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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 PhysOrg.com.

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 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.


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