When you think of environmentally friendly electronics, a printer probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. After all, we’re talking about a device that indirectly kills trees and uses ink cartridges and toners that can’t be thrown out in your regular trash pick-up. But today’s printers are slightly greener. There are some that come with a duplexing feature that encourage users to print on both sides of the paper; and many will let you scan and e-mail a document if printing isn’t necessary. Printer makers are also picking up the tab for you to ship used cartridges for recycling. But Samsung may have leapt a few steps ahead in eco-friendliness with a working prototype printer called the Origami that’s made entirely out of corrugated cardboard.
As the name suggests, the Origami is a foldable piece of recycled, highly durable cardboard that the user assembles, which resembles a typical laser printer when formed, minus the plastic housing (although the inside contains your typical plastic printer parts). According to Wired, the concept for the printer came from principal designer, Seungwook Jeong, who was inspired by a box from a donut shop. The printer would be easier and cheaper to manufacture, as well. Because a lot of people treat printers as disposable peripherals, it’d be easier to recycle the printer (the cardboard, at least). Samsung says the Origami is fire and water-resistant.
The Origami is part of three printer concepts Samsung created for the 2013 International Design Excellence Awards. In addition to the Origami, a printer called the Clip eschews screws in its construction, using clips instead to lock the Polyethylene plastic pieces (commonly used in kitchen containers) together. A third concept, the Mate, is a customizable printer with colored panels that can be swapped out. None of the printer prototypes are currently headed for store shelves, although Samsung says there are no barriers for production.