Stack is a pretty wild printing concept.

The printer is placed on top of a tall pile of paper…

…and then…

…it chews its way down.

The printed matter just spits out on top.

Interestingly enough, Stack uses the same wheel-feeling mechanisms that conventional printers use to snag a single sheet of paper at a time.

But in Stack’s case, these wheels have been repositioned to the bottom of the printer to eat paper from above.

In fact, Stack can eat its way all the way down to the last sheet.

The project is a reminder that industrial design can still have whimsy.

Or at least, it’s proof that there’s no decent reason why, in the mighty year of 2013, we should still be loading 20 pages into an inkjet at a time.

Co.Design

Never Load Paper Again With This Smarter Printer

Just place this printer right on top of a big stack of paper, and it’ll handle the rest.

Twenty years ago, inkjet printers seemed like magic—they printed so many colors, so fast! Now they’re that necessary evil for producing concert tickets or handling that one thing in your life that you still have to sign and actually mail in somewhere. No doubt, it’s not helping that printers are crafted with a bottom-barrel industrial design that offers no joy yet only manages a 97% I-won’t-eat-your-paper rate.

But Stack, a diploma project by Mugi Yamamoto, is a printer that thinks beyond the conventional paper tray. Rather than asking you to load and reload small stacks of paper into the machine, you simply place Stack right on top of a mountain of paper, where it’ll munch its way down the pile down to the last sheet.

"The main aim was to reduce the volume of the printer and create a more interesting interaction," Yamamoto tells Co.Design. "[But] the endless paper tray is very useful because you don’t need to refill papers while printing large quantities."

Yet Yamamoto doesn’t stop there—he goes so far as to call his creation an "astonishing object," and while that might sound a bit like bragging, it’s actually a nuanced description for the experience of using his printer. Stack isn’t just a designer’s daydream; it’s a functioning prototype. And as you watch that printer chomp through this unconventionally convenient process, there’s certainly an air of double-take-inducing whimsy. Will the printer tip the paper tower over? Will the printer just shoot all of my papers into the air? Any minor tragedy seems possible, which inherently makes Stack’s basic printing feel like an astonishing triumph each and every moment it works.

Onlookers have no idea that Yamamoto’s breakthrough is that he’s simply moved the conventional sheet-feeding wheels on the paper tray to Stack’s bottom—where they are less visible and thereby more magical—but effectively serve the same function as they always have. All of this said, Yamamoto admits that he could use the help of the major printer manufacturers to refine his product for mass production, and he’s no doubt hoping that that company reaches out to him to make that happen.

See more here.

[Hat tip: swissmiss]

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4 Comments

  • Paul Bunyar

    This looks like a great idea. I would love to see a video of this printer working. I do have a hard time believing that it would work with that tall tower of paper seen in the photos. But a minimum stack, I would think, would be ver doable. So, I'm from Missouri. Show me. Post a video.

  • Jose Baldizon

    Great flippin' idea. Of course, the price has to be competitive, papers shouldn't jam, and you shouldn't have to align the tower of papers perfectly because people don't want to do work.

    If the product offers these conveniences, and the marketing team conveys it, then this product should be gold.

  • Mike Reddy

    Interesting, but piles of paper are not the most stable structures around. Something need to extend from the bottom of the printer to stabilize the paper and then collapse once the paper is used.

  • beulah752

    what Travis said I'm amazed that any one can make $9953 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m