Inkjet Print Head Driver Shield

[Nicolas C Lewis] is churning out inkjet print head shield kits for Arduino. If you’ve always wanted to label or brand objects as part of a project this greatly simplifies the process. Using his all through-hole design, an Arduino can print at 96 dpi. At first we had trouble figuring out what we could use this concept for, but [Nicolas] has the answer. In is FAQ he links to a couple of his own flat-bed inkjet printer builds based on earlier prototypes, but he also links to other projects using the same concepts like the Nickel-O-Matic, or the ping-pong ball printer (we’ve embedded video of that one after the break).

The shield only requires five connections with a microcontroller. We love the jumper-based connection system that [Nicolas] chose which lets you use several print heads at once by selecting different drive pins. The project is still in the funding stage but is already over funded. Schematic and code will be posted as soon as the first production run is complete.


[Thanks Hackerspacer]

20 thoughts on “Inkjet Print Head Driver Shield

    1. Definitely, but with two caveats: the cartridge is thermal rather than piezo which MAY cause issues with some binders and have reduced longevity, and (I’m afraid I don’t know if this is the case or not) the cartridge may be chipped to prevent re-filling. It looks like an OEM-oriented cartridge so probably not, but you never know.

  1. I can imagine some fun uses for this.

    Would be cool to couple this with a digital camera sensor from an optical mouse so the firmware could dynamically adjust for the lateral (and perhaps some vertical) movement of the head.

  2. wow, finally someone developed that.
    i’ve been following the products from since years but was never satisfied by the lack of customisation (for those of you wanting to print whole pictures, check out their site, they may already have what you’re looking for).

  3. Once again this VIDEO CANNOT BE VIEWD IN GERMANY because the uploader has chosen music which the licensing authority can somehow prevent being played.

    Perhaps America is more liberal with uses of this kind, or perhaps GEMA is too petty-minded over here, but either way, I lose out.

    1. Lol I saw several threads on the subject, and often with the famous ‘fix printing issues’ batch file:

      @echo off
      net stop spooler
      del %windir%\system32\spool\printers /f /s /q
      net start spooler
      echo "Printer shit is fixed yo"

  4. Hi,
    This is great project.
    I have an idea to use inkjet printhead for printing to the shrink tubing which than can be used for cable labeling. I wonder is this possible? Will ink be stable on the shrink tubing surface? Maybe if some other type of ink is used?

    1. I know there are commercial units out there that do this, but I think they use a dry thermal transfer process (had one at my last work). It should be possible to find an ink that will stick reasonably well – your choice of solvent/carrier fluid will be important – but a sharpie writes on heatshrink and doesn’t rub off – though I haven’t tried doing this before shrinking.

      Shrinking over cable rather than a join the text holds up very well

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