UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

April 24, 2009

NEW MACHINE PRINTS WHOLE BOOK ON DEMAND

Currently there are 400,000 books ready to be be downloaded. Blackwell hopes that by summer, one million will be available. The machine, which resembles an industrial photocopier and printer, prints 105 pages a minute, or one book every five minutes or so.

Blackwell's aim is that the customer will be able to browse a catalogue in a kiosk next to the machine then press 'Make Book' and watch as their novel is created. First the cover is run off, then the pages are printed and collated.

The pages are then clamped and glue applied to the spine. In the final stage, the pages are stuck to the cover before being trimmed to size from A4. The completed book then pops out of a slot in the side of the machine.

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A 300-page out-of-print book would end up costing around $40-45, which is a bit pricey and will make people consider for awhile before pressing "print." But if someone really wants a hard copy book, it's not too expensive.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so exciting, I would love to get all my old favorites that are out of print, sometimes I buy them on amazon for too much money.

April 24, 2009 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

They're essentially edge-glued xeroxes. Very cheesy and fragile.

It might be an acceptable technology for a gotta-have book unobtainable in any other way and that won't be read much, but anyone who wants more than one such book would do better to buy a large-format laser printer and learn how to do one-off sewn-signatures binding by hand-it's not difficult.

April 26, 2009 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This technology has been available for more than a decade.

April 27, 2009 3:11 AM  

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