Tanning Printer: A Good Kind Of Sunburn

Many children of the ’70s will remember that ubiquitous crafty tool, the wood burner. Imagine a cross between that and magnifying glass in the sunshine and – well, all right, you still won’t have a handle in the Tanning Printer, but you’ll come close.

This concept design from Hosung Jung, Junsang Kim, Seungin Lee and Yonggu Do (which comes to us via Yanko Design) makes use of solar power to essentially lightly burn, or tan, words and images onto printer paper. The slim profile of this futuristic printer consists of three basic components – a solar cell, a heat coil and a refraction glass – that work together to tranfer your print job to the page.

tanning printer

image via Yanko Design

Just feed the paper into the Tanning Printer, let it warm up, and watch in amazement as the header moves back and forth, focusing the eye of that refracting glass on the page. Your document emerges looking pretty much like any other black and white print job from any other printer.

The designers point out that around 70 percent of the documents we print do not require color ink, and that by doing away with that endless waste stream of ink cartridges clogging the world’s landfills – which engender environmental pollution even when recycled – the Tanning Printer has the potential to green printing in a big way. And by operating entirely off the grid, of course, this concept cuts the carbon emissions associated with every printed document.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.