Thermal Label Printer with Spark Core

Hey folks,

I’m new to hardware building, I spend most of my time in software.

I’m working on a project that needs to very easily print to a thermal label printer. I’ve looked at the projects like this Thermal Printer Project but it utilizes a thermal receipt printer which, to the best of my digging, does not support label printing. And I have not had success locating a thermal label printer unit that was as easily hackable.

Where I am at currently is that maybe it would be best to make something that interfaces with an existing label printer. Something like the DYMO 4XL would be ideal. The solution needs to be simpler than having the user install the printer on their computer because that is a really terrible user experience. I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars through the years having to reconfigure print settings every other day.

The long run goal is to source a thermal print head that works with labels and build something from the ground up, but I would like to get a software + hardware prototype working before building from scratch.

Anyways, if anyone has any leads or ideas on tackling this I would greatly appreciate it.


@rameadows, the challenge is the USB inteface to the printer. The thermal printer uses a serial interface, making it very easy to interface with. :smile:

I see. Are there any general areas you could point me in for sourcing a thermal printer unit? I did some googling around but couldn’t find anything. I assume there are some common component sites that hardware makers frequent but I’m not familiar with them. :smile:

Hi @rameadows

I am not sure now if you want this cash register style printer:

Or if you should just go the an office supply store and buy a Dymo and cannibalize it.

Either way sounds fun!