big printer
July 30, 2010 9:47 PM   Subscribe

i plan to make a very big, normal resolution printer from an arduino and some bits and pieces. What should i use for the print head and how?

Sometimes people ask questions here and the best answer is something like: 'you should ask this question on'

knowing that, i would be [almost] as happy to receive advice on the optimum forum for my question, as I would to get an actual answer.

I have a very long flat screen printing table, I am planning to make an XY rig to move some kind of printing head backward and forwards across the table so i can print directly onto paper and materials.

Controlling the motors I can figure out, but I would like a nudge in the right direction to explore what i can use for my print head, and how I program the print head, so I can get from pdf to ink on my substrate.

single colour will suffice. I am looking to achieve the kind of resolution you would normally expect of a printed page.

I'm leaving lots of excessive detail about why I want to do this out of the question, but yes I really do want to do this
posted by compound eye to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you're making a big plotter, you might need an XYZ rig. XY to move the pen on paper, and Z to lift the pen up or down. If you use a marker or brush, you might get wider or narrower strokes from different Z values. Or you could use an ink-jet print head and reverse-engineer its functionality.

Core Graphics, PostScript and PDF etc. employ a language for illustrations along the lines of "move here, stroke (draw) there along this path" etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 PM on July 30, 2010

Best answer: Parrallax had a BASIC stamp inkjet cartridge driver key a few years back, you may be able to take the specs from that and re-create it with an Arduino. Otherwise I've seen videos of airbrush printers or even regular spray paint.

There was also a lego pen printer video making the rounds a few weeks ago so you can just use a magic marker too. The person who made that device wrote a print driver to allow printing from OS X, might be a good starting point to research.
posted by ChrisHartley at 10:38 PM on July 30, 2010

Best answer: ooh ooh ooh! Pastry bag! Frosting! bonus points for different colors/flavors...CMYK=vanilla, strawberry, lemon and chocolate...mmm...frosting printer...
posted by sexyrobot at 10:51 PM on July 30, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, I'd like to print with something like an ink jet print head.

Plotting I think I could figure out, but I need a bit of help figuring out where to start with inkjet print head programming

thanks for the answers.

Chris your suggestion led to this, which might be the answer i need:
posted by compound eye at 2:17 AM on July 31, 2010

Response by poster: oh, i just realised the item linked is out of stock, but i'm on the scent of something now
posted by compound eye at 2:20 AM on July 31, 2010

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