Printing Prospects: 10 Hi-Tech Printer Prototypes & Concepts

The Circle Printer

circle printer

Have you ever wondered why home printers are so huge and bulky? There are several reasons for the size and shape of traditional printers, but the Circle Printer from designer Yang Jae Wook turns them on their side. The diminutive printer is just the essential parts needed to print, and these essential parts are housed in an attractive, artsy shell. It sits on its smallest side to take up the least amount of room on a desk or table, but still functions like any other printer. For infrequent home users, the Circle Printer would be equal parts decorative and functional. Alas, for now it is only a concept.

The Aroma Printer

aroma printer

Taking photos of food seems almost like a new national pastime. We snap pictures when we make something, when we’re at a restaurant, or just when we feel that a meal deserves to be documented. The one important component missing from this food photography? Scent. This conceptual printer was designed by student Zhu Jingxuan in a Sony Student Design workshop in order to right that wrong. As the device takes a picture of your meal, it also captures the scent and embeds it in the paper of the little postcard it prints your photo onto. From sharing recipes to enjoying memories of home, this fun concept could have so many real-world uses.

The Hanging Printer

hanging printer

Finding room for a big, bulky office printer can be a daunting task, which is why designer Jaesik Heo stepped up to create the Hanging Printer. The printer hooks over the side of a desk, leaving the bulk of the machine to hang down over the side. The printer would work just like any other, but using a fraction of the desk space.

The Little Printer

little printer

It used to be that in order to keep up on local and world events, a newspaper subscription was the best way to do that. Not anymore, however: our computers and smartphones have given us constant access to information. The Little Printer from BERG Cloud is kind of a next-generation newspaper, using your personalized preferences to periodically print out a paper that is just for you, personally. You set the news stories, games and other content you want, then once or twice a day your personalized newspaper is printed from your adorable Little Printer. Between newspaper printings, the printer displays a cute face just to let you know how friendly it is.

Organ Bio-Printer

organ bio-printer

For people waiting around for organ transplants, the wait is excruciating and, all too often, a compatible donor organ is never found. What if we could actually build new organs from the cellular level? A company called Organovo has developed a 3D printer that does exactly that using patients’ own cells. The risk of transplant rejection will be virtually erased since the new organs are made from the patient’s own biological material. Thanks to the amazing technology behind this printer, the wait time for a new organ would be significantly shortened, potentially saving many lives every year. The printer is only capable of making new arteries at the moment, but within a decade bio-printers will be able to print more complex objects like bones and hearts.