Zink about Zink

Zink hAppy Printer

Zink hAppy Printer

Zink is in the news with the Home Shopping Network and others offering zink-based printers and even a camera incorporating Zink Technology. At about $230 for the hAppy printer and $260 for the Polaroid Z340 camera, these products are not inexpensive. To produce a photo, these products use heat activated dyes with each color layer activated at a different temperature. Cyan forms at 230°F (110°C), magenta at 302°F (150°C), and yellow at 392°F (200°C).

Unlike traditional photography nothing is removed from the print during processing; consequently the dye precursors that are still present in the paper may discolor the photo over time. Zink is more similar to thermal fax paper than it is to other printing processes.

Unfortunately, at this time, neither Zink nor other laboratories have released permanence data for Zink prints; consequently I do not recommend it for projects such as scrapbooks requiring some level of permanence.

Polaroid Z340 Digital Instant Camera

Polaroid Z340 Digital Instant Camera

The  camera does, however, look like a fun product, and I would love to play with one sometime. I would also love to pull the camera or printer apart and see how it works, so if you have one you are willing to sacrifice in the name of science, please let me know.

About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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4 Responses to Zink about Zink

  1. Great info…sorry I won’t be buying one and contributing to your curiosity by letting you take it apart although I am curious as well ( but not that curious!) I was laughing when you said that thinking that maybe everything at your house when you were growing up was dismantled in the name of science! I have a grandson who does that sometimes!

  2. Thanks for this! I was just looking them up this morning and thinking I didn’t want one.

  3. Louanna says:

    Thanks Dr. Mark. We value the time and knowledge you share with us about to be former CMC’s. God bless!!

  4. Thanks Dr. Mark. We’re working on it!!!! You are our best resource!!!

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