Handheld inkjet printer applies color graphics to all sorts of surfaces
It's all very well and good, printing color graphics onto sheets of paper. However, what happens if you want to print them onto a wall, a piece of wood, an item of clothing, or anything else that can't be fed through a desktop printer? Well, that's where the PrintBrush XDR comes in.
Developed by Stockholm-based PrintDreams, the XDR is a handheld inkjet printer that wirelessly communicates with a smartphone app via Wi-Fi. Full-color graphics are created on that app, and then transmitted to the PrintBrush. A USB cable can alternatively be used to transfer data, plus up to four image files can be stored in the XDR's own internal flash memory, so it can later be used without a smartphone (or tablet or laptop) present.
To print the graphics, users simply drag the device across "almost any surface," going either left-to-right or right-to-left. Utilizing an optical sensor and an inertial measurement unit, the XDR determines the direction and speed of movement, printing the graphics so that they come out the right way around regardless.
It should be noted that the PrintBrush presently can't print full-page graphics, although that capability is in the works. What it can do is print up to three horizontal "swaths" of graphics in one go, with a small gap between each swath.
The device is powered by an 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery, which should reportedly be good for about 4,000 imprints per charge. One ink cartridge ought to last for around 5,000 half-inch by 4-inch (13 by 102 mm) swaths.
Should you be interested, the PrintBrush XDR is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of SEK 2,166 (about US$240) will get you one, when and if they reach production. We're told that the planned retail price is around $299. The device can be seen in use, in the video below.
And if you'd like to spray-paint digital graphics over larger areas, the successfully-Kickstarted SprayPrinter 2 may be more to your liking.