About this project
UPDATE: SNAPJET IS SUCCESSFULLY FUNDED!
See exciting stretch goals below!
SnapJet is an instant-film printer. Polaroid technology--for your smartphone.
SnapJet is the Easiest to Use
All you need to do is put your phone on top, and push a single button to print beautiful photos.
SnapJet Works with Any Smartphone
SnapJet is able to scan an image from any display, so you never have to worry about compatibility with your phone. But don't let SnapJet's simple interface fool you. We've also included an OLED display, USB, and BLE connectivity. So all the tinkerers and photographers out there can control exposures, hack, and reprogram the SnapJet.
SnapJet Delivers Amazing Quality
SnapJet's innovative optical system allows you to perfectly replicate the image on your smartphone's high quality display. Our image scanning and transfer system has a theoretical resolution limit of 1200 dpi. That means that if you upgrade your phone, SnapJet's print quality gets even better!
We created SnapJet because we wanted a truly high quality mobile printer that worked with our smartphones. We needed something that was vibrant, glossy, and artistic. We wanted a solution that was seamless and reliable.
After a little research, Polaroid film immediately jumped out as a way to create such a device. In particular, Fuji's Instax film had incredibly high resolution, and great color. After a few experiments, we realized that the light emitted from a smartphone could be used to develop a photo. Smartphone displays like iPhone's retina display have achieved amazing resolutions at 326ppi or higher, and they are all carefully color corrected. The light emitted from them could produce a beautiful print on instant film - if only there was a way to focus that light.
SnapJet combines vintage analog instant film and cutting edge fiber optic technology to do just that. It's a modern reinvention of a beautiful, artistic, and expressive medium. We can't wait to bring it to the world.
SnapJet uses real analog instant film
SnapJet uses Polaroid 300 or Fuji Instax Instant Film. It's a true analog instant film printer.
SnapJet is versatile. Use it to print custom on-the-fly business cards at your next meeting. Or bring it along with your scrapbook to a coffeeshop.
What's even more exciting are the creative possibilities of the Instax photos after you have printed them on SnapJet. You can scrub them under hot water to turn your photos into full transparencies. With a simple backlight and some LED's, you won't believe the creative possibilities:
Stretch Goal #1 - $175,000:
Stretch Goal #2 - $250,000
Instax Wide Format SnapJet for Tablets and Phablets
At 250K, we have another 100k of funding necessary for new injection molds to match the Instax Wide format. We'll also be able to machine larger format steel rollers to handle the wider film. Many people have asked for Instax Wide, and as soon as we hit this stretch goal, a new reward for the Wide Format Scanner will appear. People who have already pledged for the SnapJet can upgrade to SnapJet Wide by selecting this new pledge level. This reward will be shipped about 3-4 months after the Instax mini format. We are still finalizing details and will be testing a modified prototype. The price of the wider format will be available after a little more research and cost projection over the next few days.
The most amazing thing about SnapJet is how thin it is. It's like a miniature scanner and printer in one--it grabs the image right from your phone screen.
What makes SnapJet so unique is that it can do this without any lenses! There's no precious space wasted on focusing the image. We do this using a micro-structured optical polymer that scans across the screen and transfers the image to the instant film without any distortion.
What's a Micro-Structured Optical Polymer?
This is the heart of SnapJet. It's essentially a bundle of microscopic optical fibers fused together. This bundle, or array, of fibers can transfer an image from one surface to another as if the space between them didn't exist!
SnapJet is Open-Source
We'll release all of our designs and schematics to the community. You'll get our printed circuit board files, our CAD models, and anything you would need to build a fully working SnapJet. We want to empower our users to hack, re-program, and re-purpose SnapJet, even commercially.
We want open source hardware to be the new standard for physical devices. Consumers should know exactly what's inside their devices. No toxic chemicals or parts that are designed to wear out and force upgrades. We think open source is the only effective path to fighting planned obsolescence, and making innovation more democratic.
Open source hardware has the potential to make a huge impact on the quality and sustainability of the electronic devices we buy everyday. If small open source companies can match the price, polish, ease of use, and customer support that large proprietary hardware vendors have, we think everyone will win. This is the future that SnapJet is trying to bring about.
What's Next for SnapJet technology
Instead of keeping our plans secret and "unveiling" them when ready, we'd rather just tell everyone exactly where we're heading with SnapJet.
In the future, we envision an ultra slim case-printer for the smartphone. It would have a small swiveling flap which houses our optical scanner mechanism and a pull/release manual snap shutter:
Unlike other printing technologies, photographic processes predate modern electronics. The earliest photographic emulsions date back to the 1850's, which means they don't require motors, batteries, or integrated circuits. That means we can get this device down to less than 7 millimeters, and you never have to charge it. It would truly be a pocket analog film printer powered solely by light and chemistry.
There are many challenges to making such a device - but it all starts here with you, our backers. We hope you're as excited as us about the future possibilities for SnapJet's technology.
Why a $155,000 target?
To ensure that we deliver, we have obtained manufacturer quotes for every SnapJet component. The costs are broken down broadly above. Naturally the injection mold tooling is the largest expense, followed by the electronics board.
We've further broken down the above categories into individual components below. It is likely that we'll be able to find more cost effective suppliers than those currently listed, however these provide a reasonable basis for determining a ceiling on our funding.
We've also added risk mitigation factors to account for other variables; Kickstarter failed payments and issues fixing or remaking our injection mold tooling may incur unforeseen costs.
Since this is an open source project, we plan to disclose all manufacturers we use and expenses we incur along the way while making SnapJet. We will disclose everything about the project that we reasonably can, which includes financial information such as manufacturer invoices and our R&D expenses. We hope others can benefit from this information when launching their own projects. We'd also love any insight more experienced backers may have regarding lowering our costs, and our risk.
When Will I Get One?
The heart of our company is relentless engineering. We wanted to create a portable printer that didn't compromise quality or ease of use. We began designing and prototyping SnapJet a year ago and reached out to industry veterans Les Orton and Marc Palmano. Their combined experience of over 55 years in the industry have enabled us to create a great product.
Jason Jagdeo and Beth Jacques helped us shape SnapJet and reach out to anyone who may be interested in our project. Paradigm optics had the expertise and the facilities that enabled us to produce our novel optical system.
Proven Optical System
We have a working prototype--here is a modest, uncut demo of it below with no fancy camera work. This video explains the mechanism and discusses a few other technical points to keep things interesting while the photo is developing. We hope this gives you the confidence to back SnapJet!
In addition to our family & friends, we want to thank
- Heesoo Lee, for creating an amazing environment at worklab.cc for us to learn and innovate
- Rachel Garcia, Thu Tran, Emily Rosenfelt and of course our stars Malcolm & Bea for making our picnic scene extra great.
Mike Hill and the awesome AoSA Coffee Shop staff for letting us film our kickstarter video onsite.
- Vintage Wood Flooring Inc for letting us take photos of SnapJet against their distressed wood samples.
- Our friends at Blue Eagle Labs for giving us free access to their Kossel Clear 3D Delta printers. You guys are great!
- Our faithful family and friends for their understanding as we fail to return calls, emails, and miss events in the interest of a silly little gadget
- VueThru Inc. for providing us with sample Lenticular images and a sample kit for use with SnapJet in our demo video
- Alexandre Lopez for his creative commons licensed video content entitled "Malaysia - Natural Beauty"
- Leah Briese for helping us out with a great performance in our coffeeshop scene.
- The rest of team that produced our Kickstarter video: Producer/Director Jesse Knapp, Cinematographer Jeremy Royce, Editor Rylan Rafferty, and Sound Recordist David Griesinger.
Risks and challenges
After a year of working intensely on SnapJet, it's clear that we need your help to make it to the finish line. We will do our utmost to deliver SnapJets as promised, however our project has a number of risks that include:
1) Insufficient capital due to unknown expenses
To mitigate this item, we are personally committing to infusing an additional $20,000 into our campaign from savings, should the project ever require it. In the circumstance that this is still insufficient, we will seek additional outside funding to meet our deliverables.
2) Manufacturing delays
We have specified a long delivery time-frame of 1 year in the hopes that we will end up surpassing expectations. However there is no way to guarantee we will produce the SnapJet by our published date.
What we can guarantee is that we will be 100% accountable for every challenge that comes our way with frequent, no-nonsense updates. We are fully dedicated to SnapJet and will not stop until it is in your hands.
3) Minor changes to product dimensions based on design finalization
SnapJet's final dimensions may change slightly as we finalize our CAD designs for manufacturability. If there are space-saving optimizations that can be made, we will surely take them to reduce the device's footprint. And if the off-the-shelf BOM components we've selected become unavailable in bulk, we may also need to adjust our designs to compensate for alternative components.
Backing our project is not the same thing as buying an off-the-shelf SnapJet. It is about backing the idea that instant film is ready for fresh, exciting, and open innovation by anyone. We think SnapJet's optical system has some exciting possibilities and we need your help to share it with the world. However, if there are sudden unforeseen circumstances that affect the product's viability, we will be fully accountable to our backers. We will provide detailed reports of what issues exist and how we are addressing them. We will do everything we can to honor our commitment to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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