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Three-dimensional book printing

Print and bind in one go
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

eBooks can sometimes be printed out, and other documents are often printed onto sheets of paper which then need to be bound to various degrees of elegance. My proposal is that rather than printing a book on sheets of paper, then go through the arduous process of sticking the sheaf in a spine, collating and so forth, that the entire book be printed in one go on sheets of paper in one go. Textures for the paper and boards could be varied fairly easily, and you'd end up with a book which was somewhat fancier and better-made than the current approach to small-scale printing. It might also be quicker.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

Sellotape data storage http://www.guardian...inmckie.theobserver
[pocmloc, Mar 19 2010]

POD kiosk http://www.teleread...nt-on-demand-kiosk/
[pocmloc, Mar 19 2010]

an example Xerox DocuTech http://www.xerox.co...tech-6180/enus.html
Bound books come out at the end. [Aristotle, Mar 22 2010]

excerpt from Hansard http://hansard.mill...cord-copies-of-acts
//Because printing on vellum is highly specialised and because only one company in Britain does it,// [pocmloc, Mar 22 2010]


       I went and got an 11x17 laser printer for the kids's uni projects: of course they never use it.   

       If you used paper that was half the thickness of the desired end product, you could print on one side of a roll while continuously folding it into page-sized sheets in a WWWW manner, gluing each pair of half-thick segments properly together so the print always faces outwards as you go along... would make a very fine spine.
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2010

       From experience getting stuff ready for printing in a rather primitive way, i've used big sheets of silicone-coated paper with guidelines on them, somewhat more than six decimetres square, single-sided. What you suggest would still need to be bound. I would hope that my method would be able to produce books with a variety of covers: paperback, hardback, cloth-bound effect or glossy, which is where i'm aiming.   

       But i would love to have a large-format printer! It would be so useful.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       rarely gets used at all... but when it does: ooh shiny!   

       but I digress... what's the idea ? I can't actually seem to find it apart from "move the binding machine closer to the print-press".
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2010

       OK, the idea is that rather than printing ink on a series of sheets of paper being fed through a printer, then sticking them together with a spine and covering them, you print the entire book, binding and all, in one go. So, the paper is printed with the book in the same way as three-dimensional objects are printed - rapid prototyping, laser sintering, all that stuff. The entire book emerges from the printer, having been created in one go from the powder or other raw material in the machine. There were never any separate sheets of paper; it simply emerges in one go as a book with print on the pages, covers, the whole kaboodle. There is no separate binding process either. Does that make sense?
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       Super, but do you have any non-magic technologies for this? The resolution perpendicular to the plane of the pages will have to be pretty fine.
pocmloc, Mar 19 2010

       That would depend on the direction of the printing, [pocmloc]. I envisage the pages being printed in one go, so the book is built up as if it's lying closed inside the printer. It goes:   

       A - back cover.   

       B - beginning of spine.   

       C- next bit of spine and last page.   

       And so forth until it ends with:   

       X - penultimate bit of spine and first page.   

       Y - end of spine.   

       Z - front cover.   

       Or upside down, but in any case each page is built up in one go. Clearly it is possible to print on a flat piece of paper.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       I think there's rather large copy machines that do all the collating and binding (with that plastic sure-lok or whatever it's called)
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2010

       Oh indeed, but this can be used to print a single book and the texture and appearance of the cover and pages can be chosen. There's no restriction resulting from the choice of paper, for example. Different weights and thicknesses would be possible, the surface could be rough or smooth and so forth. Various forms of binding can be simulated. It's hard to describe this without knowing the technical terms used in bookbinding.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       [+] simply for the possibility of walking up to a kiosk and getting the latest in a format that *I* want it in... at least that way the insulation layer on my walls would be more uniform.   

       I think it's a pipe dream though: stuff would get jammed or misprinted and then you're out 10 bucks or whatever.
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2010

       To my mind, the most obvious problem would be stopping pages from sticking together. However, gizmos can be created by printing which have embedded ball-bearings able to move separately, and if that's feasible, why would this not be?
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       I know I'm waving an "I'm lost" banner, but is this an idea to build an entire book up from a vat of wood pulp, etc. ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 19 2010

       Probably not wood pulp as such, [FT], though it has to be said that idea does appeal and is a possibility. I was thinking of some kind of granules which could be molten together along with pigments, and have to admit i don't know exactly what, though such things do exist. There could be a problem with the flexibility of the pages, and an extrusive approach with the likes of rayon would be a possibility, so maybe you're right.
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       I meant to, [Ian].
nineteenthly, Mar 19 2010

       I have a printer in the Library wing, capable of producing stitch-bound books with leather or pasteboard covers, and even gold block on the spine.   

       Can't for the life of me recall his name.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2010

       proposing a solution to a problem that does not exist. Modern printing is almost exclusively done by printing on a wige format folding blinding and cutting. this is why there is a centerfold and why the edges of cheap books are rough.
WcW, Mar 20 2010

       But that's on a large scale and can't feasibly be done by a private individual, and there's a lot of flexibility here. The presentation of a book is important as well as its textual content. If DTP is considered worthwhile over and above a simple ASCII text file being printed out, even if there are no illustrations, being able to produce an actual book is simply the next stage.   

       PDFs seem pointless to me much of the time, but they're clearly valued on top of text files. Same thing.
nineteenthly, Mar 20 2010

       you want to print 64ths?
WcW, Mar 21 2010

       A far simpler machine would have rolls of paper in various sorts, a double sided printer, and an automated cutter/ binder. It's a clever bit of lateral thinking [+], but I'm not convinced it actually helps [-], so [ ]
BunsenHoneydew, Mar 21 2010

       [+] now that I actually understand the idea. :)
FlyingToaster, Mar 21 2010

       Thanks, glad you got it.   

       // 64ths? //   

       Are you talking about the size, [WcW]?   

       [BunsenHoneydew], it's versatile with relatively few raw materials, and it could do other things.
nineteenthly, Mar 21 2010

       As well as morphing the margin into spine material, you could have raised illustrations on the page (and/or countersunk with a thick enough page), integral protruding section bookmarks, author's signature raised on the edge of the leaves, etc. etc.
FlyingToaster, Mar 21 2010

       Yes, and also possibly pop-up books including more sophisticated models than usual.
nineteenthly, Mar 21 2010

       A device I knew from the 80s [see link] could do this, albeit not in maybe as fantastic a way as the idea suggested.   

       I used one to publish and distribute the RuneQuest 4 playtest around the UK. The record RQ4 never got published, except as RuneQuest: Slayers.
Aristotle, Mar 22 2010

       Legislation passed in the UK Parliament is still printed on vellum and stored in the vaults. I want to find out how they do this now - do they have a laserprinter than can print on vellum, perhaps?
hippo, Mar 22 2010

       Ha, imagining the error messages on that: "Tray 3 - Load Vellum"
zen_tom, Mar 22 2010

       My guess would be old fashioned letterpress - that's how it was done by Gutenberg and his successors. Setting up a letterpress run for a single copy is stupidly expensive but works well - the original 17th century catalogue of the Bodleian Library in Oxford is such a book, one single copy was printed on vellum, no other copies were printed.
pocmloc, Mar 22 2010

       I'm going to poke around the Parliament website and see if there's any info.
nineteenthly, Mar 22 2010

       // "Tray 3 - Load Vellum" //   

       "Out Of Vellum Error. Please Insert Another Dead Calf And Click "YEA !" To Continue."
8th of 7, Mar 22 2010


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