I need a printer small enough to fit inside a hollowed-out door...
January 2, 2009 4:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to fit a printer inside a hollowed-out door. Any ideas about really small printers? Like, ones that print on A5 paper or smaller? USB would be great, otherwise, open to ideas.

I want to do this so that people can email notes to a room and it will look like they the note has just been 'slipped under the door'...
posted by basil1 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
While this might not be perfect for you, try searching for portable photo printers, like the Polaroid PoGo and the like.
posted by jedrek at 6:13 AM on January 2, 2009

If it's a thickish door, there's the Canon PIXMA iP90v - it's a "laptop printer" which might help you google up some other products.
posted by Mike1024 at 6:13 AM on January 2, 2009

Brother does a series of thin printers that do diffferent sizes (up to A6),and are less than an inch thick and can hold up to 50 sheets. They are called the MW series, and some offer Bluetooth or USB conenctions. They are somewhat expensive, though. Other than that, you might want to look at a small photo printer that you could arange where the printer is fixed to one side of the door and the paper path makes it look like it was pushed under the door. Gravity could work here: you mount the printer up on the back of the door, and the print falls out and into a slide that ends up under the door.
posted by baggers at 6:15 AM on January 2, 2009

Best answer: How much you have to spend? The Seiko DPU-3445 is a bit expensive, maybe cheaper on ebay. But it prints on 4-inch wide rolls of thermal paper. I think thermal printer is probably what you need to save space.
posted by Iteki at 7:09 AM on January 2, 2009

Best answer: Maybe you should mount the printer on the wall above the door ( kind of looking like an air conditioner you know) and have a chute integrated into the door (or on one side with a false door skin hiding it) that drops out the printed page onto the floor. Flare the chute at both ends to prevent jams. Also make it bigger than the paper enough to slide freely down but not enough that the paper could rotate diagonally to get jammed.

I think that the real problem with putting it inside the door is not the size in the end but that it will get bashed/tweaked/misaligned etc. every time someone open and shuts the door. Plus hollow core doors are made like crap these days and it would take tons of reinforcement etc. to mount it in there.
posted by ijustwantyourhalf at 7:26 AM on January 2, 2009

Best answer: cool idea. I think your best bet is to use a printer intended for embedded applications that prints off a roll (think of a receipt printer), and slices off pieces once its done printing. It took a while for for me to find the right search terms, but googling "printer mechanism" seems to get you on the right track.

I bet you could find something used.
posted by Good Brain at 9:26 AM on January 2, 2009

Polaroid's Pogo printer is small enough, uses battery power, no ink, and can accept images wirelessly from a bluetooth connection, but it only holds 10 sheets of paper, and those sheets cost 40 cents each.

I think we need more information.
posted by cockeyed at 10:14 AM on January 2, 2009

Response by poster: You guys totally rule. Thermal printers are exactly what I need.

I found basic instructions about how to connect a thermal printer to a computer via Arduino, here's a link:


Thanks again!
posted by basil1 at 1:22 AM on February 2, 2009

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