From the printing press to 3D-printing

Withey offers 3D printing and tech services in rural Lincoln & Stevens Counties

By David Lewis

In 1454, Johannes Gutenberg developed his groundbreaking printing press for the use of printing Bibles. He was very excited as he was printing pages at the rate of six per day, clipping along at a brisk 0.004 ppm (pages per minute). His assistants mixed soot, turpentine and walnut oil into printing ink.


Gutenberg was not the first to use a movable type system. Experiments in Korea, India and China preceded his efforts by several hundred years. It is, however, an invention that is widely accepted as one of the most significant in world history. It prompted a complete change in culture. Ideas could be disseminated more easily, knowledge could be pooled, and it ultimately led to a scientific revolution. In many countries it was regarded as a threat to the established order.


In 1563, printing in France, without royal permission, was punishable by death. As the centuries passed, vast improvements in printing were made. Mezzontint was invented in the late 1600s. In the early 1800s, Charles Stanhope made the first press entirely of metal. The rotary press (1843) used impressions on a cylinder to print continuously on a long roll of paper, thus increasing that all important page per minute (ppm). Monotype and Linotype came in the 1880s.


In the 1950s pioneering work began on inkjet printers that many of us use today. The laser printer was born in a Xerox lab in California in 1969. In 1984, both of these technologies were harnessed and marketed as inkjet and LaserJet printers. All 1,282 pages of Gutenberg’s Bible can be delivered to a print tray in just under 25 minutes on some of today’s high ppm printers.


But what would Gutenberg think if he was to walk into Tom Withey’s shop, Withey Prints, in north Lincoln County as he was using a printer to make heart-shaped flower vases out of three-dimensional plastic?
Withey has extensive knowledge in the use of the latest in printing technologies – the 3D printer. He has designed and printed parts for vacuum cleaners, die casts, cookie cutters, kids’ toys, custom photo memorials and more. Withey is very experienced in setting up and helping those who desire to have their own 3D printer, as well as troubleshooting their existing 3D printer. You can visit his website to see some of his amazing work, or contact him with ideas for your next project at tom@withey.com.

Withey has also established a much-needed new business in North Lincoln County and South Stevens County. As the owner/operator of Rest Assured Tech, Withey is focused on bringing reliable, affordable, quality technical support to rural areas. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from ITT Technical Institute, more than 20 years experience, and has worked with both small and large businesses. “There is a great need for rural customers to have access to quality technical support without having to drive to the city,” Withey said. He already has many satisfied clients in the area and is willing to travel to customer’s homes or businesses to provide assistance and expertise for all of their technology needs. Withey also has experience with network and Internet equipment such as StarLink, a new high speed Internet service for rural areas.


Rest Assured Tech troubleshoots all computer problems and can set up devices of any type. The company’s motto is, “Big or Small, Rest Assured I can help you solve any problem.” Following this motto, Withey offers protection plans to keep your computers and mobile devices up to date and protected from all malicious attacks in this online world. He also provides rapid remote support assistance to solve your computer problems in just minutes. This remote assistance service is offered to anyone in the Inland Northwest.


Yes, Gutenberg would be astonished and may have said something like, “If I did this, it might have been considered magic or witchcraft.” Tom Withey is waiting for your call to perform his particular kind of “magic” on your electronic devices. You can reach him at (509) 290-7459 or Tom@withey.com.