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Ring printer

November 12, 2004
It seems as if it is impossible to make a printer that would be smaller in a size than a sheet of paper.

The evolution of many electron devices is characterized by the following contradiction.

  • Microchips are becoming smaller in size, thereby making it possible to create compact miniature devices.
  • However, the requirements of a supersystem often limit the miniaturization of electron devices.

For example, the size of a computer keyboard is determined by the optimal size of an individual key which, in turn, depends on the anthropometric characteristics of a human hand. Decreasing the keyboard size decreases abruptly its operation convenience.
Reduction in the jet printer size is limited by the standard width of the most popular paper format A4 (210 mm). It seems as if it is impossible to make a printer that would be smaller in a size than a sheet of paper.
The printing head of the printer created by the joint efforts of engineers from Seoul University and specialists from Samsung moves not linearly as is the case with all jet printers but in a circle. The printer itself is a ring through which a rolled sheet of paper is drawn.
Due to such a layout, the new printer is almost thrice as small as its portable competitors based on the old scheme of operation. The ring printer has got one of the gold medals at the international designers' competition IDEA.


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Authors: Nikolay Shpakovsky, Elena Novitskaya