Remember the excitement of snapping a picture and waiting for the self-developing film to reveal your photo? Unfortunately, the rise of digital photography has rendered traditional instant cameras an expensive hobby. An MIT-trained electrical engineer has invented a unique instant camera, called PrintSnap, which uses inexpensive receipt paper to capture photos.

Michael Ciuffo ’11 conceived of the PrintSnap as a quirky, inexpensive alternative to traditional instant cameras. Instead of film that can cost about $3 per photo, PrintSnap prints its photos on thermal paper—the same paper that’s used to print receipts. He estimates that each photo taken with the PrintSnap will cost $.003.

With its wooden case, Ciuffo’s prototype camera resembles a clock radio. The photos produced by the PrintSnap are far from digital quality, but have a grainy charm that will appeal to fans of unique prints. In a tongue-in-cheek video, Ciuffo demonstrates additional low-tech features, such as cropping (step one: find a pair of scissors).

Plans for manufacturing the PrintSnap are in development. For more information, visit Ciuffo’s website.

Read more about PrintSnap and see photos at

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