SU students design printer of the future, win top prize in national competition sponsored by Lexmark
SU students design printer of the future, win top prize in national competition sponsored by LexmarkNovember 12, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Syracuse University students Ryan Bednar and Nate Schaal developed the winning design for a futuristic printer that layers information on a single page for a national competition sponsored by Lexmark International Inc. The winners of the “Design the Business Printer of the Future” contest will be announced today at the company’s headquarters in Lexington, Ky.
The students are senior industrial design majors in the School of Art and Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts. Their design, “Electronic Archive Printer,” earned them a $10,000 prize and a Lexmark E320 laser printer. The students’ advisors for the project were faculty members Donald Carr and Denise Heckman.
“This design is very creative and demonstrates the innovative thinking that is going on in colleges today,” says Paul Rooke, Lexmark executive vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. “Paper remains a very useful medium for business communication. The ability to get more information onto a paper-like medium in a usable way is an innovative concept.”
The “Electronic Archive Printer” is a theoretical device that marries the positive qualities of paper, such as portability and readability, with cutting-edge electronic storage technology. The students predict that the overwhelming accumulation of documents in businesses and libraries today will continue to waste valuable office space and deplete natural resources. “All businesses have a need to archive documents,” Bednar says. “Our design is a new and unique concept that solves real business problems by making the space available on a printed page boundless and no longer limited by the confines of a traditional sheet of paper.”
Their innovative design allows the user to layer multiple pages of information onto a single, standard letter-size page, compacting the space needed to store documents. The printer builds up layers of information on a substrate that is inserted into the print bed. The device lays down an insulating binding agent and prints conductive ink over the insert. A small beam of ultraviolet light cures each layer. A navigational device printed on the page allows the user to “surf” or “turn” the many pages contained in the single sheet. The pages can then be stored in a unique notebook that protects the document and acts as a power source.
“With this design, you’re actually printing on paper that changes,” says Michael Miller, editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and one of the nine contest judges. “Over time, this technology could have an amazing impact in terms of making paper that’s thin, light and changes all the time and that can store all sorts of information.”
Second- and third-place winners were Bryant Griffin, a senior at North Carolina State University, and Jacob Hall, a student at Brigham Young University. They won $7,500 and $5,000 cash prizes respectively.
Founded in 1991, Lexmark International Inc. is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing solutions-including laser and inkjet printers, multifunction products, associated supplies and services-for offices and homes in more than 150 countries. The company’s Web site is www.lexmark.com.