Printer. What other words does your mind conjure up when you think of printers? Fun, exciting, interesting? Probably not. Boring, functional and uninspiring would probably be closer to the mark but we’ve put together this little list to show that printers can, sometimes, be more than just grey boxes.
The world’s oldest surviving printed work is the Diamond Sutra – a Buddhist text dated to 868AD.
- The laser printer was invented by Xerox in 1969 and was built from a modified photocopier
- Xerox also developed the world’s first laser printer designed for office use, the Xerox Star 8010, in 1981. It cost a whopping $17,000 at the time.
- American manufacturer Planon makes the world’s smallest printer, the PrintStik, which measures 2in x 2in x 11in and weighs just 1.5 pounds.
- 3D printers have been used to print a huge variety of different objects, including jewellery, clothing, medical prosthetics, guns, food and houses.
- Big Image Systems claims that its printer, Infinitus, is the world’s largest digital printer. It is used to print backdrops for film, theatre and TV and can and can print on media up to 12 metres x 50 metres in size.
The world’s fastest desktop printers are the HP Officejet Pro X576dw and X551dw, which can print at 70 pages per minute.
- There are many unusual uses for print technology, including a glass printer, a water printer which creates images in a waterfall and the RITI printer, which uses tea and coffee dregs instead of ink.
942 million inkjet cartridges were sold worldwide in 2012, containing enough ink to fill 4.5 Olympic sized swimming pools
- NASA is planning to send a 3D printer to the International Space Station in 2014 to manufacture replacement parts.
by Anthony Morgan