The PenJet is a printer that prints with a pen. The PenJet project is a collaboration of Rietveld Academie students Jaan Evart, Julian Hagen and myself. The project has originated from the workshop “Uncommon Usage” given by Jürg and Urs Lehni. During this workshop we experimented with the movement of printer heads. This resulted in a printer which could play a mini harp and another printer which showed the movement of the print head using an attached pen. In time we got more control over the movements so we could experiment with type. An adapted typeface for the PenJet emerged. Even adapted pictures were “printed” in several layers.
It commonly applies that the new (im) possibilities of a new technique influence the design process. This was also the case for the PenJet. Therefore it was decided to continue the project outside this workshop. Every brand of printer has its own manner to move and it’s own characteristic rhythm. The Penjet shows the handwriting of the machine, some fine and straight, others messy and fluent. Also the quality settings of the printer (presentation/normal/concept) influence the way the lines are drawn. The result has both the imperfections of handwriting and the preciseness of a machine. Every page is unique because the printed result remains unpredictable. The PenJet prints random connection lines while there’s nothing to print. On the final exam exhibition there was a print workshop arranged where could be experimented.