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It'll be like having 1000 Johann Gutenbergs every minute! (image from the University of Houston)
Yes, we're gonna have to go right to ludicrous speed... when printing

The printing press, perhaps the greatest invention by modern man, could be taking another leap. A pair of engineers from the College of Judea and Samaria in Israel published their research in a recent edition of the Applied Physics Letters, which details an ink jet print head capable of printing ~1000 pages per minute.

Researchers Moshe Einat and Nissim Einat have designed a print head called JeTrix that is conceptually similar to that of a LCD monitor. The printer head features micro-reservoirs of ink, and each reservoir is responsible for an element on the page, just like how each pixel is represented on an LCD monitor. Traditional ink-jet heads need to move back and forth across paper, but this new concept enlarges the print head to the cover the entire sheet. This allows a page to be printed in just one process, which explains the remarkable printing speed.

This isn’t some idea cooked up in the heads of a couple mad scientists - Moshe Einat and Nissim Einat have already experimented with a 57600 nozzle matrix print head and achieved good results as proof of their design. The implications of JeTrix mean more than just improved printer technology; it could also lead to new ways of gathering and spreading information.

“The future applications of JeTrix will be traditional, such as extremely high-speed printers for industry, offices, and homes. But we also anticipate brand-new, pioneering applications. One example is in-store book printing – where the book is printed instantly for the customer. This could enable small bookshops or even airport kiosks to carry a huge variety of books. There's also personalization – newspapers or journals printed with a customer's name, favorite topics, and suitable advertisements,” Moshe Einat told

With additional funding and R&D, the researchers behind this technology believe that commercial products based on the JeTrix printing head could be available in two years.

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By ajfink on 9/23/2006 1:48:51 PM , Rating: 3
I'm a college student, and I'm often waiting for 10 or so minutes as someone prints out long / printer complex papers. Speed is good.

RE: Colleges...
By jmunjr on 9/23/2006 2:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
So what? Take a breather during the wait. Speed may be good, but it isn't important. People need to quit obsessing with speed, unless you're using it to have fun. Instead, enjoy your time, read a book(slowly), drink a beverage(slowly), have a nice snack. Chat with friends. If you live your life too quickly, it'll be over before you know it.

RE: Colleges...
By darkfoon on 9/23/2006 5:44:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not quite sure why this post has been voted down so hard.
It's a valid point. As technology increases, we forget that humans are human and we treat everybody like a computer: we want it now and if it isn't ready now, then we'll yell at you. Just like we do to our computers.

Certainly this is a neat invention, but it doesn't really improve daily life as much as the first printing press did. As time goes on, the amount of positive gain from inventions becomes smaller and smaller; it is a case of diminishing returns. We are already beginning to see that most inventions are only modest improvements, at best, of their predecessors.

RE: Colleges...
By CSMR on 9/23/06, Rating: 0
RE: Colleges...
By Mirabiles on 9/23/2006 9:44:34 PM , Rating: 5
i think you're missing the point. the idea is that a small device can now print a book (A BOOK) while you wait. buying the latest novel at the airport can now happen at a machine in a kiosk, rather than in a crammed little store with limited selections.
from a marketing standpoint, the article also brings up interesting things like personalized advertising in print-to-order magazines and such.

the speed factor is not just neat because it means we have to wait less for our emails to print out (does anyone even do that anyway?), it is all about opening up new possibilities.

RE: Colleges...
By lemonadesoda on 9/24/2006 10:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
i think you're missing the point about e-books and e-paper!!! With e-paper and wi-fi, material can be personalised, uploaded or even "pushed" from anywhere at anytime. And, the weight is no more than ONE book, but you can store thousands on it!

KIOSK printing is nonesense, unless you're the old-fashioned sort and want to have your emails printed and bound in your preferred executive leather bound look. LOL.

RE: Colleges...
By Eris23007 on 9/25/2006 7:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for the internet and whiz-bang new tech, but:

1) E-books are extremely expensive. MUCH more so than conventional books. Paper books will have a place in the market for a long time.

2) Regular books use no batteries -> no recharging.

3) Reading e-books just plain sucks. I've tried to read stuff on my PDA many times and I just can't get into it the way I can on paper.

As soon as someone solves THAT problem... Sweet! Until then, making books easier and cheaper to print = AWESOME.

RE: Colleges...
By mikeblas on 9/23/2006 3:08:04 PM , Rating: 1
Printers are cheap. One computer can control multiple printers, and send them data concurrently. For $400, I can build a small server; workgroup laser printers are $500 each. For $1400, I've cut your wait time in half and we don't have to wait for new, complicated, intially buggy technology.

RE: Colleges...
By msva124 on 9/23/2006 3:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, that would make too much sense.

RE: Colleges...
By zsdersw on 9/23/2006 10:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. At work, we buy used HP LaserJet 4050N's for maybe $200. They're tanks.. they just work.. and print fast.

We also still use LaserJet 5N's... and of course LaserJet 4000's. They just don't die.

RE: Colleges...
By alcalde on 9/27/2006 1:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Cutting the time in half for $1400 isn't even close to achieving 1000 pages per minute, plus the added size, power, heat issues, as well as changing toner and paper in multiple printers.

This invention is really going to change things. Books won't go "out of print" anymore, and you'll be able to get (almost) any book anywhere, like you can now with downloadable music. From a logistics standpoint... imagine Amazon being able to open up regional distribution centers that only receive paper and ink in and can deliver any book in an electronic "inventory" out. Envision next-day or even SAME-DAY delivery of any book to all fifty states, with REDUCED costs due to the lower transportation and eliminated warehousing costs.

RE: Colleges...
By lewisc on 9/23/06, Rating: 0
RE: Colleges...
By OtakuMax on 9/23/2006 11:03:55 PM , Rating: 4
Why bashing this poor fellow here? Doing the research earlier does not mean that you can finish earlier!
In higher order education, there is no real notion as "done". Things can always be better if you spend time at it, and the amount of progress is so random that you never know what's going to happen next! ie. you are always urged to work til the last minute.
If you have never been through that, lucky you. You are just not pushed hard enough.

RE: Colleges...
By kmmatney on 9/24/2006 12:31:27 AM , Rating: 2
Dude - that's quick. When I was in college, it literally could take a hour or more to print anything substantial (UCLA Class of 1992). I used a 24-pin dot-matrix printer.

RE: Colleges...
By danrien on 9/24/2006 6:26:28 PM , Rating: 2
lol yeh quite the improvement.... imagine how long it took those guys in the 1600's!

not much of a revolution
By Lord Evermore on 9/24/2006 12:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
Not really revolutionary, seems more like an obvious thing to try (heck it's really nothing but a very advanced technology being used to function the same way a printing press does). It'll never actually become something people have in their homes of course, but probably also never something we even see at kiosks or anything of the like.

Paper handling would be the major problem. The mechanism will fail or jam. As was mentioned, even in places where the high volume would be useful due to the number of users trying to print things, they'd have to come up with ways to separate all those print jobs without the unit filling up a wall, otherwise 1000 pages a minute becomes useless. Plus the number of times that such high volume is needed is a small proportion of the operational time of any printer, so they have to balance the cost of a unit that can do 1000 pages a minute but usually only needs to do 20, with the convenience of the occasional users who might have to wait a couple of minutes before their print job comes out.

Anything that's printed at a kiosk isn't going to feel like a real book. It can't be properly bound, even cheap glued binding, and won't have a decent cover on it. Nobody making purchases at a kiosk is looking to buy an obscure book that wouldn't be on a store shelf anyway. I suppose a kiosk might make a few sales once in a while, but I don't think it would make up for the costs of the hardware and maintenance and supplies and floor space rental. And no matter how well they design it, the thing is GOING to jam every other time somebody tries to print something.

It might however be useful for small-run book publishing. Big publishers would probably find their normal printing process a better value, but if there are smaller publishers then a major printing press might be too expensive, but something like this where they could easily and quickly change what's being printed might be perfect.

Color printing of course would be unlikely with this device. At least good color printing or similar resolutions to plain black. Either the dots for each color would be slightly offset from each other, or you'd have to shift the page or the print head slightly to print each color on top of the previous. In either case, only 1/3 as many "pixels" could fit in the same space.

Any "line printer" design is probably a better value, balancing speed with cost and complexity.

RE: not much of a revolution
By OtakuMax on 9/24/2006 1:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
yes, a line printer is absolutely cool. I have seen one implemented with LED thermal heads. It can print a 3" x 5" color photo in 30s (it could be 4x faster if each color has its own head).

wait... isn't that what the laser print is doing?

RE: not much of a revolution
By Lord Evermore on 9/24/2006 7:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
I almost mentioned laser printers, but they aren't exactly a line printer entirely. The fuser functions in a line printer fashion, since the page contacts it an entire page-width at a time, and the toner drum applies toner to the paper the same way, but the laser that charges the toner drum before the toner is applied moves back and forth over the drum sort of like a dot-matrix with only one wire (or at least isn't a full page width beam).

RE: not much of a revolution
By Larso on 9/24/2006 11:36:49 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you get how the books are going to be printed. As the inkjet head covers the entire page I imagine the trick is to print the material page by page directly in an already bound book. So when you order, you just pick the desired empty book and the printer will fill in the contents in a moment.

You and other posters focus way too much on the 1000 ppm spec. It just means that the ink for one page can get out of the nozzle in 1/1000 minute, and then its marketed 1000 ppm to make some buzz. Of course you could never create hardware able to handle this speed. It would probably be cheaper to do 10x100 ppm printers.

The real innovation in this is not the speed, but the ability to just "stamp" in the material in all sorts of paper containers, you do not need to have flat paper rolling. And thats really clever.

RE: not much of a revolution
By Lord Evermore on 9/24/2006 7:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
You think they're going to build kiosks with stacks of prebound books, and design a unit that is able to flip the pages one by one as it prints into a pre-bound book, printing on both sides of the page, and that this thing won't break down on every 3rd book, have pages screwed up so only half the page gets printed, not have the book already look like it's used due to creased pages, and the resulting book will be cheaper than a mass-market printing, and people are going to want to stand around waiting for it?

The covers of course will still be crap since they can only be a plain print in black and white unless they ALSO include the complicated color capability with requisite higher printing cost, which only is used for 2 prints at most per 100+ page book.

Yes, the stamping capability is nice, but it's not going to make anything like a kiosk happen. And if we ignore the spec of how quickly a page can be printed, that just eliminates one more market for the technology.

RE: not much of a revolution
By Larso on 9/25/2006 1:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
That clumsy steam engine is never going to do any good. It keeps stalling and to develop it into something usefull is way to expensive... Just forget about it and keep the slaves.

If you focus on the problems with new technologies, nothing is going to happen. The problems you mention; breaking down every 3rd book, screw pages up, cheap looking print - are all problem that, if they even exists, can be fixed with further development. Color printing? Not a big problem, just use multiple stamps for the pages that need it.

"the resulting book will be cheaper than a mass-market printing" Yeah? This is one helluva good argument for the technology. But you are probably talking about the quality impression. If the paperhandling and printing in itself is going to be cheaper with this technology, there would be a larger margin for luxory such as leather bound and paperquality. The printing quality of the stamp will improve as the technology is developed and thus be good enough eventually.

Of course, the technology might just as well get scrapped if there is some unforseen, unfixable problem. But there is no reason to discard it on beforehand.

RE: not much of a revolution
By rushfan2006 on 9/25/2006 2:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, the technology might just as well get scrapped if there is some unforseen, unfixable problem. But there is no reason to discard it on beforehand.

Yeah I can see such a problem now....

"Printer of Doom: Officer Worker Sliced to Death By World's Fastest Printer".

You know how fast paper would be launching out of a printer to maintain the raid of 1000 pages per minute (nearly 17 pages per *second*). Especially if you could get it to print that rate on card stock.....ginsu anyone? :)

RE: not much of a revolution
By Larso on 9/25/2006 2:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
So, don't build a 1000 ppm printer. I think this 1000 ppm spec is just marketing buzz for the fact that the proper amount of ink can get out of the nozzles in 1/1000 of a minute, as I wrote in a previous comment.

In that light the "ppm" spec is really not exiting at all, compared to the speed of todays inkjet printer nozzles. They must be way faster than this to allow printing a page line after line in reasonable time.

Whats interesting is that you can print by stamping a page at a time in a prebound book. At whatever speed this will be faster and less complicated than having to print on flat paper and afterwards do the book binding. At least that is my interpretation of the news story.

RE: not much of a revolution
By rushfan2006 on 9/27/2006 11:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
Wow..just wow.....

ok....looking for someone with a SENSE OF HUMOR....


RE: not much of a revolution
By alcalde on 9/27/2006 1:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
"Nobody making purchases at a kiosk is looking to buy an obscure book that wouldn't be on a store shelf anyway."

Books don't have to be obscure to be unavailable at your nearest mega-bookstore, just like movies. Most of what's at bookstores are either huge-sellers or limited to mass-market generic appeal. I have a HUGE Amazon wish list, and most of the books can't be found locally. Many are not obscure, but deal with subjects that aren't mass-marketable: technical areas - data mining, ai, machine learning; horse race handicapping; etc.

I remember several years ago a video rental store near my home had a huge sign in their window, something like "We have 60 copies of Volcano!" My question was, "What if I don't WANT to watch Volcano?" Tough. Older movies got bumped off the shelf to make way for those 60 copies of volcano - happens in computer game stores too. Limited inventory space, so only the latest and greatest gets stocked. Books-on-demand eliminates that problem for books. Also, I can tell from my own field, logistics, that the transportation and warehousing savings alone make a future device based on this technology highly appealing and cost-effective.

Libraries and Classrooms
By kristof007 on 9/23/2006 1:35:09 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds like something really useful. Just imagine not waiting in line at the libraries and stuff. Also classrooms won't need like 10 printers per room. Just one of these puppies will be fast enough for way more than a classroom.

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By f1sh3r on 9/23/2006 1:40:35 PM , Rating: 3
if everyone in the library is printing to one printer think about sorting through an entire stack of papers to find yours. i dont like sorting through 5 peoples printouts to find mine.

/not fun, im lazy

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By jimeco on 9/23/2006 3:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe a printer with multiple output trays and an intelligent management system could do it. Depending on the source it would route the printed pages to a different tray And then show a message on the screen to tell you which one.

I should get a patent for this!

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By Esquire on 9/23/2006 3:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
go quick on that..... good call i thought the same thing we can share it.

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By Korvon on 9/25/2006 11:33:35 AM , Rating: 2
Those have been around for years. Sorry guys. :)

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By jconan on 9/24/2006 4:20:40 AM , Rating: 1
if people aren't careful more trees will be sacrificed because of careless printing or impulse

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By JonB on 9/24/2006 9:07:22 AM , Rating: 2
Don't worry so much about the paper and trees. As long as the paper isn't burned for disposal, then the use of paper is sequestering CO2. Trees are renewable. Now, if you don't want to sacrifice trees because it "kills" them, I can't help you there.

RE: Libraries and Classrooms
By Bonesdad on 9/24/2006 3:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
doesn't need to burn to release CO2...all it needs to do is in a landfill.

speedy gonzales
By Great Googly Moogly on 9/23/2006 1:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
Would that be 1000 identical pages per minute?
Anyway, at that speed, I imagine paper feed will be the limiting factor.

RE: speedy gonzales
By CSMR on 9/23/2006 2:04:07 PM , Rating: 3
No not identical.
What about ink drying?

RE: speedy gonzales
By zsdersw on 9/23/2006 10:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think the mechanical aspects of a 1000-page-per-minute printer are the most daunting. Mechanical devices *will* fail. It's not a question of "if".. it's a question of "when". And at 1000 pages per minute, the MTBF on the mechanical components of such a printer is going to be pretty short.. and these mechanical components are going to be stressed beyond the point of anything that came before it.

Ink drying is, by comparison, a less difficult hurdle to overcome.

RE: speedy gonzales
By Lord Evermore on 9/24/2006 7:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
Since each nozzle is (basically) just opening to let some ink flow, then closing, like a regular inkjet nozzle, it doesn't matter whether the pages are the same. The nozzle isn't turned on and kept on so that it has to stop printing for a moment to switch things on or off to reconfigure the content, which would be similar to the way a regular printing press works. The nozzles are controlled individually and just told to turn on or off for each page.

By Noobsa44 on 9/23/2006 4:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
I've been testing printers for the past 4 years, and to be frank I doubt that 1000 pages a minute will be viable for consumers to use anytime soon. The thing is, what happens if it jams? When do the pages dry, when there on top of each other and then bond together? What happens when a page touches the ink jet heads (after being jammed perhaps) and then the ink dries? At those sorts of speeds, the gears could wear out very quickly when it has to stop instantly.

This is not to say the system couldn't be built, but just that the system would take years of engineering work to make it safe enough for consumer use.

By ksherman on 9/23/2006 6:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
or, they have already considered all your points and are developing solutions.

By SirPsyko on 9/24/2006 1:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
Cool idea but completely ludicrous in practical applications.

Okay, this head is capable of 16.6 pages per second. Cool.

Think about that a second... 16.6 pps. My printers have trouble seperating sheets of paper from each other at more than 15-20ppm. And now someone wants to multiply that frustration 50-fold?

How can you nullify friction and static and print at this speed?

It's called a newspaper press. High volume. High speed. High quality (it's the paper, not the process, that make newspapers look like crap).

Thanks but no thanks.

(And to the ink joke about the tanker... nah, it'll be a few semi trucks of really, really small ink tanks ;) )

By Clouseau3 on 9/24/2006 3:34:04 AM , Rating: 3
I took a class once with some guys from Xerox. They told me, in the high speed printers they were working on (BIG industrial printers) the limiting factor was not the speed of the printing process, but the fact that paper can only move so fast until it starts being ripped apart.

Just like there is a limit on how fast we can spin CD-ROMs before they blow apart.

Surely the BPAA will object!
By Doormat on 9/23/2006 7:51:35 PM , Rating: 3
You'd think the Book Publishers Association of America would object to this, since it could lead to the couterfeiting of books.

We must install DRM in every book and every printer!!!

RE: Surely the BPAA will object!
By quiksilv3r on 9/23/2006 8:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
Oh noes! They came out with a DRM stripping method for books! It looks remarkably like a pair of scissors!

RE: Surely the BPAA will object!
By Noobsa44 on 9/24/2006 11:16:12 PM , Rating: 3
In a form and fashion, they already have DRM in copy machines and printers. They have ways of identifing the printer using a finger print like system (via microscopic dots on the page, usually yellow in color printers). Also they have designed printers to not be able to copy money per federal regulations. Really, I see no technological reason why DRM'd books couldn't exist if a federal law were introduced.

By Houdani on 9/23/2006 4:01:59 PM , Rating: 4
And in other news, ink cartridge refill businesses around the globe are now predicting record breaking revenue streams in the near future.


RE: Ink!
By pnyffeler on 9/23/06, Rating: 0
By nutxo on 9/24/2006 2:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
A print head that can handle 1000ppm is all well and good but if you think you'll be able to walk into a store and have a novel printed you're sadly mistaken.

I'm a pressman with 12 years experience and the best way to describe paper moving through a machine at those speeds is like controlled chaos. These no way any device sitting in a bookstore made of plastic would every be able to handle it. Even if it could the noise would be insane in an environment like that.

I could see something like this in a lowend quick print shop although traditional printing would still be like 1/3 the cost per sheet.

By HueyD on 9/25/2006 8:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
This is an inkjet printer. How would they keep the pages from sticking together, how much time is needed for the ink to dry. I think that would be the limiting factor as to how many pages could be printed in a minute.

Spaceballs huh?
By KingofFah on 9/23/2006 4:18:19 PM , Rating: 1
Haven't heard anything from that movie in a while. Oldie but goodie

RE: Spaceballs huh?
By brshoemak on 9/23/2006 4:49:02 PM , Rating: 2

i thought it was april 1st when i saw this

By VIAN on 9/23/2006 11:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
What took them so long? It's not like it took rocket science.

Compared to data center printers?
By JeffDM on 9/24/2006 7:17:24 AM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that mass mailings are printed on very expensive printers that also have available modules that perforate, fold and stuff into envelopes. I think many of them print in that many feet per minute from paper rolls several feet wide and they are cut after printing. And they don't rely on ink jets.

fine and good and all
By QueBert on 9/25/2006 3:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'll all for faster printing, but daamit why can't they come up with better start up technology for inkjets? Both my Canon and Epson take forever to start printing the first damn page. And let the printer be off and I have to turn it on? Hell I'm waiting damn near a minute to get the first page out of my sh!t. I'd pay 500 bucks for an inkjet that started printing the instant I press print.

1,000 pages a minute would be great for making bootleg bibles and such though.

By rushfan2006 on 9/25/2006 9:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
Neat idea about being able to print large documents very fast...books even. Of course I'll be curious to see what they devise should a company bring this to market...on how you keep a 1000 ppm printer cool (let alone the paper) and since its natural that folks would print HUGE documents (that speed just "urges" you too), they'll need some hefty auto stapler system or binding process.

Ever go to printer after you just sent even a 200 page job to it? The paper is scorching hot and so is the printer.

Of course at my work this could be skewed since we print nearly non stop all day long.

Finally even heavy duty staplers only cut through about 70-85 pages tops.

I picture a rather "lethal" looking stapler gun that can cut through 1000

Two things..
By Aeonic on 9/25/2006 1:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
First, 1000 ppm is fast enough to play doom on paper. Despite the huge cost and obvious waste, that would just be cool ;)

Second, imagine if this was made for consumers. You pop in a new stack of 500 sheets of crisp, white paper, and queue up a word document, but, like all printers do sometimes, it freaks out and in 0.5 seconds you now have 500 sheets of paper each with one line of garbage like: "ñp¦ª(¦-"

I always like new tech, but I hope ebooks and epaper and all that is the direction it heads. Either that or a 1000 ppm scanner and some really good OCR software.

Been there, seen that, got a book
By Trisped on 9/25/2006 3:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
Line printers are the same thing, only 1d instead of 2d (while normal printers are just a dot). Line printers have been around since dot matrix days, and even back then there was the fable of the page printer, which a friend's boss's brother almost ordered from a catalog but didn't because it cost too much.

The real story would be if they found a way to print high-res with enough accuracy and reliability. The line printers were fast, but with additional parts, it was much more prone to breaking down.

Unless you're printing money...
By Beenthere on 9/23/06, Rating: -1
By phatboye on 9/24/2006 9:35:02 AM , Rating: 2
If they ever did release such a printer it would more than likey be marketed toward companies who do medium to large scale printing and not to your average Joe Nerdboy who wants a faster printer. The price of such a printer would keep this as a product exclusively for businesses.

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