Sunday, April 26, 2009

Print a book in minutes

Imagine getting a copy of a novel at a bookstore even though it is out of stock! Well, it is now possible, thanks to a new machine which can print off any book for you in minutes just at the touch of a button, says a PTI report.

In fact, the innovation launched by popular book chain Blackwell, removes the need to order a hard-to-find novel, or the wait to buy one that has sold out, as it can print off any book from a vast computer database, the Daily Mail reported. Even out-of-print works can be printed off in minutes.

The Espresso Book Machine will also benefit aspiring novelists who can walk in to a shop with a CD of the work and have their book professionally printed in minutes, say its developers. The cost of buying a book will be generally the same as if it were in stock. The machine, resembling an industrial photocopier and printer, prints 105 pages a minute, or one book every five minutes or so.

"With the Espresso Book Machine you can order it and have it in your hand within a few minutes. Having books printed on-demand also reduces the carbon footprint and cuts down on the number that are pulped or sent back," Andrew Hutchings of Blackwell was quoted as saying.
In fact, Blackwell's aim is that the customer will be able to browse a catalogue in a kiosk next to the machine then press 'Make Book' and watch as their novel is created. First the cover is run off, then the pages are printed and collated.

The pages are then clamped and glue applied to the spine. In the final stage, the pages are stuck to the cover before being trimmed to size from A4. The completed book then pops out of a slot in the side of the machine.

"Companies, such as Amazon, have been offering a very competitive service but you still have one or two days to wait from ordering the book until it arrives," Hutchings said, adding a 300-page out-of-copyright book will cost 30 pounds.

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