You may have noticed a more frequent collection of 2D printing-based news here on the ‘Smack in recent weeks. Why? Well…because in this 3D printing-obsessed world, it’s become a refreshing mental break to see new ways of doing something that for decades was done literally the exact. same. way. every. frickin’. time. Additionally, 2D printing is still a viable form of sharing information—so long as there is at least some effort in the process of manufacturing and disposal that is focused on sustainability. Industrial designer Mugi Yamamoto has given us yet another fresh look at how 2D printing can be new and exciting again with his Stack concept.
The Stack Printer
Gone are the days of bulky, desk-hogging All-in-One printers that may only be used once a week. Mugi Yamamoto’s revolutionary new design of the 2D printer not only minimizes the overall hardware of a 2D printer, but also provides a unique way of showing the user just how much paper they are rolling through in real-time. Rather than feeding paper into a hidden compartment of a machine, this compact inkjet printer is placed on top of a paper pile (which theoretically could be of infinite height so long as you are still able to replace the ink). When printing, the Stack moves downwards “swallowing the pile until no paper is left”. As the paper gets swallowed, it reappears on top of the Stack unit as a newly printed pile…effectively swallowing, digesting, and depositing your favorite weight of 8.5 x 11 office paper.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about this printer isn’t so much it’s unique aesthetic, but the fact that it minimizes so many components that are otherwise used in manufacturing existing 2D printers. Essentially, the paper tray (arguably the bulkiest ‘necessary’ component of most 2D printers) has been removed and all printing elements are hyper-condensed into an ultra-slim case that could fit into a standard backpack. Thanks to the ultralight body, it is also immune from the headache of frequent reloading when you just have to have that new 400 page software PDF user guide printed out.
Stack was done for Mugi’s diploma project and in a world of 3D rendered concepts, Mugi has actually made this a real, fully-functioning device. The final device is made from HDPE, metal wire, and the necessary electronic components. Currently he is seeking companies to help him make Stack a commercial reality. For more information and to check out the talented Mr. Yamamoto’s other work, head over to his website.