DIY Inkjet Printer
by nicholasclewis, published
The prototype design used a carriage assembly constructed from steel rods that were assembled using connectors that can be printed on an FDM machine. The entire carriage system is driven along the x-axis by a belt attached to a stepper motor. The print cartridge, taken from an HP point of sale printer, is driven along the y-axis by another stepper motor belt drive. The electronic controls use an Arduino Mega to run all of the printing systems.
The design resulted in a working prototype that fulfills all of the design constraints. The rod frame carriage design is lightweight, easy to assemble and easy to integrate with the other systems. The Arduino used in the electronics has a large library of resources available to perform things like LCD, SD card, and stepper control.
Areas where future work should be focused include making molds and casting printable parts to bring down the overall cost, developing host side software, and optimizing the speed.
There is a video of this working here: youtube.com/watch?v=fYeYeTGkvJM
There are additional pictures here: flickr.com/photos/nicholasclewis/sets/72157626730985822/
This was a group project involving:
Nicholas C Lewis
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This is a great proof of concept. I just wish someone similar to Paloau/Arduino/RasberryPI group would design an open source print head with hose connectors so hobbyists can build any desired printer around it. 3d printer builders should be able to work out the mechanics/arduino programming. We need a Joseph Prusa of 2D printing. :-) Great job nicholasclewis.
The inks used don't set. I want to replace the HP ink cartridges with UV setting CYNK inks. I'd be grateful if anyone would like to help me with this.
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Assemble the electrical components as shown in the "Circuit.zip" & "DIY Inkjet Printer.pdf".
Flash your Arduino Mega with the firmware from "Firmware.zip".
Use Processing.org to run the script in "Preprocessor.zip" and create a 'print.dat' file. Copy the file onto the SD card and print using the DIY Inkjet Printer.
Optionally don't build the x-y carriages and just mount the print head to other robots for mobile printing applications.
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