Thermal Receipt Printer Guts
Add printing capability to any microcontroller project with just the innards of a thermal printer. Thermal printers are also known as receipt printers, they're what you get when you go to the ATM or grocery store. Now you can embed a little printer of your own into a custom enclosure of your choosing. This printer is ideal for interfacing with a microcontroller, you simply need a 3.3V-5V TTL serial output from your microcontroller to print text, barcodes, bitmap graphics, even a QR code!
This is the super hackable version! All that's included is the guts of a thermal printer: the motor/heater with a flex cable and a control board with a chip that will take your serial commands and use them to drive the motor & heater. You also get a TTL cable and a 33' roll of thermal paper. You'll likely want to design some sort of enclosure for it, especially since its a little challenging to line up the paper so it feeds through straight. That said, because there's no paper bay you can use as little or as much paper as you like, heck you can even feed in a mobius strip!
To power it, supply the VH pin with 5-9VDC. 5V can be a little dim, 7.5V-9VDC will give you nice dark printing.
We really like this printer because its easy to make Bold, underline, inverted text, variable line spacing, left/center/right justification, barcodes in 11 standard formats with adjustable height, and even custom bitmap graphics.
Of course, we wouldn't leave you with a datasheet and a "good luck!" - We have a full tutorial and matching Arduino library that demonstrates the following:
- Printing with small, medium and large text
- Bold and underline text
- Inverted text
- Variable line spacing
- Left, center and right justification
- Barcodes in the following standard formats: UPC A, UPC E, EAN13, EAN8, CODE39, I25, CODABAR, CODE93, CODE128, CODE11 and MSI - with adjustable barcode height
- Custom monochrome bitmap graphics!
- How to include a QR code