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Conclusion

Well, reverse engineering these printer cartridges has been a long voyage, but in the end my work has been fruitful; while there are still some mysteries left (what does the ID pin do, for example?), I think I have a good grip on most mysteries of the signalling these cartridges use. I hope that by publishing the code and schematics for this project, I can add 'using printer cartridges' to the toolbox of tinkerers, hackers and makers everywhere, and I can't wait to see what interesting uses the community comes up with. If you manage to do something interesting with this work, don't hesitate to send me a message.

And what about my intention to make art? Well... errrm... does this count?

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8 comments

Info wrote at 18 Nov 2019, 22.33:

Bam, another year gone by... Previously on spritesmodes: http://spritesmods.com/?art=inker

Lokesh sai wrote at 21 Jun 2019, 15.02:

Hi sir, firstly thanks for sharing your project. i have been working on a similar project but on a 3d level for my IOT term project. I would like to know which part of your code sends data signals to the cartridge and it will be so much helpful for my if you could give a code regarding generating waveforms from nozdata to sending the data to the ink Cartridge. Thank you

Arthur J wrote at 6 Jun 2019, 8.11:

I connected the board to the cartridge by pre-tinning the cartridge pads and with the use of paste flux soldering short (6 mm) 0.3mm solid copper wires to the pads. Then I placed the PCB on top making sure that each wire is in the correct hole. With a clearance of ca. 2mm so that hothing shorts out I then soldered the wires to the PCB. You have to be quick so that they don't desolder from the cartridge. I only got the cartridge to print some random stripes in random colors using the stripped-down "hello" firmware and a color cartridge. What is the recommended procedure for tuning the timings?

Duke wrote at 28 Mar 2019, 9.46:

How do you connect cartridge contact pins to your PCB?

Arthur J wrote at 2 Jan 2019, 10.00:

Thanks for sharing this intriguing project! I'll try to build one of those. Some ideas I had is the addition of a linear ccd sensor such as the tcd1304 or tsl1401 to build something like a pocket copier for ....ehm...whatever. Another nice project would be the addition of an encoder wheel or something similar to print things to scale along the x axis. Really looking forward to building this thing. I've never worked with esp-idf though. Any plans of converting the code to the arduino envronment? Eventually someone will do it anyway :)

Sprite_tm wrote at 26 Dec 2018, 4.59:

m!: That's the joke. The Mona Lisa is indeed painted by DaVinci, but the warped way it's drawn by the cartridge reminds me more of Picasso's abstract paintings.

m! wrote at 25 Dec 2018, 16.18:

Great Stuff !! Small addendum: Mona-Lisa was painted by Leonardo DaVinci, of course. Not Picasso.

Andrew H wrote at 16 Dec 2018, 23.21:

the ID pin is probably a Maxim 1-wire device or something similar (I2C?) used to identify the cartridge type (color / black) and read/write capacity information, at a guess?

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