Printer Project

This is an ongoing project, which has been in development for many months.

Original Air Date: April 3, 2012

As seen on my Google page,

I wanted a robot that could print. This project is still in progress, and is over 3 months old. The printer works OK, but I have had it working better before. I will be returning to the project as soon as some other smaller projects and limits have been removed.

This is the best video of it so far, although its still in beta [really alpha with all the help it needed] and right now its in beta. Final version will have no arrays unless I can make it dependable…

The robot right now is built and meant to do a black and white image of an object. I place a marker in the pen slot, and then feed some paper into the print spooler. After that i open the program on my computer, design the image via hundreds [or soon to be hundreds] of little check boxes. You then click print. After this, it goes into a few algorithms. One, it prints the file to the paper, measuring the exact distances from one place to the next, and when it’s supposed to print a dot, it lowers the pen assembly onto the paper making a dot. it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour to print, depending on the size of the paper. While it does this, the computer receives real-time data of:
  • X position of carriage on track, each number is a pixel, with up to 20 pixels wide
  • Y position of the print spooler, a rotating drum to push a sheet through the press
  • Up or down position of the pen
  • Sensor data, mainly the data from the sensor on the end of the track for the X axis, to stop the pen assembly from falling off the edge and a calibration device.

The physical printer is in perfect condition, but the program has many bugs. I need to edit how the printer is fed information. Right now the data buffer is through an undependable array, which will have to be changed.