If man can achieve printing on human skin through tattoos, there isn’t a speck of a doubt that he can invent gadgets to print on any matter including water. Well, the water part hasn’t been achieved as yet, but, there are other improbable mediums that have been achieved so far like….
A printer has been built and integrated with a robot to print on ping pong balls with absolutely no human intervention. It basically contains a hopper that acts as ping pong ball storage. When the print command is executed, one ball is ejected from the hopper through an injecter. The ball is placed on a pedestal that rotates. A printer head duly prints on the ball as the pedestal rotates. When the printing job is complete, the ball is removed off the pedestal by its tilting action.
The printer head’s movement is limited latitudinally. As the ball rotates, the printer head moves to the right position and prints accordingly. The printer head used is Parallax, a Hewlett-Packard Specialty Printing Systems subset.
The Ping Pong Ball Printer project is headed by Vern Graner and assisted by Rick Abbott, both belong to the Robot Group.
Check out the video that shows the ping pong ball printer in action.