What if you are the IT guy trying to keep the space station up to date? For starters you can’t just go to your local store to grab whatever is on sale.
The HP Printers which were 20 years old have just gotten upgraded (read our previous blog) To summarize, the printer must work in zero gravity and printing problems where excess ink cannot leak or float and be ingested by astronauts.
An HP Envy printer was chosen as the base model but to reduce weight a number of components were removed, including the faxing, scanning and copying abilities. And, because the space station generates its own solar energy, all of its devices must use the least amount of power as possible.
The printer’s paper handling needed special parts. HP decided to replace the normal stuff we use on Earth with some that are more robust for zero-gravity. Using an advanced material suitable for space, HP 3D-printed the new parts and made enough to upgrade 50 printers. This will allow NASA to maintain these printers, possibly, until 2028.
What about you? Does your printer need an update?
It seems as if the biggest problem with printers these days continues to be the cost of ink. Their former users tell us: “It still works; it’s just out of ink.”
For many, the cost of replacing ink is more expensive than just buying a new printer.
Printers have become similar to razors. You can cheaply buy a new razor that comes with a blade. But buying replacement blades is expensive.
Most people don’t want to “waste” things. So, we are going to keep that printer or razor going as long as we can.
With printers, you often replace print heads and ink at the same time, meaning the device will keep running for a long time as long as the operating system you are using still has drivers. The expense per page, however, seems to keep going up.
We still believe that laser printers are your best bet for value if you calculate the cost per page. With a black-and-white laser printer for everyday needs, a toner cartridge that costs around $100 can last four or five years if you don’t print very much. Don’t always go for the cheapest printer but you should consider how much you print on a monthly basis. Review the cost of toner and its page yield.
While the space station might be able to last years between upgrades, it’s almost impossible for us on earth to go that long without an update. Thankfully we have a lot of options that can always get something fit for you. If you need some suggestions on what is the best printer for your needs feel free to contact us and we will be more then happy to help you.