Zero Ink Printing

Posted on February 7, 2007  Comments (3)

Zink – zero ink printing:

Dye crystals are embedded in the ZINK paper and are activated by heat from a ZINK printer. The crystals then colorize, producing high quality, long-lasting, durable, and affordable images.

The ZINK printing technology will enable a new mobile printing market. Later this year, ZINK Imaging’s partners will launch the first products using ZINK technology. These products are designed to take printing where it has never before been possible – into the pocket of every camera phone and digital camera user.

This is from a company press release but it sounds interesting. A digital son of Polaroid:

The Zink technology also uses heat, but the dyes are embedded into the paper itself — hence the company’s name, which stands for zero ink. Bonded inside the paper are three dye layers, colored yellow, magenta, and cyan, a shade of blue. Properly mixed, these three colors can produce the entire spectrum. Each of the dyes is in crystalline form, and each is formulated to melt into liquid at a certain temperature.

A Zink printer pulls the special paper under a thermal print head. This device has hundreds of heating elements that can each heat a tiny portion of the paper. The Zink software controls the print head, so that its heat pulses activate the correct dye colors and produce the finished photograph. A single photo can be cranked out in about a minute, at a cost of about 25 cents.

3 Responses to “Zero Ink Printing”

  1. Save Money on Printing at Curious Cat Investing and Economics Blog
    August 21st, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    you can save money and the environment… use the internet to find ways to protect yourself and the earth from such abuse…

  2. Sarah Fox
    March 18th, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    Yes but do they last? The problem with polaroid is that the photos fade and do not keep the clarity or a ‘normal’ developed photo over time. What stops the Zero ink fading?

  3. David V
    March 10th, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

    Very interesting technology; there’s now an interesting interview with the scientist behind Zink on their site: (the second video)

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