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]

28 thoughts on “LEGO printer built without NXT parts

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

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