Quick Books – On Demand Publishing – The Espresso Machine

A very interesting project called the Espresso Book Machine as just been publicly launched. Watch the video embedded above.

It’s rather interesting; it makes every content creator an on-demand publisher, much like Lulu and of greater interest is what it can do for a library network. Assume one machine per library network and access to a digital repository of open sourced/access literature. Changes the game, doesn’t it?

From their FAQ:

1.How Does The Espresso Book Machine Work?

  1. A black and white duplex laser printer prints the pages of the book. The text and images are correctly located so that all pages will be properly aligned and centered when the book is trimmed to its intended size. The printer uses standard letter or A4 sized paper stock.
  2. As the pages emerge from the laser printer, they are collected in an accumulator. This device helps ensure that all pages are properly aligned.
  3. While the pages of the book are being printed, a color laser printer produces a full color image on a single piece of large, heavy-weight paper stock that is used to form the book cover. This printed tabloid or A3 sheet is placed directly onto a binding table.
  4. Once the pages of the book are complete, they are positioned vertically by the accumulator and placed in a carriage. This carriage moves the book along the length of the machine as it is transformed from a collection of single pages into a fully bound book.
  5. Just behind the black and white laser printer, there is a jogger. Here the pages are placed on a vibrating platform that further ensures that all of the sheets of paper are properly aligned and square.
  6. Next, the carriage pulls the bottom edge of the pages, which will end up being the spine of the book, over a mill. This roughens the edge of the pages to help ensure that when glue is applied that it will adhere fully to each page.
  7. After being milled, the bottom edge of the book is moved over a glue pot, where a rotating wheel is used to apply a thin layer of heat activated glue over the entire spine of the book.
  8. The carriage then moves the book over the binding table where the cover is waiting. The binding table uses pneumatics and electrical clamps to press the cover into the book from three sides. This produces a traditional “perfect bound” book.
  9. The carriage then transfers the bound book to the shearing mechanism at the trimming station. In the shearing process, a single carbide blade trims the top edge, bottom edge and outside edge of the book. Trim sized are infinitely variable between roughly 8 1/2″ x 11″ and 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.
  10. The completed perfect bound book is released by the machine – still warm – ready to read. As we say “Hot off the press!”

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