When we first heard of Inkless in 2016 the startup that came from TU Delft and wanted to print without ink, I was already scared. Afraid that an investor would emerge and that the patents and ideas that the startup had bought would be so that nothing else would happen.
Nice, because the idea of the startup (printing by carbonizing paper, ie burning it hyperlocally) is still very relevant. The investment is meant to make printing fast enough to compete with current solutions. If they succeed, they will continue, but then a product must still be made. A new round of investments at the end of this year should provide the cash to do so.
Inkless mainly wants to go after the packaging industry: barcodes, shipping labels, product codes and ‘good-to’ labels are all still done with ink and a lot of (environmental) profit can be achieved there. Since sustainability is becoming an increasingly important aspect for large companies, this is very interesting. But that only steps one. If that product becomes reality, Inkless also wants to make printers that we can all use at home or at the office. So far, there is still a long way to go. Hopefully, the product will become reality before the startup is overtaken by international competitors.