November 8, 2016
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in Holland has developed the inkless printer.
Printing Impressions reported that this technology claims that it will “make [the] $14 billion (€12.6 billion) black ink cartridge market obsolete”, and that a start-up company from TU Delft called Inkless has developed “worldwide patented technology” that enables monochrome printing “without the use of cartridges, toners or other consumables”.
The company was born from a graduation project where two students worked together on the development, and now both Venkatesh Chandrasekar and Arnoud Van der Veen are the owners of the business, and the university is a shareholder.
Van der Veen, Co-founder of Inkless, said: “Every year $14 billion worth of black ink cartridges and toners are sold worldwide. Our technology makes these cartridges and toners completely obsolete. With inkless printing, we can completely turn the print market upside down. Inkless has now met the quality standards of conventional printing techniques, among other things, on the resolution and printing speed. Our inkless printing technology offers many advantages.
“Cartridges, toners or special coatings on paper are no longer required, which leads to a significant environmental benefit. After all, a lot of energy is required for the production of cartridges and ink and this production produces waste and results in harmful emissions. Less than 30 percent of all the cartridges are recycled. The rest ends up in the garbage dump where it takes more than 450 years before a toner cartridge is completely decomposed.
“Apart from the environmental benefits, you will never be faced with empty cartridges at inopportune times. In addition, printing without cartridges or toners obviously means that there are no recurring costs once the printer has been purchased. This results in a significant cost advantage.”
On carbonisation, Van der Veen stated: “Our inkless printing technology is unique. Worldwide, no other party has succeeded in printing on regular paper without the use of cartridges, toners or other supplies. With the method of Inkless, the paper is carbonised. If you would normally try this with thin material, such as paper, you would burn through it quickly.
“The resulting print would also not be permanent in that case and would not be black enough. Inkless has a much better control over the carbonisation process, which means we don’t have to print as deep and therefore do not damage the paper. Furthermore, we have developed a solution which ensures that the print is black enough and also permanent.”
Several patents protect the technology, which they say is set to change several markets such as imaging and graphics as well as straightforward printing. Van der Veen added: “We are talking about several large markets: apart from printers used at offices and homes, the inkless printing technology can be applied as well to the markets of coding and marking (think about, for example, expiration dates and barcodes) and digital production printers (transactions, mail, books, etc.).
“Now that we have developed the technology, it is time to bring it to the market as quickly as possible. To shorten the time-to-market, we are currently exploring the possibilities of cooperating with one or multiple large printing companies. We are already in contact with a few parties.”
You can watch a video about the technology below.
Categories : World Focus