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RITI Printer Uses Your Coffee Grounds For Eco Ink

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-tps-reports-until-my-printer-has-its-morning-coffee dept.

Earth 184

Jason S. writes to tell us that for those seeking to "go green" or those just wishing to try something different, RTI now offers a printer that uses coffee instead of ink. In addition to recycling your grounds, the printer also uses good old fashioned elbow grease to move the grounds cartridge back and forth, saving power. Sounds like a novelty that will die quickly as human sloth reasserts itself. "Hosted by Core77 and Inhabitat, this year's Greener Gadgets Design Competition resulted in an incredible crop of innovative consumer electronics designs, and we're excited to offer you the first scoop on some of our favorite designs! Jeon Hwan Ju's RITI printer works by replacing environmentally un-friendly inkjet cartridges with the dregs from your daily coffee. Simply place used grounds in the ink case, insert a piece of paper, and move the ink case left and right to print text."

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184 comments

Supply (4, Interesting)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699149)

With the amount of coffee I drink, the entire building would have an supply of used coffee ground ink.

Re:Supply (4, Funny)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699961)

Same here. Make one that can do this AND turn empty red bull cans into paper, and I'll never worry about my printer again (Once I write the drivers, more than likely.)

Re:Supply (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699967)

Maybe now I can justify the cost of the coffee and coffee maker in our budget.

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:Supply (1)

cheftw (996831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700415)

My God!
Either you are really efficient with the beans or must tell me where you buy your coffee because that's extremely good value.

Re:Supply (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700645)

If you have any left over, just convert it to biodiesel! [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Supply (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700649)

right, but you'd only get a week of free ink + elbow grease before BOOOOOOOM your heart explodes.

Coka-Colaâ (1)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699153)

What would happen if someone poured a bottle of Coka-Colaâ into the printer?

Re:Coka-Colaâ (4, Funny)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699383)

The ink would corrode the paper completely away.

Re:Coka-Colaâ (3, Funny)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699451)

Singularity!

And later... (2, Funny)

llZENll (545605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699155)

if you run out of coffee, you can brew up some TPS reports!

Colored Pie Charts (1)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699979)

So how does it print color?

I can hear my end users asking now....

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:Colored Pie Charts (3, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700033)

Browns come out quite well.

Re:Colored Pie Charts (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700169)

Stop spying on people when they go to the bathroom.

An almost endless resource. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699173)

From the article,

"The ink is made from the semen of Slashdot users. An almost insatiable sexual beast with poor social skills, Slashdot nerds are an ideal source of printer ink."

This is the best kind of green technology (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699183)

The kind that is completely impractical and stupid. I notice they didn't include any actual pictures of said device, or, more importantly, what a printout from said device looks like. I'll eat my hat if the lines are even and the color stays worth a damn and if the thing doesn't constantly jam up.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699311)

As someone who once wrote printer firmware, I agree. Even ignoring color, absorption, and all the ink issues- how the hell are you going to make sure the ink cartridges are moved at a steady rate so that ink can be shot at the right time?

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699489)

As I think about it, the thing can't work like an inkjet, coffee grounds are not AFAIK magnetic. It doesn't seem like it would work like a laser printer either, as it would be difficult to build up enough charge from mere linear motion of the hopper to power a laser. Also, again, coffee grounds are not magnetic. As a thermal wax type printer it would fail too since coffee grounds burn, not melt. About the only mechanism I can think of that would work is just using mechanical pumping action on a microscopic scale, but that still doesn't answer the question of how you're going to grind up the grounds fine enough to be useful and more importantly, how you are going to get them to stick to the paper.

The more I think about it, the stupider it becomes.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (4, Informative)

HanClinto (621615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700297)

With the two kinds of inkjet technology that I'm basically familiar with (bubble-jet and pezio-electric), neither of those require magnetic ink -- you can print distilled water if you want.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (5, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700301)

As I think about it, the thing can't work like an inkjet, coffee grounds are not AFAIK magnetic. It doesn't seem like it would work like a laser printer either, as it would be difficult to build up enough charge from mere linear motion of the hopper to power a laser. Also, again, coffee grounds are not magnetic.

Why would magnetism even factor into this? The ink in an inket printer is not magnetic, it's a simple dye that is forced under pressure onto a page where it absorbs into the surface. Laser printer toner is also not magnetic, it is usually a fine plastic powder that can be statically charged and attracted to a charged drum. There is no magnetism involved.

Coffee grounds can produce a liquid that stains and that's all you'd need for inkjet ink. I'm sure that the printing wouldn't be as good as commercial ink but it would probably be readable, at least for temporary documents. That being said I don't see this kind of device going anywhere. If you want to be "green" then throw those coffee grounds into your garden, trying to use them as ink is just way too impractical.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (2, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699929)

Well, technically you don't want to shoot the ink at the right time, but at the right place. You're only using time and steady motion as a way of calculating the place. There are other ways of calculating/measuring position... but of course it'd have to be mighty accurate.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700295)

No, there really isn't. Assuming the cartridge is in motion, by the time you figured out it was in the right place, it'd be too late. The code to determine position of a moving motor like that is quite complicated even assuming a constant speed- you need to deal with things like initial acceleration and deacceleration as well. I don't see how it can work and give good results.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1)

NickW1234 (1313523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700481)

Assuming your position detection is really slow, you would be right. The code wouldn't be all that difficult, most standard printers don't read the position off of the motor, they just read ticks off of an encoder strip. You would need to use a quadrature instead for this, in case the user makes a half pass, or stops mid stroke or something. The velocity calculation would need to be pretty quick, but fast microcontrollers are pretty cheap these days.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (5, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699347)

It was a design competition. And I don't mean the good kind of design, where you get into technical details, either. More like the kind of design you get when you put marketing and upper management into a room together.

This printer won't jam up, because it doesn't exist. File it with jet-packs, and flying cars under "fiction".

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (5, Informative)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699705)

Thanks for pointing that out (although there really are some functioning jet-packs).
FTS:

RTI now offers a printer that uses coffee instead of ink.

No. They don't. They do offer some pictures of what one might look like if anyone ever (for whatever reason) built one.

TFS is often exaggerated or slightly misleading, but rarely this blatantly wrong.

Jetpacks and flying cars exist. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699839)

They're just rubbish.

HTH.
 

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699867)

I especially love how slashdot has gone from being a site where the primary expression to something like this was "cool, what a neat idea, i wonder how it could be made to work" has now turned into this "bah humbug, this sucks because i cannot buy it at the Apple store yesterday"

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700083)

It hasn't. Not entirely, anyway. Things need to pass the back-of-the-napkin sanity test first. Then you can say "cool, neat idea". Space elevators seem more plausible than "water + used coffee grounds = ink".... You can't even get dark enough coffee for drinking out of half-used grounds, much less ink.... And that doesn't even get into the paper handing voodoo that is required to make a functioning printer before you try to do crazy things like moving the print-head by hand.

For starters, the "good kind" of cool ideas generally come with some basic initial investigation into feasibility already done.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699405)

...that's because it's a design concept, not an actual device. It's not even prototyped from what I can tell.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (2, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699695)

I would actually like to be able to make a calligraphy ink from coffee grounds, never mind the printer application.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700487)

...that's because it's a design concept, not an actual device. It's not even prototyped from what I can tell.

...and it never will be.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699445)

Why is impractical and stupid green tech the best kind? Are you from Beta Pictoris and want us to ruin our planet before we discover yours and fuck it up, too?

The best kind of green tech is more useful, less polluting, and cheaper.

Nobody that disses the ecology ever drove past the Monsanto plant in Sauget before Nixon signed the Clean Air Act.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699747)

The kind that is completely impractical and stupid.

Kind of like these stupid Wright bros who have the ridiculous notion that they can build a flying machine. Claptrap I say!

Semi-serious point: While I am not going to be putting up any venture capital for this project, and all technology/ science must be met with skepticism, calling it completely impractial and stupid at this point is calling it too early. Lets wait until the tech either peters or pans out. If no further proof of concept is forthcoming, we can ignore it. If we call it stupid now, and several months later they make a laserprinter with it and the only difference is that one has a faint aroma of coffee, then you've basically called yourself completely stupid.

Re:This is the best kind of green technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700007)

The kind that is completely impractical and stupid.

That's most 'green' technology that's trying to be promoted lately. If wasn't impractical and stupid, it would find a place in the marketplace w/o a ton of subsidies and guilt-tripping the population into using it.

Whoever came up with this printer probably liked the brown Zune too.

It came from a competition entry... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700421)

... at greenergadgets.com [greenergadgets.com]

Now... while I like the idea, I don't really see it working for real.
It is a nice hippie pipe dream at best.
Whoever "designed" it forgets that people don't use printers because they have bad handwriting, but because they need clear, efficient, quick and presentable printouts.
Manually powered... I don't think so.
Plus... that last point kind of defeats the eco-idea of the printer by itself.
How much water would be wasted annually that way?

Use:

1. Insert a paper in the middle of the printer
2. Put the coffee or tea dregs into the ink case on the top of the printer
3. Move the ink case left and right as you draw on a paper
4. When the print finishes, pull out the paper from the printer and wash the ink case

Some other "designs" on the list are also intriguing but most seem as they have been envisioned either by children or over-privileged westerners.
Like someone who never heard of indoor drying racks [core77.com] and power-socket timers [core77.com] and thinks that you could solve the power crisis by harnessing the immense untapped potential of doormats and trampolines [core77.com] .
You know... those same people that find a wallet that would overheat, smell bad, bite your hand and otherwise embarrass it's owner when he/she tries to take money out of it - a fuckin great idea. [core77.com]

Oh... and that portable hard-drive you have, that fits in your pocket?
Wouldn't you be a lot happier with one that needs a bag just so you could lug it around - cause it is a god damn concrete brick! [core77.com]
Concrete would prevent such heavy metals your portable drive is made of like imaginarium and unobtanium from leaching into the landfill.
Once you get sick of hauling 20 pounds of bricks around with you and you just chuck the god damn thing out of the window of your car.
Hopefully, one might eventually hit the inventor in the head. Or the wallet guy.

hmmmm (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699195)

i wonder how the manual moving it works, with a motor u get a good constant speed... but manual, not so much, and it seems like that kind of thing would affect the quality of prints...

Compost (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699209)

But if I use my coffee grounds for ink, what will I mix with eggshells to put in my garden?

Re:Compost (2, Funny)

colesw (951825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699289)

Well after you see your terrible printouts you can shred your paper and put it in the garden?

(not a gardener, I take no responsibility for your plants)

Re:Compost (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699685)

Paper will poison your garden. Used paper's only use (that I know of) is to make more paper.

Re:Compost (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699771)

obviously you have never ran out of toilet paper

Re:Compost (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700011)

But what can you do with used toilet paper?

Your , Wagons East. The movie's premise is easterners who have come west for their fortunes and find they hate it, and want to go back.

There's one gay character who owns a book store. A cowboy comes in and tells the guy, "I need a damn big book!"

The proprieter (it's been a while since I watched it, I don't remember his name) says "why certainly. Try [name of highly respected classic literature]."

The cowboy rips out a few pages, to the proprietor's chagrin, puts it under his arm, and says "I'll be back" as he heads to the outhouse.

I wouldn't want to reuse that book!

OOPS (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700093)

Screwed that comment up big time. Mod me "-1, dufus".

That second paragraph should read "Your post reminded me of John Candy's last movie, Wagons East. The movie's premise is easterners who have come west for their fortunes and find they hate it, and want to go back

Re:Compost (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700621)

Ow.

Re:Compost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699295)

ground squirrels?

Re:Compost (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699545)

Squirrels are people food, not plant food.

Re:Compost (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699477)

Printed on biodegradable paper, your printouts could later be recycled in your compost or eaten for a quick caffeine fix.

Re:Compost (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699921)

Printed on biodegradable paper

Hemp is illegal in this country. Wood pulp is toxic to most plants (and us too, which is why wood alcohol will make you blind while grain alcohol makes great mixed drinks), that's why it's hard to get grass to grow under a tree. And even if you used hemp (or grass or something else) paper, it would have to be acid-free paper to not kill your plants. Ironically a good source of acid-free paper is coffee filters, except that the coffee makes them acidic.

Of course, you really want acid-free paper anyway. paper is for books, and you want your books to last as long as possible. Normal acidic paper (what you're running through your printer) lasts 50-100 years without extreme measures to keep it legible. I'm going to have to replace my paperback copies of the Foundation trilogy because after over four decades they're barely legible now.

Re:Compost (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700333)

I remember acid paper. The hippies would cut it into stamp-sized squares, like this one here, and you would paht eh ahn ya thangue lak thifs....Wooaah......When did Peter Max paint my office?

Re:Compost (5, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700497)

Wood pulp is toxic to most plants (and us too, which is why wood alcohol will make you blind while grain alcohol makes great mixed drinks), that's why it's hard to get grass to grow under a tree.

What???

Wood pulp is not toxic to plants. It's mostly simple lignin and cellulose which most plants will grow in quite happily. The reason grass doesn't grow under trees is that the shade from the tree is not good for the growth of grass. Even the "shade" varieties of grass can only tolerate partial shade.

"Wood" alcohol is actually methanol and "grain" alcohol is actually ethanol. When you ferment grain you actually get both methanol and ethanol, it's through careful control of the fermentation process that you minimize the methanol and maximize the ethanol. That's why poorly-made beers and wines tend to give you hangovers, they have a lot more methanol and other undesirable byproducts.

The reason methanol is called wood alcohol is because it was primarily produced through the destructive distillation of wood pulp. This doesn't mean that wood pulp is toxic, it just means that when you destroy wood pulp with heat in an anaerobic environment you produce toxic chemicals. If you take grain and treat it the same way then you'll produce methanol and other toxins. This has NOTHING to do with if wood pulp is toxic or not.

Please, don't start spewing nonsensical chemical information unless you know what you are talking about. And, yes, I am a chemist.

You can't fax coffee... (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699249)

Coffee don't fax worth a damn!

Coming soon (1, Informative)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699271)

No doubt the next big thing will be a urinal/generator fueled (indirectly) by beer. The Super Bowl could generate enough power to satisfy America's energy needs for the next three weeks. And the Stanley Cup Playoffs could wean the world off petroleum products forever.

Re:Coming soon (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700031)

You overestimate the number of people that watch the Stanley Cup.

There's a good reason that the Super Bowl is the #1 advertising space on TV.

Hell, I love hockey, but I hate the NHL. Much rather watch a college game.

Post when.... (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699273)

there's an Eco-friendly printer that uses empty Scotch bottles.

*Snooooooooor*

What this really needs is... (1)

ductonius (705942) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699283)

What this really needs is one of those spring-wound generating mechanisms like the freeplay radio. Then you'd have a printer that *really* used no external power and you could walk away from it while its printing

Of course, that would increase the size a bit, but (much like scraping out the waffle on Vietnam jungle boots) you can't have everything, am I right?

What else are you going to use used grounds for? (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699325)

Okay, so it would be a waste of coffee had this device required fresh grounds... but now that you've brewed your java - what else are you going to use them for?

Not worth the bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699333)

This article is not worth the bandwidth that it is transmitted upon. I propose a motion that any further discussion in this thread will now be on how best to hunt, gut, and cook hippies.

Re:Not worth the bandwidth (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699661)

how best to hunt, gut, and cook hippies.

Now may be I wrong and may be I'm not, but that their's a trick questian. Hippie's hasn't got any guts!

No news on Mondays? (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699345)

There is no product, no prototype, no schematics. This is just a picture someone made for contest. He didn't even win.

Sorry boss (0)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699361)

I really do need another cup of coffee before I can print out my TPS report.

Meh! (3, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699369)

Maybe OK for all those all those twee sepia prints. Tell me when I can use my blood (magenta), my wife's blood (cyan), and our urine (yellow). It would surely be a lot less painful and cheaper than the current state of affairs.

Re:Meh! (1)

blitzkrieg3 (995849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699807)

my wife's blood (cyan)

WTF?

Re:Meh! (2, Informative)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700277)

WTF?

I'm guessing his wife is of noble descent [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Meh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700581)

my wife's blood (cyan)

WTF?

She must be royal

Elbow grease (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699373)

the printer also uses good old fashioned elbow grease to move the grounds cartridge back and forth. Sounds like a novelty that will die quickly as human sloth reasserts itself.

I would be much more willing to uses a stationary bicycle than a handcrank.

It has some limitations.... (2, Funny)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699381)

It can only print "hyper-text" and java code... Apologies to drs305 and JoshuaRL for stealing their comments

Cheap ink? yeah right (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699407)

They'll scrounge for your coffee beans then charge $50 for a cartridge. At least it'll be enviro friendly :P

So now RSI is good for the environment? (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699413)

Seems to me the treatment of the Repetitive Stress Injuries incurred from operating this device would more than offset any environmental gains.

There are motors in printers for a reason.

Re:So now RSI is good for the environment? (1)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700151)

I guess we better stop riding bikes too then.

How often do you print things out? I only print out things once every couple of weeks. With printer ink costing more than champagne (circa 2003).. Why not explore new ways of eliminating waste, saving money, and recycling otherwise unused materials.

If you're printing out enough that you fear RSI, I'm more concerned about the trees than I am for your wrist and ink.

even greener (5, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699427)

use sequestered carbon in a filament, contained in sustainably-harvested wood sleeve.

Move hand around to create "printouts".

Re:even greener (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699951)

For those who don't get it: A pencil.

holy hell. Green Zealots, this is insanity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26699461)

Now, dont get me wrong, the idea of recycling and all that is important, but the whole "going green" frenzy that's hit this country just jumped the god damned shark. COFFEE WASTE? Using your own HAND to move the print head? At that point, I might as well go back to using my old electric blue IBM typewriter.

Re:holy hell. Green Zealots, this is insanity. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699785)

The idea isn't to save wasted coffee grounds, the idea (granted, it's a really bad idea because it's unworkable) is to replace the toxic matierals much ink is made from with something that is 100% nontoxic and biodegrades 100%.

It would be a good idea if it wasn't such a bad idea.

Re:holy hell. Green Zealots, this is insanity. (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699827)

Using your own HAND to move the print head? At that point, I might as well go back to using my old electric blue IBM typewriter.

Which runs on espresso grinds?

Something tells me that if this actually works, their next model will not be hand-powered, and you'll have forgotten you called it stupid. And jumping the shark? Please. If in 5 years they come out with a real one, and it both saves me the hassle of buying ink cartridges AND does something usefull with the coffee grounds, it really shouldn't matter if it comes from misplaced environmentalism.

Anyway, what's wrong with the "green frenzy"? It's better than, say, the "What is brittney going to do next" frenzy.

Disclaimer: I doubt that this will actually work, so you're probably safe.

PC LOAD COFFEE (5, Funny)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699481)

What the fuck does that mean?

Re:PC LOAD COFFEE (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699829)

it probably is the crap in our office coffee machine.

Stuff which makes potting soil look appealing.

Considering its effect on our people perhaps they can link it with a gas recycling facility in the mens room.

It uses the grounds? (2, Funny)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699583)

And here I thought someone actually found a use for the burnt to a crisp more acidic than battery acid sludge that is supposedly break room coffee.

No addiction, no printer? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699639)

So you mean I have to get addicted to coffee before I can buy this printer...?

Old news (3, Funny)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699649)

I have a mug-shaped coffee printer. Currently, it can only print 'o', but I suppose that's good enough if you're a ghost in UO.

Re:Old news (2, Funny)

eliphalet (1222732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699757)

It's the Brown Ring of Quality!

Re:Old news (1)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700677)

Damn. That was the first thing I thought of when I RTFS. You, sir, have beaten me to it.

Eco-friendly printer (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699793)

If only someone could invent a way to create and transmit mail and documents electronically, so that computers can talk to each other and eliminate wasteful PAPER instead of ink.

Re:Eco-friendly printer (1)

blueforce (192332) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699941)

That's no good for printing digital photos.

At least with this you can print the whole family in 16-bit coffee-scale suitable for framing.

Solving the wrong problem. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699795)

The environmental issues with printers, so far as I can tell, are almost entirely products of certain marketing pressures, rather than any particular technological problems. That makes the adoption of an inferior technology seem rather pointless.

In the case of inkjets, the trouble is not the ink(which is used in 10s of milliliters and doesn't contain anything especially nasty) or the cartridge(which could easily be made of a recycleable plastic); but the whole razor/blades model. The fact that it is, in many cases, cheaper to buy a new printer than a set of replacement cartridges for your old one(which will have clogged in any case, in all probability). As long as entire printers are made to be cheap disposable crap, making them out of anything but sunbeams and compressed happiness will result in mountains of junk. If they were actually designed for reasonable service lives, maybe even repair, you'd be fine with some basic ease of recycling features(choice of plastics, greater modularity). Ink isn't really the important bit.

Lasers are more or less similar. Toner isn't exactly a salubrious tonic to the tissues of the lungs; but fine dusts never are, it is otherwise just plastic and carbon black, sometimes some iron oxide. If a friendlier material can be designed, great; but the real focus should be on the disposability of the printer and its components, and the power draw.

Re:Solving the wrong problem. (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700147)

We live in a disposable world. Many products are designed cradle to grave, not cradle to cradle. By engineers not looking at uses after product death there will always be recyclables in products.

Make paper out of donuts (1)

Rollgunner (630808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699803)

... and i'm in !

Re:Make paper out of donuts (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700161)

In our break room I'd swear thay make the donuts out of paper.

Smell (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699843)

Much of the flavor in coffee is from its oils. When used coffee grounds sit for not too long (less than an hour), the remaining oils start turning rancid and shortly you will find your printed items to have a rather unpleasant odor that persists a long time.

Printer-friendly link? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699923)

Funny, the page doesn't have a link to a printer-friendly copy of the article.

10 points for coffee, minus 1M points for manual (1)

Timberwolf0122 (872207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699931)

What? seriously how much power did that take to move a print head to and fro? I can see people printing large documents, you know the 50 page specs that you click print and then go off for a walk, last thing I want to do is have to move the print head by hand.

Re:10 points for coffee, minus 1M points for manua (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700637)

...and a brazillion points for being vaporware.

Meh. It's an idea. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699969)

Ideas are ten a penny.

Where the value comes is in the clever execution of those ideas.

Or, to put it another way: Xerox invented the GUI and the mouse. When was the last time you used a GUI that Xerox had produced?

Compaq have been credited with inventing the hard-disk based MP3 player [cnet.com] . The last time HP marketed a hard disk based MP3 player, however, it was a rebranded iPod.

Re:Meh. It's an idea. (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700577)

Xerox invented the GUI and the mouse.

Nope. That was done at SRI [sri.com] . So was the base research for the gui (scrolling pages, interacting with screens using the mouse etc). All funded with war money iirc.

The researches from there ended up at Xerox PARC. Steve Jobs was introduced to the GUI at PARC, but it hardly started there.

If you are interested in the history of the PC (and its tie-ins to drug use and the counter culture) I reccomend the book 'What the dormouse said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry [wikipedia.org] . Some of it was a bit dry, but overall a good read about the early days of the PC and how we got to where we are today.

I'll believe it uses coffee... (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700027)

When it doesn't depend on bullshit...

mo3 0p (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700055)

I'm sick of it. , a 48oud member FreeBSD core team achievements that

But I don't drink coffee. Can't stand the stuff. (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700139)

Don't get me wrong, I love caffeine. I'm still a geek and everything. I just get it from sources other than coffee.

Stupid idea (0, Redundant)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700425)

This has to be a really stupid idea, but that is what many of these "green" ideas are.

Used coffee grounds for ink? You will not get consistant darkness, and it will probably bleed so much that the printout will be completely unreadable. Just try draw anything on paper using coffee. Regular ink-jet ink tends to bleed like crazy, some random crap isn't going to work better.

Manually operated print-head? Do they specify the number of times you are going to have to pump the thing to get a single page printed? If your arms aren't sore after printing out that 100 page general ledger, you should get an automatic invitation to the next olympics.

Now you do not need any more excuses (1)

slashdotlurker (1113853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700511)

For a coffee break, that is.

Suspicious (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700551)

It says that "No worries, it works just as well with tea."

This doesn't make sense from the picture. Coffee can be ground pretty fine for espresso, but any decent tea is in loose leaves, which would most likely completely clog the tiny head pictured. Coffee is also ground in a quite variable amount of sizes, fine for espresso, pretty large for the french press.

Not to mention the problem of figuring out how to get the tea/coffee stick to the paper.

Back and forth? (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700587)

Why wouldn't they use a hand crank instead? I would think a circular motion would require less effort.

I immediately delete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26700669)

or discard anything that shows up on my screen or on my desk that boasts of its "green" ness. I'll not be a party to this bullshit.
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