I recently read about De Laude Scriptorum, the book written about the art of medieval manual transcription which, ironically, was one of the first publications produced using the printing press.
Intrigued anew by the concept of printing I’ve been thinking about the many different techniques for saving ink…since it’s ink sales upon which the enormous computer printer business is based.
So, why use ink at all? Today’s invention is to create a monochrome printer which is more like a sewing machine. The print head drives a needle to create holes in the paper, the density of which corresponds to the required grey level. Using a matrix of tapered needles, each could be driven through the paper to a different distance, thus creating holes of varying diameter (corresponding to local greyness).
To view the ‘printing’ slip a black sheet of paper under the one being read. This makes use of only one side of the paper but there is no ink cost and the paper itself could be more effectively recycled without having been inked (one could even print conventionally, with ink, on both sides of paper that had been perforprinted previously).