Ink love

Kaala- Printer contraption that runs on soot from pollution for updates

Black printing ink is one of the most consumed products in the industry. Most of this printing ink is produced in factories with complex chemical procedures. Companies like HP/Canon make 70 percent of their profits by selling these cartridges at 400% margin.

This is not an attempt to win over the pollution. Just a minor itch that led me to build something cool from observations arising from nostalgia of the days back in India.

There’s so much soot/pollution around us, esp. in crowded cities. What if the same could be repurposed to generate ink for printers?

Rubbing alcohol+oil substrate+soot= lowtech non-uniform ink

For printing we assembled a  Nicolas’ ink shield with arduino interfaced with our Soot-catcher pump design. This shield allows you to connect a HP C6602 inkjet cartridge to your Arduino turning it into a 96dpi print platform. It only uses 5 pins which can be jumper selected to avoid other shields.

For the project we had to widen the holes of the cartridge to let the ink out, since the size of the particles in our ink is much larger than the fine industrial ink.

Nostalgia 0 – Just after you’re born. ( Suggested by Kunal)

If you’re born in India chances are that your grandma will take some steps to protect you from wicked spirits by smudging kajal onto your eyes. The technique to make kajal is old. Its carbon deposited from burning a low fidelity oil.(mustard etc.)

Nostalgia 1- Getting around

I was once day dreaming about the awesome days we spent back in Bikaner, a small city in the west of Rajasthan. It reminded me of the heat, travelling in sweat inducing autorickshaws while we used to do our experiments with building our Multi-touch table with low tech techniques. The month of June there was full of sweat, with unburnt smoke rising from unending tur-tur-ing of autorickshaws blackening our skin.

Next phase (Thanks Rahul Motiyar and dirtydevil for the tipoff)

– Design the carbon separator using capacitive plates. The air comes in with a lot of dust most of which dust and other particles. The powdery black soot separated from rest is what we’re interested in. This principle is used in Chimneys to reduce the carbon particles injected into the atmosphere.