• Facebook

    500 K / likes

  • Twitter

    1 M / followers

PrintSnap Wants to Bring Back the Instant Picture Using Dirt Cheap Receipt Paper



Instant photos are fun and were at one time super popular, but they aren’t exactly cheap. Shooting with new Impossible Project film costs about $3 per shot these days. But what if you could shoot casual instant snapshots on a physical medium for less than a penny per shot?

That’s the idea behind the PrintSnap. It’s an instant camera that captures photos on standard receipt paper.

The project is the brainchild of Michael Ciuffo, a Seattle-based electrical engineer who graduated from MIT in 2011. He made this short video introducing the camera:

For the past three months he has been working at building a new camera that can print fun shots onto thermal paper — the same kind used by receipt printers. It’s a special paper that has a chemical coating that changes color when exposed to heat, and it’s super cheap: Ciuffo estimates that each shot will cost just $0.003.

In other words, for the price of one Impossible Project shot, you’ll be able to capture 1,000 photos using his camera. Here are sample photos captured using the PrintSnap:









Of course, photo quality won’t be great, but the camera’s 640×384 resolution (in 3×1.75 inches) is “more than high enough to capture your precious memories on real, physical paper.” It’s a camera designed to let you freely create physical prints without having to worry about doing damage to your pocketbook.

The PrintSnap can store 50 feet of standard 2 1/4-inch thermal paper (available wherever office supplies are sold), allowing you to capture up to 150 photos before having to change your “film.”

Ciuffo’s current prototype of the camera — which weighs 1.45 pounds and measures 3.25×6.75×3 inches — is crafted out of walnut wood, but he plans on selling a cheaper plastic version of the camera.



Over on his website, Ciuffo has documented the creation process of his camera through a series of in-depth articles.

If you’re interested in purchasing a PrintSnap, keep your eyes open for a Kickstarter campaign that will allow you to pre-order one while funding the project (there’s a mailing list you can sign up for on the website). The camera itself won’t be as cheap as the film, though: Ciuffo says that the wooden prototype camera cost $200 in parts alone.

Printsnap [ch00ftech via Reddit]