Samsung has created the ultimate eco-friendly PC peripheral, a foldable laser printer called the Origami which has a case made entirely out of recycled cardboard.
Spotted by Wired, the Origami was recently feted at the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards for an "eco-conscious" design that allows for the printer's exterior to be "recycled to produce more paper for printing" when the system itself goes kaput.
To create the Origami, Samsung designers Min-chul Kim, Sang-in Lee, and Seung-wook Jeong had to "rethink" the complex architectures used to build printers, which use hard plastic components and hinges to ensure durability and effective functionality, according to an Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) article highlighting the cardboard printer.
The team was able to utilise an origami-based, sequential approach to folding specially cut cardboard pieces to "break away from the complicated hinge structure of traditional desktop printers while still offering uncompromised printer functionality," according to the IDSA.
What's more, the Origami boasts "a level of durability that is as high as that provided by plastic exteriors."
The laser printer isn't entirely made out of cardboard, of course. Once the exterior is folded into a box-like shape, a standard printing engine made up of metal, plastic, and rare-earth mineral components is placed inside.
And it's not clear if the South Korean tech giant is planning to produce the Origami in volume or if the design will wind up as little more than a one-off demonstration. Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokesperson did indicate to Wired that two other printer designs that earned honours at the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards — the screw-free Clip and the colourful, customisable Mate — were more likely candidates for volume production.
The spokesperson also told Wired that the Origami is "both fire and water resistant," but the tech site remained dubious and further questioned the claims of overall durability for a printer made of cardboard, no matter how cleverly designed.
Given the capriciousness of printers made from much more sturdy materials, and the rages they so frequently send us into, we'd say we have agree.