drawings to Digital

Blueprints are essential in most architectural firms and on any construction site, but the blueprints you see today are much different from those of the past. So, how did blueprints originate and when did they become largely replaced by computer software? 

Blueprint Origins

The first blueprints were seen in the 1800s. Looking for a way to accurately and easily reproduce architectural plans and other technical drawings, experts mixed two chemicals to cause a reaction that formed an insoluble blue compound, blue ferric ferrocyanide. The result was an architectural rendering that showed up brilliantly against the Prussian blue background. Through this now archaic contact print process, an unlimited number of copies could be distributed throughout worksites, to ensure that everyone was looking at the same plans. 

Scanning and Distributing Blueprints

Traditional paper blueprints had some significant drawbacks, largely in distribution and cost. Unless you were delivering blueprints to someone in the same city, you would be stuck waiting on shipping times for those prints to be received. So, as computers became faster and capable of storing larger amounts of data, blueprints were scanned and printed in a large format medium wherever they were needed. 

Digital Blueprint Models

Today, blueprints are not often drawn by hand. Instead, software is used to create technical drawings and special printers are used to bring those to life on paper. Modern blueprints are also not on the iconic blue paper anymore. They are more often and more accurately called whiteprints, since they are printed on white paper with black ink.

You’ll find a complete spectrum of printing services available at Reproductions, Inc. in Tucson, AZ. From blueprint printing to binding and more, our employees can handle any size project efficiently and affordably. If you have any questions about our printing services, you can reach a friendly associate at (520) 622-7747.