This New Printer Uses Water Instead Of Ink | The Mary Sue
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This New Printer Uses Water Instead Of Ink And We Would Like One Immediately Please

Seriously, ink cartridges are going to bankrupt us all.


Printer cartridges are both ridiculously expensive and harmful to the environment, making them terrible on many different levels; but still, not everyone likes to read on a screen. To solve this dilemma, Chinese scientists have developed a new type of ink for your printer – ink that isn’t actually ink at all. It’s water.

Jilin University chemistry professor Sean Zhang and his team were aware of the negative impacts mass printing can have on our world, adding to the energy crisis and global warming through massive deforestation. But in offices all over the world, people love to print their e-mails and all sorts of other useless things (over 40% of workplace documents are printed for one-time use only, and Americans can generate over 70 million tons of paper waste a year). The chemists approached this dichotomy by creating an all-new printing system, using water in lieu of ink on a special paper that changes color when wet.

Printer Test

Calling this new paper “water-jet rewriteable,” Zhang’s team created it with dyes that are invisible until exposed to moisture; the water opens closed, colorless molecules in the paper, triggering the coloration. And, even better, the paper could be printed on over and over again, since the words are fully eraseable.

So we’ll just be here, waiting for our awesome new invisible-ink paper. Any time now, guys. Any time.

(via Gizmodo Australia, images via Daniel Foster and Sean Zhang)

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Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.