back to article Boffins demo re-usable paper and waterjet printers

Most of what gets spat out of office printers is read once and consigned to the recycling, so why do prints have to be permanent? One answer to that question is that they don't – and a water-jet printing technology published in Nature Communications suggests a way to make printing vastly cheaper. The idea is that by treating …

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Old News

Xerox have had self-erasing paper for a while now.

Now all both mobs have to do is work out how to include an automatic iron to remove creases, dog-ears and crinkles to allow the paper to be fed through a printer a second time without jamming.

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Anonymous Coward

I see a few issues with this.

1) Water is getting harder and harder to source. Some areas are in a drought and almost every major city is trying to find more sources for water.

2) Paper is not a sturdy medium. The edges start to round, crinkles, creases, etc. will be found in the used paper. Then you have the stains in them as well. I wonder how many paper jams there will be from paper not put into the tray properly.

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You can't be serious

How much printing do you think you'd have to do to use even a gallon of water? You'd have to be in some sort of dystopian future water shortage where baths & showers are banned and people are allowed only weekly sponge baths for this use to be considered wasteful.

I agree on the second point, I can't see reusing paper more than a couple times at most unless you handle it like it was one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta.

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Re: You can't be serious

Forget sponge baths. Most sci-fi writers figure lasers or ultrasonics to replace water for showers in places where water is at a luxury (such as in space).

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Happy

Re: You can't be serious

Lol well we should definitely forget them then

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#1 in your list is silly. Uncertain about #2 but doubt it's insurmountable. However I have one that is a significant problem: shredding.

I can think of very little that gets printed out which shouldn't properly be shredded after use. If this ink leaves traces that can be recovered to read the original document (and I'd be a little surprised if it didn't but am willing to be corrected), then it's not usable for many of us. Though I really approve of using less paper.

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Anonymous Coward

#1 is silly? Try living in a place that is in a drought with stage 2 water restrictions in place with stage 3 entirely possible. Clean water is not as plentiful as you think it is.

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"Water is getting harder and harder to source"

Two points, I disagree that water is getting harder to source, last I heard the sea was made of it and there's loads of that.

secondly, there may be areas where water is difficult to get hold of, but lets face it, if we can get ink to those places now, we can get them water too..

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Quick to kickstarter....

An etch-a-sketch, a couple of stepper motors and a raspPi - shouldn't be too difficult to make a printing tablet

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Easy fixed

Make shiny paper, print with white-board marker ink, put a felt eraser roller in the printer to clean recycled paper as it gets used.

Just kidding, fix the problem at it's source. Get our aging bureaucrats and managers used to not having hard copy for every bit of unimportant ephemeral crap.

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Re: Easy fixed

We've been trying to do the "paperless" office for decades now. It hasn't worked out too well to date, and you have to wonder why.

As for the unimportant ephemeral crap, I suspect more than a few are actually legally mandated in case of lawsuits or government inspections.

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Re: Easy fixed

For one thing, sitting in front of a large screen in order just to read something (largish email, article, whatever) is not my preference - I'd rather print it, put my legs up and read away from the computer. Sitting in front of a computer is what I do at work, doing the same at home seems like too much work.

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Re: Easy fixed

But what about kicking back and reading it with a tablet now, flicking the pages with your finger?

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Re: Easy fixed

Maybe you should talk to the boffins that made the WipeBook Project on KickStarter?

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Re: Easy fixed

I agree with Bronek Kozicki: I find it easier to proof read a document on paper, and then make changes on the computer. This sort-lived print-out scheme would be suitable for this, except I like to use a coloured pen to mark the required changes.

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Re: Easy fixed

Reading from a tablet? Nah not convenient enough - I stare into LCD all day long, and eink just isn't fast enough.

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What's wrong with slate?

Used to do exactly this job in the early 20th.

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Re: What's wrong with slate?

Try taking away that 200 page report to proofread, that will show you what's wrong. Though if your roof needed doing....

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Drop in the ocean

> use of water instead of ink in the printer makes it much cheaper overall

Though you just *know* that the printer makers will find a way to screw the price to levels beyond the dreams of avarice - and that you'll only be allowed to use their "special" water, in their proprietary cartridges for the whole thing to work.

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Re: Drop in the ocean

Not the special water (although de-ionised water would be a good idea otherwise you print head might scale up!), but they'd just transfer the cost to the paper (which has to be specially preprepared) and they'd make sure that it was only their premium paper world work in their printer.

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Reminds me of the 'erasable biro' years ago ... before people realised that if you wanted to erase it you could use a pencil, or make it permanent by using a pen ... Cheques with erasable biro were great :-)

Now, where's that inportant memo sent to me the day before yesterday by El Sid the Wise ... I hope it wasn't printed on 24hour paper ...

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The erasable biros are actually a pretty decent tool.

Wait a few days and the ink turns permanent.

(I like to solve crosswords, Sudokus and other Puzzles, often With prizes, and they need to be written With 'indelible' inks. )

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Teachers actually find the erasable green biro's very useful - it looks very bad when you've written in the wrong child's book and many school mandate that they have to write in green! (Pencil is too hard to distinguish from what the kid has written, and apparently red may harm the child's self confidence or something! But I agree for the general person a pencil is sufficient - if they are actually writing anything by hand anymore.

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Writing stuff in children's books in erasable ink? The teachers here would be lynched if they did that here 1) because most of our teachers have the ability to write in the correct books and 2) most of the kids would be altering stuff all the time!

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Anonymous Coward

A friend of mine once collected my exercise book for me (along with his own) from the maths teacher.

The red penned comment in it was rather more firmly expressed than his usual style, though not entirely without merit.

My mother brought it up on parent-teacher interview night where the teacher apologised.

Though as you may have already guessed, he hadn't written it - my friend had.

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Devil

great tech

to sign a loan contract...

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Holmes

"Most of what gets spat out of office printers is...

"...glanced at once (if at all) at the start of a boring meeting and then ignored until it's consigned to the recycling."

FTFY.

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Great! Except...

Most offices have stonking big shared photocopier/laser printers these days. Few use inkjets of any type

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In the first place, why?

If said document will fade away in less than one day, then why did it need to be printed in the first place? Isn't this what e-mail is for?

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