Picture of Thermal Tweeter networked Twitter printer
Send a Tweet to @dangerousproto and watch it print live on the USTREAM feed. This project was inspired by the Make it Tweet Challenge.

Thermal Tweeter is hacked together from a SparkFun thermal printer and the web platform internet development board. No computers are used to query twitter or run the printer, this is a 100% stand-alone Twitter appliance.

Keep reading to find out how it works. Read the original version of this article at Dangerous Prototypes.


You tweet, the web platform contacts Twitter and grabs the newest tweets, the tweets are formatted and output to the printer.

Is this wasteful? You bet. And the thermal chemicals on the paper may cause cancer - don't eat it! Thermal Tweeter is an homage to the waste generated by checkout receipts. Unlike a store checkout where you always get a receipt, you're in charge of the Twitter waste. Save the earth, don't Tweet. Or not.

Thermal Tweeter builds on our previous interactive internet projects like the @tweet_tree and internet graffiti wall.

Note: we noticed that Twitter sometimes excludes people from our feed. You can check here [JSON text] to see if your tweet was included. If not, just send it again, we've got tons of paper!
jekimim2 years ago
Very good idea. You can also use it to print notes, shopping list, reminders ...
sockless4 years ago
Now, to connect Twitter to a teletype machine...
im game if you are... my dads an oldschool teletype man so maybe he can getter done :D
pastaking4 years ago
Idea: Have a set of printers in a 'tweetdeck' format, with an LCD and a small keyboard for tweeting!
bulb664 years ago

As your web server isn't available anywhere, if i make one following the hack a day write up with i need anything else? i.e programmer etc

Good luck in the contest

ian (author)  bulb664 years ago
The web platform and the HaD board are totally different. You can build your own web platform though, or it will be back in stock at Seeed Studio in a few days.
bulb66 ian4 years ago
Oh OK thanks, if i were to but one from Seeed Studio would i need anything else?

I'm in the UK, if you no of anywhere else that will have these in stock?

ian (author)  bulb664 years ago
Maybe Watterott in Germany, but I think they are out too.
bulb66 ian4 years ago
Would it be possible to out put the @ replies to another device? such as a LCD?

Also have you a link to a guide on how to modify the code for my twitter account?


ian (author)  bulb664 years ago
Sure, the output could be made to go just about anywhere. Coding would be needed.

There's no guide, but it's as easy as changing the web address on one line of code. However, the TCPIP internet driver is a pain to deal with, so if you want I will make you a custom compile with your address.
bulb66 ian4 years ago
Yes they are :-(
ChuckieDub4 years ago
Yay, paper waster. All hail deforestation.
The trees have already been cut down to make the paper. It would be wasting to not use it.
Good point. Touche sir.
-max-4 years ago
AHHH... the perfect ink (money) waster... though it is int resting...
J-Ri -max-4 years ago
It's a thermal printer, no ink here. It only wastes paper, but luckily that stuff grows on trees! :)
-max- J-Ri4 years ago
oh ok... i didnt read the instructable, just glanced over it. it is still cool and this is why you cant erase stuff on the internet. it can be burned into paper as a hard copy i see use for it in the 1980s goverment
bulb664 years ago
I love this Instructable and will without a doubt be voting for this, the only problem is the web platform is out of stock :(

Any chance this will change anytime soon, i would love one of my own :)

jhd044 years ago
Great, now Twitter is not only inane, it's also environmentally destructive. And for only a few hundred dollars in materials...

Get an aggregator on your phone. It's free, and doesn't waste paper.
Yeah, I'm all for inanity, but I don't need it in hard copy, and certainly not at the expense of our environment.
slopez12 jhd044 years ago
Just what I was thinking...
Azayles4 years ago
Just seen it change now as four people tweeted :P That's eerie, and totally amazing!
I'm right in saying, aren't I? (five people now :P) that this will print off the tweets on your feed as they happen? So people you follow (ooh there's another!), it will print their tweets?
ian (author)  Azayles4 years ago
The way it's setup now it could be pointed at a keyword search, mentions, or your follows URL. If it was a long-term installation it would need a bit more finessing.
Azayles ian4 years ago
Sounds excellent :D And thanks for the timely reply ^_^
Could it be used to print out a facebook news feed of friends' status updates? Or would that need a host computer running a facebook API?
maxjus4 years ago
Awesome, ambitious, excellent project. Beautifully executed! The ustream channel was a fantastic addition!