Skip to main content

This $100 printer isn’t much bigger than the ink cartridge on your clunky old one

What if a printer could fit in a pocket and print on almost any surface? That’s the question that has more than 12,000 backers pledging over $1 million to push the PrinCube from prototype to production. Less than 3 inches on the longest side, the PrinCube is a one-line color mobile printer. Startup TheGod Things says the palm-sized printer is the smallest mobile color printer yet.

PrinCube is a handheld printer — rather than feeding a sheet of paper into a printer, the user moves the PrinCube across the paper one line at a time. Because the printer sits on the surface instead of using a paper tray, the PrinCube can print on more surfaces than just paper, including cardboard, leather, metal, plastic, fabric, wood, textured surfaces, and even skin for a custom temporary tattoo.

The PrinCube prints out one line — up to .56 inches — at a time. A multiline feature allows users to create 9.8 feet of content, separated into individual lines by the movement of the printer. An ink cartridge lasts long enough to print on more than 415 A4-sized pages.

The color inkjet printer connects with a PrinCube app using Wi-Fi to create designs and send them to the printer on the go. Sliding the printer across the surface prints the pattern. 

While not the first printer to take a tiny form factor by sitting on the paper itself and printing one line at a time, the PinCube is the first color printer of its kind and is also the lightest color printer yet, the startup says. The printer measures 2.8 by 2 by 2.7 inches and weighs about 5.6 ounces.

The PrinCube uses a single cartridge and is launching with a standard ink that washes off with soap and water and a semipermanent solvent-based ink that washes off with alcohol and similar solvent cleaners. The printer charges through a USB Type-C port, with a battery life rated for six hours of continuous printing.

TheGod Things, based in both New York and Shenzhen, China, has already raised more than $1.8 million on Indiegogo for production. If production is successful — watch out for the pitfalls — early backers can get the PrinCube for pledges starting at about $100. Ink cartridges are $29 for the standard and $39 for the semipermanent. The startup plans to start shipping the PrinCube before Christmas.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
DJI’s 2022 drone contest offers record prize pool
A photo taken from a drone.

Leading drone maker DJI has teamed up with the SkyPixel online community for its eighth annual photo and video contest.

Whether you’re an experienced drone pilot or an absolute beginner still finding your way, the contest is the perfect opportunity to send your machine skyward in a test of your creative skills.

Read more
How $80 of photo processing software magically saved me thousands
photo editing topaz labs denoise ai phil camera

It's a good time to be a photographer, whether you're just starting out and really don't have any idea what you're doing, or if you're a seasoned pro looking to try something new.

The gear is better than ever, making even entry-level bodies better than what the previous generation started out with. Software options make cataloging and processing your photos faster and less destructive, so you can revisit things for years and give old pics new life.

Read more
Sony A7 III mirorless camera is $300 off for Black Friday
Sony Alpha a7 III Mirrorless front view.

There are a lot of great Best Buy Black Friday deals going on right now, and whether you're looking for TVs, laptops, or even headphones, there's a little something for everybody. Of course, many folks may not realize that Best Buy has some fantastic deals on high-end photography gear, such as this Sony Alpha a7 III mirrorless camera. While it usually goes for a whopping $2,200, Best Buy had brought it down to $1,900, and while that relatively doesn't seem like much, you could always spend the $300 savings on a new lens.

Why you should buy the Sony Alpha a7 III
The Sony Alpha a7 III is a camera with so much tech that it might as well be three different cameras. It has excellent dynamic range, low-light performance, and high-speed performance, and the full-frame sensors make the images look absolutely stunning. Interestingly, the a7 III manages to do an excellent job at both low and high ISOs, the latter of which can go as high as 51,200 non-boosted, which, granted, adds a lot of noise, but noise reduction helps with that. As for the video, well, sadly, it's not as impressive, at least in terms of advancements in image quality, and while it can do 8-bit 4K at 30 frames per second, it's no longer ahead of the pack in that regard, like the Panasonic Lumix GH5 is with its 400Mbps 10-bit codec and 60-fps 4K.

Read more