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Friday, November 2nd, 2007 by | Filed Under: Printing Help

The other day, I saw something about a new product called Zink. It sounded pretty cool, but I wasn’t able to find much on it. Do you know anything about it? If so, please share!

You’ve come to the right place! Fortunately, I have heard of Zink and I do happen to know a few things about it. I actually saw something on WorldStart’s message board about this awhile back (thanks to user “sky") and at the time, I thought it looked interesting, but I didn’t have enough time to really check it out. So, when I received today’s question in my e-mail last week, I knew it was time to look into it a little bit more. And boy, am I glad I did! Zink is probably one of the most interesting concepts I have heard of in a long time. Alright, I know you’re all probably dying to know what the deal is behind this, so let’s give it a look see. Here we go!

First of all, Zink actually stands for Zero Ink and it is presenting the idea of being able to print your digital photos without any ink cartridges or ribbons. Now, I know that may seem impossible, but keep reading, because I think they really have something going here! The Zink Technology, as they like to call it, works with a specialized Zink printing device and the company’s own Zink Paper. Zink has gone through a lot trying to get this technology out to the public, including 100 patents, but I think they have finally made a breakthrough.

So, how does all of this work? Well, the key to the Zink Technology is the Zink Paper I mentioned before. I can’t think of a better way to explain it, so this is what Zink has to say about their paper: “It is an advanced composite material made with cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals embedded inside and a protective polymer overcoat layer outside." The crystals are actually called Amorphochromic crystals and they were finely tuned to be able to handle the color palette and image quality that full-color digital photos require. Now, before you print a photo, the crystals are colorless, so the Zink Paper will look like regular white paper. Once the printing starts though, the Zink device uses heat to colorize the crystals and print out beautiful digital prints. Here’s a diagram that may help you understand this process a little better:

Now, I know you’re probably wondering why you would even want to consider using the Zink way of printing. Well, allow me to give you a few reasons. First of all, the Zink Technology comes with a lot of versatility. For starters, without the need for ink cartridges and ribbons, the Zink printers are very small and because of that, you can take them anywhere with you. You can also use a Zink printer along with other electronic devices, including digital cameras, cell phones, etc. That way, you can transfer your photos from any device to the Zink printer and they’ll instantly turn into actual digital prints for you.

Along with that, Zink promises you durable prints. The Zink Paper is made very strong and it will protect your prints for a very long time. It is also very dry, so you don’t have to worry about your prints being ruined by sunlight, etc., unlike some of the film we use today. The Zink Technology is also very fast. When you’re printing your photos, they’re printed with one single pass at a very consistent speed, regardless of the size photos you’re printing. Also, the Zink Technology comes with no hidden costs, because the only thing you need is the paper.

As you can see, Zink has a lot of great ideas for the future of digital printing. They promise to continue creating new and even easier ways to do your printing, but until then, you can check out the Zink Technology for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can check out their Web site here. Just click on the links on the left side of the page to learn about every aspect of Zink.

Zink is a really neat concept and I think it will be the star of the next generation when it comes to digital printing. It probably won’t ever completely take over printing with ink, but it surely is a good start. Check it out today!

~ Erin

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