Samsung wants your next printer to be cardboard
posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 4:46 PM EDT
Samsung has just won gold awards at the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards for a trio of printer concepts that take the normally expensive, hard to dispose of, bulky printer, and radically change their outsides. Our society is very quick to treat printers as disposable: Some even replace their printer as it's cheaper to buy new than to buy more ink. These concepts do something to make the exterior of a printer easier to assemble, and then get rid of at the end.
By far the coolest of the trio is the Origami, a 100% recyclable mono laser printer, with a cardboard exterior. The designers describe their aims thus:
"The Origami - 100% Recyclable Personal Mono Laser Printer was designed for the eco-conscious. Its exterior is made of 100 percent recycled paper. In addition, at the end of the printer’s life, its materials can be recycled to produce more paper for printing. This eco-friendly circulation is Origami’s key concept."
They go on to describe its exterior design, nothing that it is made:
"...using recycled paper while still ensuring the high level of durability offered by traditional plastic covers and designing the critical components to function effectively. These requirements were satisfied by combining the material characteristics of cardboard with an origami-based assembly method."
The design of the Clip again attempts to simplify the exterior of a printer, making it easier to assemble. This time it's just a simple piece of flat-packed plastic that snaps together into a hard shell for the printer's internal organs. The final entry in the trio is the Mate, which can be customized with interchangeable plates.
All three of these designs could potentially be easier to manufacture than the traditional injection-molded exterior, and when you upgrade your printer, you could just swap out the insides. While the trio are currently only design concepts, it looks like Samsung has some degree of functional prototype on their end, so you might see them in stores sooner or later.