Wedding proposals are just one of the many minefields you have to navigate on social media platforms, and Ivan Miranda isn’t making things any easier. He’s designed and built an autonomous printer that can draw messages in sand, so now’s probably a good time to brace yourself for an endless barrage of “will you marry me?” beach proposals clogging up your feeds.
Miranda’s sand printer uses techniques borrowed from the classic dot-matrix printers that were a hallmark of home publishing in the ’80s and ’90s.
An over-sized print heads travels back and forth between sets of large wheels that slowly roll the entire printer across the beach. As the print head moves, an etching tool lowers and raises to carve lines in the sand that eventually form longer messages.
It’s a slow process, especially for those of us who’ve become accustomed to speedy laser printers churning out multiple pages per minute. But the results are far more Instagram-friendly than trying to write an endearing message in the sand with a stick.