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I am tired of expensive ink cartridges that dry out.
Imagine a printer that uses the same leads as mechanical pencils (0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1.1mm are all common) to print in pencil!
Spinning the lead would make print quality darker and more uniform.
The print format could be dot-matrix
(where a series of dots form the image). Or, for text-only applications, perhaps each letter could be formed as a continuous path... like writing by hand!
Oh, yeah, and.. its erasable!
shameless self-promotion, not altogether unrelated [afinehowdoyoudo, Mar 29 2007]
(???) Caran D'ache Pencils
... um we appear to be running low on cadmium red deep [xenzag, Mar 29 2007]
Origin of Caran d'Ache
The French political cartoonist, born in Russia, took his name from the Russian word for pencil ("kara dash" is "black stone" in Turkic). The pencil company was later named after the political cartoonist. [DrCurry, Mar 29 2007, last modified May 05 2008]
A couple of nice concepts
want! [afinehowdoyoudo, Dec 08 2010]
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||Nice. I'm not sure whether it would be better to have the pencil leads used directly on the paper (as you suggest) or to have a little crusher built into the printer to produce powdered graphite which would then be blasted at high speed onto the paper (perhaps through some electrostatic process - can powdered graphite be made to carry a charge?).
||[hippo] that's basically how a laser printer
works. Except that instead of graphite, it
uses toner (an ionised mix of carbon
powder and polymer). I think graphite is
pretty stable in its molecular structure, so
it would be hard to apply the same
||Could actually be wonderful if it had
hundreds of Caran D'ache colouring
pencils all lined up to make drawings +
||//if it had hundreds of Caran D'ache //
[aside] The Russian for "pencil" is pronounced "carandash ", and I wondered if anyone could tell me if this is one of those examples of a brand name becoming to generic name (like "biro" or "hoover"). My Russian teacher couldn't tell me.
IIRC, Caran d'Ache is a Swiss company.
||I always thought Caran D'ache meant a
quick way to draw an automobile, but I
suppose that's a form of Russian too.
(groans but refuses to apologise)
||OK, it is similar to a pencil plotter. However, spinning the lead allows raster graphics as well as vector graphics. Maybe using the same leads as mechanical pencils is novel as well? And I had in mind a smaller size than the typical plotter
||AWL: the other way round, actually - see link.
||Whenever I have a great idea to post, HB's search feature seldom fails to save me the effort. [+]
||Pencil "leads" are made from a mixture of graphite and clay; the more clay, the harder the "lead". One problem with this Idea is the need to hold a lead while using it, and it shrinks to almost nothing. After the lead falls out of the holder, it needs to be replaced.
||So, suppose the printer included a way of making a continuous lead? You would add powdered graphite and clay and add water(?) and it would do the rest, so that the last couple of centimeters, extruded from the mixing chamber, is warmed up to dry/harden, and less than a centimeter later the end of the lead would be making marks on the printer paper.
||// spinning the lead allows raster graphics //
||What does spinning the lead even mean?
||And how does that allow raster graphics?
||"Graphtec Corp. markets GX4100 ultra-fast pencil plotter, an A1, grid rolling plotter that offers fine-quality pencil images. The product, which is aimed at the computer-aided design market, gives pencil pressure of 800g and with an extremely precise smoothing function, smooth circles and free lines are produced. A maximum of 1,000 pencils at a time can be accommodated by the plotter, which can also hold pencils with leads measuring 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm and 0.7mm in diameter. A maximum drawing speed of 1,200mm/sec and acceleration of 5.7G can also be achieved with the help of a digital servo drive."
||Hmmm... the Graphtec GX4100 does not google
well.. it seems like vaporware.
||"Spinning the pencil lead" , means rotate it about
its long axis. In retrospect it doesn't need to be
continuous rotation - a small angular motion back-
and-forth would suffice to make a mark. It allows
raster graphics in that the print head could make
individual dots to fill in the pixels of a rectangular
grid. Vector graphics on the other hand, could be
done as smooth continuous pencil paths that
would not require the rotational motion of the
pencil, as it is already moving with respect to the
paper. hope thats coherent.. its been a long day.
||The second concept shown in the link really
appeals to me because the main paper feed is
manually operated, which I think is a good way to
simplify and reduce (electrical) power
requirements for a really compact portable printer.
||I was thinking about how to implement the 'print-
head' part of it. Of course it could be the simplest
raster-graphics approach of moving the print head
across the page, marking each pixel (or not) one-
at-a-time. But what if the pencil was on short-
travel actuators (say piezoelectrics) that have just
enough throw to make a decent-sized ASCII
character - then the print head could index from
character to character, and the pencil would
follow the path defined for each character while
pressed to the paper. Of course some characters
are easier to represent as a continuous path than
others. This would be the vector graphics
approach (if I understand the term correctly.)
||I had a bunch of strange ideas about how to make
the print head simple and efficient but all I can say
with confidence is that it would be wise to pay close
attention to the mechanism that raises and lowers
the pencil lead. As little mass (i.e. inertia) as
possible - ideally only the stick of graphite would
||[afine], thanks for the clarification. Spinning the lead for a dot is clever.
||//I wondered if anyone could tell me if this is one of those examples of a brand name becoming to generic name//
||What would need to be your annual expenditure on
printer cartridges for a draftsman's table and a 7-DOF
industrial robot to be financially attractive? Of
course, from an æsthetic perspective, it would be
attractive regardless of cost. Who wouldn't want an
office printer that required black-and-
yellow striped "danger" lines painted on the floor to
tell visitors where it was safe to stand?
||Bonga Bink and ... good. +