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Print-in-my-book printer

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So, today as usual I was filling in my lab notebook, which is a regular A4-sized bound notebook.

A lot of what goes in there is printouts (for instance, protocols), which I just print and then paste into the labbook. Shirley there must be a better way?

What's needed is a battery-powered, WiFi-enabled printer, in the form of a rod or squeegee. You send your document to the printer, and then just swipe the printer smoothly across the surface you want to print on. The print-head includes a sensor that detects movement across the paper, modulating the output accordingly so that, even if you swipe wobble-wise, the image still comes out OK.

The print-head does not even need to be the full width of the page - it could be only two or three inches wide and work like a sort of digital paintbrush: optical sensors would ensure that the two or three strokes needed to cover a page would line up with eachother.

Such a printer would be good not just for printing into notebooks, but for things like labelling boxes and other things that you can't put through a printer.

This must exist. If you can't see this idea it's because Google finally turned something up and I've deleted it.

MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

Palmtop Copier http://www.halfbake...ea/Palmtop_20copier
[Voice, Oct 07 2016]

ZUtA http://www.zutalabs.com
Baked! [hippo, Oct 11 2016]

Robot_20Car_20Poster_20Printer [hippo, Oct 12 2016]


       Well, Google has offered me all sorts of label printers, but they are all crap. And none of them seems to be usable like a regular printer: they all use custom software with limited inputs.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

       Why do we keep lab notebooks anymore? For when the Great Electromagnetic War hits?
RayfordSteele, Oct 06 2016

       Odd - I am certain that I've seen something like this done in the past, but I cannot recall the application or how the damn thing worked. It was handheld, cabled, about wallet sized with a cylinder on the printing end. Print quality was dependent on a steady hand...
normzone, Oct 06 2016

       If a cameraphone was equipped with a sufficiently powerful scannable laser, it could burn text directly onto the target surface by identifying two datum points and then stabilizing the targeting using the camera to cancel any vibration or other movement.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2016

       // It was handheld, cabled, about wallet sized with a cylinder on the printing end. Print quality was dependent on a steady hand...// That's the problem - I want it cable-free, and it should track its own movement to compensate for wobbliness. It's got to be doable.   

       //Why do we keep lab notebooks anymore?// Because they work much better (in some respects) than electronic lab-books. I can scribble, I can sketch, I can paste in printed documents or gel photos, I can cross out, I can squeeze in a couple of extra lines or side-notes... and I can do any of these things in a few seconds.   

       Electronic lab notebooks try to cater to these functions, but they just fail.   

       Plus, I can look back at lab notebooks that are 20 years old. And I'll be able to look back at today's in 20 year's time. Things like that can be important.   

       Against that, there is the fact that paper notebooks aren't searchable or easily indexable. But that's a small price to pay. Nobody I know uses electronic notebooks for labwork.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

       I've wanted one of these for years. My uses have generally been for filling out forms, so a printer that is a single line of text height that you swipe left to right would work for me. That would be simpler because it wouldn't require 2D tracking: just a simple roller. If the user moved it in other than a straight line they could make curved text.
scad mientist, Oct 06 2016

       // a single line of text height that you swipe left to right would work for me.// I've seen things that are sort of like that, though they seem to need their own (clunky-looking) software.   

       Maybe the form-factor I'm looking for would be a bit like an electric shaver (the sort of rectangular ones, that is).
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

       It would have to "print" mirrored then, so you could look in a mirror and read your notes.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2016

       Pah. My hand-writing is inherently cryptographic. I was clearly meant to go into medicine.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

       And there are no doubt some medicines meant to go into you ... Here you go now, don't make a fuss ...
normzone, Oct 06 2016

       It's only a little prick ...
8th of 7, Oct 06 2016

       So I've heard.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2016

       Shhh, poor [norm] is very sensetive about his ... personal limitations.   

       More deserving of pity than condemntion, really. Didn't your parents ever tell you "Don't mock the afflicted" ... ? ... ohhhh ...   

       Yes, of course not, Silly of us to mention it.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2016

       Ah - I see that [Voice] beat me to this one by several years!
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2016

       ^ Ok, I lend you my anatomically correct dolls for robots, as a replacement notion. No additional charge.
not_morrison_rm, Oct 07 2016

       Now sort of baked (see link). Shipping in December.
hippo, Oct 11 2016

       Hmm. The device in the link looks like exactly what I want, except for the fact that it's crap. Why have it robotic, when I can just swipe something across the page with my hand (and have it track its position, for undistorted printing)? I bet it can't cope with anything except a very flat sheet of paper.   

       And why isn't it colour?   

       And why doesn't it also have a scanner head, that could similarly be used to scan - "paintbrush style" - from a book page?   

       Why, in short, isn't it better?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 11 2016

       Ah yes, the question of short again.   

       Gentlemen, there are some things best left undemonstrated.
normzone, Oct 11 2016

       In fact, hang on a moment.   

       The form-factor we should be going for is a wide- tipped highlighter pen, that Bluetooths to a computer.   

       In the nib (maybe 1cm wide, 5mm thick) is:   

       (a) A scanner (maybe 100 pixels wide)
(b) An inkjet head (ditto)
(c) An optical mouse.

       Press the "scan" button, and you can "scribble" all over an image - the image appears on your computer as your scribble, so you can see which bits you've missed.   

       Press the "print" button, and you can "scribble" all over a blank piece of paper (or cardboard box, or lab-book page) and the image is printed - if you go back over bits you've already printed, the scanner sees that and doesn't overprint; and you "scribble" in any gaps until the image is complete.   

       For an up-market version, add an SD card reader and a postage-stamp-sized screen, so you can scan images to the SD card; or "scribble" images from the SD card, without needing to link to a computer.   

       This must be doable. And I would buy one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 11 2016

       Idly flicking through the archives, I discover that I came up with not completely dissimilar idea some years ago (see link)
hippo, Oct 12 2016

       [hippo], that's still not what I'm after. I want a simple "broad pen" or "paintbrush" - style of device which can either scan or print in swathes, and which tracks its position precisely as it does so.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2016

       But, in my defence, that was 13 years ago - conceptual, made-up technology should have moved on a bit since then (given enough investment in conceptual, made-up R&D).
hippo, Oct 12 2016

       All marketing is conceptual and made-up, so you have to say "conceptual, made-up marketing which only exists as a made-up concept"
hippo, Oct 12 2016


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