Crazy Speed Silverbrook Memjet Printer

This is some crazily fast printer, even though this Video doesn’t really do it justice. Silverbrook Research, one of the top 10 innovative companies globally in terms of patent granted, has unveiled the prototypes for a new inkjet technology that analysts think will revolutionize the industry.

Traditional dogma says that out of fast, cheap and good, you can only pick two. Let’s see where this thing stands:

Fast: Unbelievable fast. Some statistics: Document printers can go at 60 pages, full width and color at 1600dpi, per minute. Label printers blaze at 6-12 inches per second. And large format printer (51″ wide) goes at 6 inches to 1 foot per second.

Cheap: Yes. A 30-photo per minute printer is projected to cost just around $150 while still being 10 times faster than existing competitors. Projected printing costs are at $0.02 and $0.06 per page for black text and color pages respectively. 50-ml individual ink cartridges are predicted to sell for less than $20 – compared to current 10-ml cartridges which go for $15-$30.

Good: Can’t be determined exactly yet – from the video it doesn’t look that bad at all. Not bad at all.

So how does this work? Conventional inkjet printers have a small printhead that zips across the page repeatedly to spray ink. In this technology, the printhead covers the span of the page, eliminating the need to shuttle around. 1600 nozzles per inch (working to 70,400 nozzles in a standard A4 printer) are arrayed to spray the required inkdrops.

I am definitely looking forward to this – traditional giants like HP, Canon and Epson have dominated the market, whose clout on the printing industry has enabled them to sell ink at rather exorbitant prices. It’s refreshing then to see a potentially revolutionary product that might redraw the battlegrounds with superior technologies. [Pessimist] Though Silverbrook will probably just license the technology to the Goliaths again, and once again price-fixing, disabling chips etc. would mean that eventually this isn’t all that rosy cheap, fast future, as the raw deal gets shoved down our throats again. [/Pessimist]

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