New Printer Turns Printing Upside Down, Literally
Desktop computers come and go, laptops change and smartphones rise and fall, but printers are here to stay believes Japanese designer Mugi Yamamoto. The printer is a typical part of the office and will continue to be used, so the device should be improved thinks Yamamoto: “Printers are such common and present objects in our daily life, and still they always look and work almost the same,” he says. “I think that printers are not given enough attention in today’s design world.”
Yamamoto’s solution is the Stack; an inkjet printer that prints by effectively eating its way down a stack of paper, swallowing each piece, printing it, and then placing it on top. This new design is a fraction of the size of conventional desktop printers, making it a user friendly and portable printing solution.
The Stacks proposed design measures less than an A3 sheet of paper and is 5cm in height, making it easy to store away, not that you’d want to. “I imagine this printer being used in exposed places where people pass frequently,” says Yamamoto. “It is much more interesting to show this printer to your visitors than an ordinary one.”
The device features a complex aluminium structure that supports the wheels, electronics and engines, and is hidden out of sight underneath its plastic tray. Yamamoto’s goal was to make the Stack as compact and efficient as possible. To do so, he disassembled mobile printers, incorporating their miniature parts into his design.
After experimentation, he settled on a design that got rid of the need for a bulky plastic paper tray. In its place are a set of rubber wheels that control the paper flow, moving up and down the length of the paper and pulling the paper through the machine. The rate of paper reloading can be controlled by adjusting how high the stack of paper is.
Currently, the Stack is a working prototype, but Yamamoto wishes to refine and improve his design. “To sell Stack as a mass product, some more development and refinement needs to be done,” he says, noting that he built the current prototype totally on his own. “To make the function more reliable and to reduce parts and costs, I would like to work together with engineers to find the best solutions.”
Posted by Wayne Hogan