Printer Hacking Roundup

Today’s roundup is in honor of all those inkjets, laser printers and plotters that have been cracked open and modded to perform unspeakable tasks. This is a bit of an experiment, so let me know what you think.

First, there’s the classic DIY CD printer. Aside from dremeling the back of the printer, making the cd cartridge from a decent material is probably the most difficult task. I used to print on my DVDs, but now I just rip ’em to my media server.

Not really a hack, but someone discovered that they can get ever nicer photo transfers if they use an inkjet instead of a laser printer to create the transparencies.

Not to be forgotten, using the fuser from a laser printer to transfer laser printed artwork onto PC boards.

If you missed it, [Volkan] and [Stefan] gutted an Epson C84 to make a direct to PCB etch resist printer. The feed the board in and get a printed design, ready for the etch tank. (once it’s dry, of course) Someone else is working on the same hack with a C87.

If you’re evil, there’s the classic paper shredding printer.

You could use an old network printer interface to control something else.

If people you work with actually read the lcd, you might have some fun exploiting the displays on those HP workgroup printers.

You could pick up an old pen plotter and convert it to cut vinyl for your nefarious custom stickers.

Speaking of plotters, there’s the ‘scribbler bot‘ – AKA diy pen plotter.

Of course, maybe you just want to fix your old printer after you completely dissassemble it. (Via zedomax)

Maybe you can make your own waterfall printer. (If you pull this one off, let us know)

11 thoughts on “Printer Hacking Roundup

  1. Round ups (so long as they keep to mostly off HaD posts) seem an OK idea.

    @1 Marco: Those pins are rather expensive $20 for a couple of oz of liquid, so etching would probably be cheaper. Also, there might be trouble with the liquid running whenever the plotter movement stops.

    I recently had an idea for a vinyl cutter: use it to print 3D by cutting and layering the shapes. I saw a simular professional device that used adhesive paper that was used to make a skull from a scan to determine what someone dead would’ve looked like. Cut a square and then cut the image inside it, but perforated, so you could just stack the squares easily, then cut off the excess off with an exacto knife (also seen on the above professional rapid prototyper).

  2. As a side note I am working on modding my inkjet with a dvd/rw laser for cutting acetate sheet for making solder paste masks. I have the assembly hooked up, now I need to build drivers for the laser, proably based on the above link I posted.

  3. What about thermal printer hacking? I can’t find much on them on the web. I have a project that requires a ~1″ wide printer and a thermal label writer seems to best but I’ve already destroyed one label writer, hoping to find some better solution!

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