LEGO printer built without NXT parts

[Squirrelfantasy] built a printer using LEGO pieces. It’s not a Mindstorm project but instead depends on some type of development board and some auxiliary components on a protoboard. We couldn’t get a good enough look to tell exactly what makes up the electronics so start the debate in the comments. We feel this is a printer and not a plotter because the stylus moves on just one plane while the paper feeds past it but that’s open for debate as well.

Guess this answers the question of why aren’t we building our own printers? Some folks are.

[Thanks Haxorflex and many others, via DVICE]


  1. jacubillo says:


  2. Stevetronics says:

    Just a heads up: that’s just a regular wiring board.

  3. rallen71366 says:

    From what I’ve seen, the big holdup on diy inkjet printing, is the technology required to create the printhead, not handle the paper. The capabilities and technology to create the micromachined jets isn’t cheap.

  4. John says:

    Really? A Horse?

  5. Jas says:

    It’s a printer because it’s a raster device, not vector.

  6. crait says:

    Is there a win beyond win?

  7. Anon says:

    LOL best title ever! WIN!!!11!1!

  8. chuck says:

    can it swap pencil for color printing ?

  9. John says:

    it’s a plotter because it uses a pen.

  10. urlax says:

    it’s a printer, because it disperses tiny amounts of ink. instead of a tube an piece of filt is used (the tip) plotters move the head in XY motion on a stationary piece of paper. this one moves the paper so it’s a printer!

  11. hawkeye says:

    PCB printer anyone?

  12. Hacksaw says:

    urlax so new inkjet plotters are printers then? flatbed plotters (pen or pencil) move the head modern plotters(inkjet,pen or pencil) move the paper. Printer or plotter who cares it’s friggin’ sweet…at least my 13 yr old infatuated with anything lego thinks so

  13. Damien says:

    Jas is right – it’s a printer because it’s raster. Plotters are vector. And yes, most modern ‘plotters’ are actually inkjet printers.

  14. Jas says:

    Lots of plotters move the paper. I have an HP Draftmaster that is a drum plotter (36″ x unlimited); it moves the paper, but it draws line segments rather than a raster.

    And yes, most modern “plotters” are actually just huge inkjet printers.

  15. Nitori says:

    It’s a printer because it’s raster.
    It’s using a single pin kinda like one of those old gorilla banana printers or the one the thermo-printer that went to the ZX81.

  16. r says:

    I vote plotter. HP made plotters that used a pen that only moved in the X direction and the paper moved in the Y direction. You could put different colored markers on them. It would click every time it lifted the pen and it seemed to take for ever to initialize as it ran the paper back and forth before actually marking the paper. Most printers don’t pull the paper back and move the pen at the same time to draw a complete circle, so again I say plotter. Printers I’ve seen only move the paper in one direction. With that definition, I would classify inkjet plotters as large printers.

  17. As per the video (at 0:23) it seems that this uses a Propeller Proto Board from Parallax.

  18. DrDoug says:

    I’m surprised the little people don’t get flicked off and go flying away. Must be hot glued.

  19. Grovenstien says:

    Pure perfection in every way! Massive giggles, the dude with the moustache riding the horse over the gears, superb!

  20. Jvangelder says:

    Nice build, and that had to be the best video ive seen in quite some time.

  21. Amos says:

    Definitely a printer. A felt-tip pen does not a plotter make.

    I’m thinking: ditch the legos, make it higher resolution, replace the magic marker with an etch resist pen, replace the paper with copper-clad.

  22. osgeld says:

    I think a vector plotter would be more suited to pcb production if your still going to use a felt tip pen…

    but this is an awesome printer!

  23. eddwerd22 says:

    greatest hack ever

  24. Frank says:

    Hope he’s paying those hard workers the union rate…

  25. hans says:

    It’s a plotter that hasn’t reached its full potential yet.

  26. m says:

    the legoguys :D :D :D very cool !! respect

  27. thibault says:


    and i did one using processing and arduino. tons of fun !

  28. m says:

    does anyone know the song, that is playing in the background ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,467 other followers