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.

Posts in the DrawBot Adventure Series
  1. Wanna make a DrawBot?
  2. DrawBot, the Adventure Begins
  3. DrawBots for the slow learner
  4. DrawBot - Parts Ordered!!!
  5. DrawBot - The Breakdown
  6. DrawBot - Parts Shipped!!!
  7. DrawBot - What would you draw?
  8. DrawBot - The Plan!
  9. DrawBot - The Hacks
  10. DrawBot - Giant Unicorn?
  11. DrawBot - The Delivery?
  12. DrawBot - The Delivery, Part II
  13. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part III
  14. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part I
  15. DrawBot – The Software, Part I (and an existential conversation)
  16. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part IV
  17. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part II
  18. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part III
  19. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part IV
  20. DrawBot – The Face Palm
  21. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part V
  22. DrawBot – The Silver Lining of Failure
  23. DrawBot – The Delivery, Part VI
  24. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part V
  25. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VI
  26. DrawBot – Printed Parts
  27. DrawBot – The Assembly, Part VII
  28. DrawBot – The Operation, Part I
  29. DrawBot – The Breakdown, Part II
  30. DrawBot – Printing!
  31. DrawBot – Printing, Part II
  32. DrawBot – Calibration
  33. DrawBot – Pen Selection
  34. DrawBot – How to Recover from a Stalled Print!
  35. DrawBot – Drawing Success(ish)!!!
  36. DrawBot – Pen Selection, Part II
  37. DrawBot – Onwards and Upwards!
  38. DrawBot – Another Successful(ish) Drawing!, and an Update
  39. Restarting a Stalled DrawBot Drawing
  40. TSP FTW!
  41. Speedier DrawBot Drawings
  42. Two new DrawBot links! And an update!
  43. Excellent DrawBot Slides
  44. Another Drawing Robot!!!
  45. DrawBot Practice Tip: A Watched Pot
  46. The biggest inkjet printer ever
  47. Why do DrawBots draw on walls?
  48. Maze Code + Polargraph?
  49. All New Polargraph on the way!!!
  50. Ideas for improving my DrawBot
  51. DrawBot Aesthetic Re-Design Ideas
  52. The Eagle Has Landed
  53. Every Body Needs a Skull
  54. This project is not going to overengineer itself
  55. Overengineered Spools
  56. Overengineered Stepper Motor Mounts, Filament Guides
  57. Overengineered Bolt Endcaps, Case Holder
  58. Sourcing DrawBot Parts
  59. DrawBot - A Tour!
  60. DrawBot - A Preview
  61. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot Poll
  62. Building an Arduino Drawing Robot - On The Cheap
  63. DrawBot - Printed Parts Tour
  64. Unidentified Foam Object
  65. Arduino Powered Drawing Robot - Take 2 (Or 3)
  66. DrawBot, now ACTUALLY wall mounted!
  67. Drawing Robot Pen Holders, Calligraphy Pens, and Thought Experiments
  68. Ideal Qualities in a Drawing Robot Pen Holder
  69. Enough talk! Finally a pen holder!
  70. DrawBot Pen Holder Post Mortem
  71. To Maker Faire!!!
  72. Skipping! How could I forget the skipping?!
  73. Drawing Robot Penmanship
  74. PlotterBot at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013!
  75. PlotterBot.com - a new site dedicated to drawing robots
  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.