Why has printer technology stood in the same place for many years?

girlDog
girlDog

Why has printer technology stood in the same place for many years?

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@girlDog
same reaseon cameras do.
Not enough capitalism

idontknow
idontknow

Yea you would think by now consumer printers would be way more advanced, like an additional dimension or something.....oh wait

DeathDog
DeathDog

Ya. Why don't more people print stuff out and file it in metal filing cabinets?

And sexy secretaries could help file it

And come in here and take a memo girl heres some kneepads

likme
likme

@girlDog
Why fix what isn't broken? Average consumer just wants cheap, cheap, cheap. So the prices keep coming down, and a few gimmicks get tacked on to attract people. Meanwhile, office laser printers are slowly coming down in price, and nothing has really changed because there's no reason for it to change.

Yeah, they have more ram, and slightly beefier processors than previous iterations. So what? As long as they print quickly, accurately, don't jam, and are cheap, why care about anything else? Unless you have a particular need, like large high resolution posters, or specific ink types, there's not really any room for improvement.

SniperGod
SniperGod

@girlDog
Because if you buy a printer/scanner/fax/copier combo, you have to replace the whole thing when the printer breaks. It's expensive, and it fucks your desk up with the sheer weight.
If you buy a cheap printer that just prints A4 sheets on one side, it just sits there and prints A4 sheets, one side only, black and white or colour.

If you print a lot of shit, you have a laser printer and a company on call to send out someone to fix it when it breaks.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@SniperGod
If you print a lot of shit, you have a laser printer and a company on call to send out someone to fix it when it breaks.

Plus any sane company is going to have at least one spare one for standard printing. We have 8 for a small office.

Good printers are cheap. A few thousand dollars as a business expense is a drop in the bucket. If one breaks, oh no, the poor employee has to walk a few extra feet for a week. Just don't hire anyone so stupid they can't refill the paper tray, and tell people that if they print a lot at once, to make sure the tray is mostly full when they pick shit up.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

They have. We have 3D printers and CNC mills. Laser and inkjet printers don't really have room for improvement. There isn't really much to improve on, we have it down basically as good as it's going to get without making trivial improvements

hairygrape
hairygrape

@girlDog
REEEEE

THEY SAID I COULD PRINT ANYTHING BUT NOW MY ANIMATED GIF IMAGE DOESN'T PLAY WHEN I HIT THE PLAY BUTTON

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

Is there a reason we need printers more advanced than laser printers?

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

@girlDog

Because l33t haxorz don't use paper

Methnerd
Methnerd

@haveahappyday
This. those two technologies have opened up so many doors.

but also I think tablets have taken away some of the utility of consumer printers.

Time was when you wanted to read a report or document on the train or in the taxi home you'd print it out.

Now you can just pop a PDF on your iPad or Surface. And unlike a laptop it's the similar formfactor as a A4 sheet of paper.

I think the real change has been in commercial printing, not industrial, not consumer, commercial: have you noticed how little Vietmanese shops and Pharmacies nowadays have these massive plastic photo sheets covering them?
Just 16 years ago people were still resorting to hand painting shop windows, now it's these massive bright colour images so blown up you can see the JPEG artefacting.

RumChicken
RumChicken

This was just announced by HP. Smartphone-sized printer that doesn't need any ink - uses special paper instead

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

@RumChicken
Polaroid.
They've reinvented the Polaroid.

farquit
farquit

@Deadlyinx
For office gruntwork? No. Reducing costs further is hard. Most of the expense at this point is consumables like paper. All that's left is speed and quality, and both those are at the upper limits of where there's enough of a difference to care.

Non generic stuff though? Possibilities are endless.

Cad stuff has some crazy magical bullshit. We've got a printer that prints off of 8 foot wide rolls, can do 4800dpi, albeit very very slowly, and can neatly stack several hundred feet of paper without creasing it. We've printed full sized boats and building floorplans. The engineers can walk over stuff and properly visualize it with the builders, especially the welders, so they can discuss design changes to make it easier to construct, and properly space out the electrical clusterfucks that always crop up. VR tech is probably going to replace some of that soon since it's going to be cheaper, and has the added benefit of having a substantially lower chance of severing the the feet off of careless interns who don't follow instructions.

3D printing has a bunch of fascinating applications. There's printers that can print magnets with crazy field structures, so you can make magnets that function like springs without moving parts, or magnets that lock in various orientations that have different properties.

It's going to be really strange when 3D printers become capable of producing properly tempered and hardened metals. Besides the obvious ease of producing illegal firearms, which you can already sort of do with a bit of knowledge and a decent CNC machine, there's so many great designs that we just can't cheaply manufacture without 3D printing, provided we can do it at all.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

@BinaryMan
Plus any sane company is going to have at least one spare one for standard printing. We have 8 for a small office.

But not nearby.
Last time the printer broke down where I worked, I had to walk a quarter of a mile across the store to get at the next printer on the list.
Maybe your small office is oversaturated with cheap shitty laser printers.

farquit
farquit

Actually, they are pretty solid printers. Can handle 11x17, full duplex, and most of them are color. We do have a huge unit that can even do staples, punches and plastic bindings to print technical manuals and other monster documents.

Lots of good printers means that when shit inevitably breaks, we aren't waiting around, and it lets people print off 500 page documents without wasting other peoples time. Why cheap out on a few thousand dollars in hardware when you print a little under a million pages a year?

I've worked in places that cheap out on office supplies. It always ends up wasting huge amounts of time. It's not like you have to buy a bunch of new printers constantly either. They don't just go out of date overnight or anything. It's a one time expense. If you buy more, they last longer.

viagrandad
viagrandad

What is a good printer for truck drivers? I'm on my 3rd printer in a year. All the constant bouncing and shakes fucks up the ink and other internal components. And little portable usb scanners ain't worth a shit

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

@viagrandad
Do you need to print full sheets, or are little things fine?

Thermal printers, like the ones you see for receipts, in particular lotto tickets, are very durable. Very few moving parts.

If you need standard letter size, and aren't printing stuff with lots of images, get an old HP laserjet 4000/4050 series. You can find them on craigslist/ebay for under 100 dollars. A single toner cartridge will easily last you 8-10,000 pages. Made with authentic 90s yellowed creme plastic. They don't handle large documents with tons of images and shit well because they don't have the ram, but they are workhorses. I've seen them in everything from office environments to mechanics shops covered in oil and sawdust.

The 4100 series has better processors and more ram, and can handle most documents. The 4100s can also print at 1200 dpi at full speed. The 4000/4050s can only do 1200 at half speed. Otherwise it's 600.

Whatever you get, make sure they have an N at the end of the name for network capable so you can use ethernet. Otherwise your going to be hooking up with serial ports or USB adapters and that gets clunky.

If you need color.. well you're kind of fucked. Durable things are simple things, and color printers aren't simple.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

@RumChicken
neat, HOWEVER, id imagine you wouldnt want to place the photos near a magnet

TechHater
TechHater

@girlDog
consumers ran out of money

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