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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