Friday, March 26, 2010

Pardon Me, Can You Prepeat That?

Sanwa Newtec has developed a printer that works without toner, ink, or paper. Instead, the PrePeat RP-3100 is based on a special thermal head and special paper made of PET plastic that can be reused over and over again. PET is recycled polyethylene terephtalate used in the manufacture of plastic drink bottles, etc.

Sanwa prepeatable printer

If you have a PET sheet with information on it that is no longer needed, you simply insert it back into the printer where it first gets “cleaned,” then a new document is immediately printed out. Resolution is around 200 dpi. Each of the PET sheets can be used 1,000 times, saving not only the costs for 1,000 sheets of regular copying paper but also 5.7 kg of CO2 from the environment. Currently, it only prints in black and white.

The PrePeat printer is priced at $5,600 and is already available in Japan. A single PET sheet costs $3.35, but that's only 3 cents a copy. Obviously, Sanwa is justifying its printer price with the low running costs and the eco-friendliness of the device.