The biggest inkjet printer ever

Big Printer

Big Printer

The other day I wondered what people have done with their InkShields1 2  Then I got to wondering what people were doing to mount their InkShield printer heads and move them around.  Then I thought… hey!  It would be pretty awesome to attach an InkShield printer head to a Polargraph / DrawBot gondola.

I could see how an InkShield might improve a Polargraph.  You could theoretically have a small sensor to test the ink levels and pump more ink in from a larger reservoir – and never worry about a pen running out of ink again.

I could see how a Polargraph might improve an InkShield.  With a DrawBot string setup, you wouldn’t need a huge or expensive XY gantry – just a lot of string, two motors, and some other bits and bobs.

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  4. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  5. DrawBot - The Breakdown
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  8. DrawBot - The Plan!
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  11. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  12. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  15. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
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  26. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VIII
  27. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  28. DrawBot – Printing!
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  30. DrawBot – Calibration
  31. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  32. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
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  39. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  40. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  41. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  42. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
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  53. To Maker Faire!!!

  1. An InkShield is an Arduino shield that allows the Arduino to control an inkjet cartridge. []
  2. Photo courtesy of iLEZ iLEZ []

4 Responses to “The biggest inkjet printer ever”

  1. Michael Cook says:

    That would give you a much higher resolution than Polargraphs have now and speed up printing.

    The problem I would expect is that you would suddenly need to keep the gondola vertical (or at least the same orientation). Suddenly having the gondola rotated 5 degrees compared to straight up and down would be an issue.

  2. MakerBlock says:

    @Michael Cook: I haven’t had a lot of trouble keeping the gondola vertical. I use several AA batteries as weights on my gondola which keep it vertical. It does have a little side-to-side motion, but that’s one of the tradeoffs, I suppose.

  3. Michael Cook says:

    I just got my Polargraph working well in the last week or so. The gondola stays mostly vertical, but I’ve seen it a few degrees off. I don’t have any weights on it though.

    You could have some fun with an ink shield though. You could print on surfaces (like directly on walls) that you’d never be able to print on normally.

  4. MakerBlock says:

    @Michael Cook: Do you have pictures or a blog post about your ‘bot?! Please e-mail with them so I can add them to my DrawBot page! I’d love to see what you’re working on. Also – what gondola design do you use? I’m using John Abela’s, but I think I need to design something for my particular setup.

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