Samsung Creates Recyclable Printer From Origami Cardboard

Life would be so much easier if everything could go in the recycling bin. No more sorting, saving, or hauling, just toss it all in the single-stream bin, and rest assured that it would be used again. We’re not there yet, but more companies are finally getting the message about recyclability.

Samsung recently unveiled a origami-inspired printer casing design made entirely from cardboard. The lie-flat design can be quickly folded into working shape–as strong as plastic and easier to recycle according to the designers.

Samsung Origami Printer

Image via Samsung

Made from a single piece of recycled, highly durable cardboard, the Origami printer concept goes from flat to 3D in a few quick steps. Although the entire casing is plastic-free, there are typical plastic and electronic components inside. So, while you could throw the casing in the trash, you’d still have to find a proper recycling facility for the guts. Still, less plastic is always a good thing.

According to Wired, the concept for the printer came from principal designer, Seungwook Jeon, who took inspiration from the convenient foldable boxes that you see at a donut shop. The Origami concept was just one of three Samsung printers recently recognized at the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards.

“In addition to the Origami, a printer called the Clip eschews screws in its construction, using clips instead to lock the Polyethylene plastic pieces (commonly used in kitchen containers) together,” reports Digital Trends. “A third concept, the Mate, is a customizable printer with colored panels that can be swapped out.”

“It is not easy to apply a cover to a product’s engine unit,” explained Juehyun Jung, a senior designer at Samsung, to Wired. “In addition to requiring knowledge about the part assembly sequence, there is the inconvenience of fastening a great number of screws.” All three printer concepts—the Clip, Origami and Mate—aim to simplify the manufacturing process and reduce customer cost with their own unique approach.”

Unfortunately, none of the printers are slated for commercial production at this time, although Samsung says there’s no reason why they couldn’t be mass-produced.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog