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Using Arduino to control printers
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Using Arduino to control printers

by Ransom on Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:56 pm

Hello I would like to use an arduino to control some printers, could this be as easy as sending a print command in c# from the arduino or will there be driver issues. If any one has any information on some thing like this a point in the right direction could help me out.
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by franklin97355 on Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:19 am

You will have to be more specific. You can't just plug a printer into an Arduino and have it work if that's what you mean.

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by Ransom on Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:39 am

I am very new to arduino, so I am sorry. I was really just wondering If any one has ever done it. Unfortunately I do not think I am at a state to go in and try to do it if it has not been done before.


I was thinking what you could do would be set up a printer to communicate via USB, but then I got hung up on how the arduino would talk with the printer with out software. So, either you have to make the arduino speak with the printer, or or print from the arduino directly and ignoring the printers mcu? I do not know any thing that is why I am asking.

The questions maybe vauge that is only because I am a complete newbie.

I do know that you can use "print" in basic programming to print to printer, but I do not how the computer communicated with the printer and if it was only possible due to software already on the computer.

This is assuming you couldn't install drivers on to an arduino.
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by franklin97355 on Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:50 am

With most newer printers you would need software that is not compatable with the arduino. Old serial printers might work but I don't think you will be able to make this work without a computer in the mix.

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by adafruit on Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:22 pm

old parallel port printers are very easy to control.

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by macegr on Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:45 pm

It would be possible with something like the Vinculum or AVR USB host, except that most USB printers are using a proprietary driver, and most of the image processing is taking place on the host computer. You'd spend many weeks developing code to run one printer, and it wouldn't work with anything else.

But here's another idea. A lot of laser printers support Postscript, and have Ethernet interfaces, and there's an Xport shield for the Arduino...see where I'm going with this? The Postscript language seems like something Arduino could handle. Check out Don Lancaster's many articles on creating Postscript files by hand, you'll get a good idea of how to generate and format text and graphics. No, I don't have any more suggestions along these lines, but I'm highly optimistic that it will work and it will be straightforward to implement.
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by Ransom on Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:07 pm

Awesome I will look that up thank you (plural) very much!
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