This Message Will Self-Destruct In 5 Seconds

Good morning, Mr. Hunt. Your mission, should you choose to accept it… blah blah blah… This post will self-destruct in five seconds.

This is [Diego Trujillo Pisanty’s] latest project dubbed “This Tape Will Self-Destruct“, and it’s a fully functional small scale printer, whose media catches on fire immediately after printing. Beyond the obvious Mission Impossible connection, you could also think of it as real-life snapchat — just throw a webcam on there and some faxing capabilities…

Apparently [Diego] was inspired to build this machine after the BBC reported that a Kremlin security agency was upgrading the office with typewriters in attempt to reduce privacy leaks from computer hardware, in fear of WikiLeaks and [Edward Snowden].

It is an art piece (the horror!) but is actually quite the piece of hardware. So unfortunately, like most art pieces, the artist doesn’t give much detail on how it works, because that would ruin the illusion of the project… or something. Still, it’s an amusing project. Video below.

[via Reddit]

22 thoughts on “This Message Will Self-Destruct In 5 Seconds

  1. Ah that BBC report. They took a requisition for a couple typewriters and all of sudden thought that the Russians were replacing their computers to prevent them from getting hacked. The truth was that the Russians just needed to replace some already existing typewriters that were used to fill out those multilayer carbon paper forms governments are so fond of.

  2. the purple smudge and granular/wet appearance of the fire-starter would suggest a glycerine and potassium permanganate, the spray-mount bottle is probably to fixate the powder, and later have the paper stick to itself. It seems to be some sort of thermal paper, as the paper stains even before it chars.

  3. Why the condensending tone because it’s an art piece? It’s a cool build, so whats wrong with it?
    People without an engendering background can build nice stuff as well. Get over it.

    1. I was making a lighthearted joke about it — if you notice I’m usually one of the only writers here who even covers these “art projects”, and as such many readers have, erm, constructive feedback in the comments.

      I personally love projects like this, which is why I shared it.

  4. it’s cool how it seems to do some sort of chemical reaction fire starter on the paper itself, but seems like it would be much easier to just have an igniter of some kind on the output end.

    1. I was just thinking this. What an overly long and complicated way to put a small piece of paper on fire.

      Also, it doesn’t exactly catch on fire immediately after printing. More like 2 minutes 30 after. No actual function in this device other than the “that’s cool factor”, and let me sum this up by saying it’s not surprising considering it’s an art project.

      *runs away*

  5. Seems about as effective as just spraying fire on it at the end :-P Considering the way that it sprays, paints and cuts…

    I wonder if it’d be possible to pre-coat the paper with something that, once thermally printed, would only last 10-15 seconds before catching on fire. Would make the system significantly easier.

  6. There’s an easier way to print something that can only be read temporarily.
    Thermal print onto thermal paper, allow the message to stand still for a set amount of time and then pull the printout through a heated slot or secondary thermal print head to black it all out.

  7. I’m not an expert at building self-destructive message printers, but in my opinion it seems a bit overcomplicated, but this way it requires a lot more engineering skills and therefore it’s a lot more awesome!

  8. Fax and Receipt paper works great.

    One can’t even read the receipts after 9 months anyways.

    After the FAX prints it continues to the bottom loop and has a nice long strand of nichrome wire to stay super hot after it passes that wire the entire doc will be unreadable.

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