The Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has just developed a new kind of printer that makes it easy for us to use the same paper over again. Their erasable toner allows one sheet of paper to be reused 5 times, slashing paper usage by 80%.
Their printer on the market this past June can fax (important in Japan and Israel!), scan and copy documents, and its erasable blue toner section also includes a special unit that can remove the toner from the paper. Hurray!
Erasing the toner works much in the same way as erasable pens where heat and pressure removes the toner on a page that has been printed. It’s a great feature for a quick printout of emails and drafts. I know I like to read hard copies of drafts to find spelling and grammar mistakes. But I also know I am just going to throw it in the trash just after using it.
The device will reduce the cost of paper usage. And while the device is not a new concept to Toshiba, this one may work. In 2013 they released a product that could erase paper but needed customers to buy 2 additional devices in order for it to work.
In a statement, Bret Davies, general manager of Toshiba Australia and New Zealand’s electronic imaging division, said that “Toshiba has recognised that staff are more environmentally conscious, but with productivity pressures, need to be able to print quickly and effortlessly without the need to be away from their desks for too long.”
“Combining the erasable printing technology into one device makes this unique technology more accessible to businesses and gives users time saving benefits, particularly in smaller offices that often have space constraints,” added Davies.
Similarly in paper, rapid prototyping of devices means repeated circuit engineering and circuit replication. While you can’t erase circuitboards and use them again, if they are done smartly in prototype stages you won’t have to design them again for a long time.