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Would it be possible to "expand" a regular household printer? Answered

Basically, what i'm talking about is taking apart a normal A4 printer and expading the paper feed and guide rails so it can accomodate paper of any size. The purely mechanical aspect certainly seems doable, although you'd run out of ink a lot faster, and I have no idea how to tackle the software issues.

It seems theoretically possible, but i'm not sure about how you'd actually go about it - tips/help and any links would be appreciated.

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jeff-o
jeff-o

9 years ago

Could it be done? Possibly. The mechanical aspect would actually be the easier part. But you're right, the software would be a bear. You'd need new print drivers for the computer and new firmware for the printer itself. If you've got nothing else to do and something to prove, then go for it! Otherwise I'd suggest you pick your battles wisely, buy a used large-format printer, and use it to create something awesome.

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rickharris
rickharris

9 years ago

Maybe - Possibly difficult - Probably not worth the effort - Large format printers have been built from scratch using standard print heads and re-working the software.

If your up to it I guess it would make a great Instructable - You might even be able to sell the plans/software.

Many years ago I resurrected an old mechanical train printer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_printer) my work had trashed. i wrote the driver software in Basic - It worked quite well BUT I had a full set of diagrams and technical description of how it worked. I just emulated the ROM in a separate computer 9Acorn Atom for those who know)

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frollard
frollard

9 years ago

Really, you pegged the answer exactly. It would be trivial to cut it down the middle and expand the guide rails - but the trouble comes in convincing the firmware that the print head is in the correct location.

You could trick it by changing the values from the position encoders, and only print things 'squashed' so when they print on the larger size they stretch out - but really its more effective to buy a better printer.