No toner cartridges necessary
EC: This Coffee Drip Printer Makes Caffeinated Works of Art 
Credit: Photo Courtesy of Ted Kinsman

Usually, the only time that you might get coffee on your paper is if you knock over your mug. But one intrepid engineer is taking this happy accident and turning it on its head with a coffee printer. The Coffee Drip Printer creates works of art by releasing tiny droplets of coffee across a canvas, one tiny bit of coffee at a time. Created by Ted Kinsman, an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Coffee Drip Printer uses a system that prints dots on a canvas to recreate photographs, images, and anything else you can throw at it. It's not dissimilar to the old dot matrix printers of yore, which created printouts by assembling dots in a pattern in order to reproduce images.

Kinsman's Coffee Drip Printer can create pointilist masterpieces not only with coffee, but with other colorful liquids as well. Want to recreate your likeness with beer? Go crazy. Rum? Sure, why not. So long as your medium of choice has a bit of color and is a thin liquid, the world is your canvas. And best of all, the Coffee Drip Printer can print low-resolution images in larger formats than typical printers, creating nearly endless options for future works of art.

The Coffee Drip Printer is unique for a few reasons: First, it is completely customizable. The user can alter the look of their printouts by changing the height from which the liquid drops onto the paper. Second, it is powered with an Arduino kit, which means its software runs on an open-source platform that opens the system up for software and hardware modifications for a wide array of other uses. And lastly, it's easy to make, as it's based on a simple x-y axis grid that moves the printer head across the page.

So if you're looking for a project to tackle this winter, creating your own Coffee Drip Printer might just be the thing to keep you busy during colder months. Plus, you can drink your ink as you print. Just think of how much you'll save on toner, and how much cold, stale coffee you'll put to good use. Make sure your walls are ready for all of the art they're about to hold.