Inspiration

My printer is all the way in the cold, dark, basement. The Wi-Fi down there is not great either. So for the days where I need to print important documents but lack the strength to venture down into the basement's depths, I need a technological solution.

What it does

The Raspberry Pi 4 hosts a server for the local network that allows printing from any device connected to Wi-Fi. Useful when you want to print on a mobile device or Chromebook that doesn't support printer drivers.

How we built it

I was initially going to make an arcade station with my Pi but because of a snowstorm, out of all the hardware I ordered, only the Pi arrived on time. Thus, I had to pivot and think of a hardware project using only a Pi and some old Micro SD cards.

Challenges I ran into

At first, the Pi refused to connect through SSH. Since I did not have a video adapter (who thought it was a good idea to replace the HDMI ports with Micro HDMI??) I could not change the settings on the device manually, for there was no display output. It was at that moment I realized I would have to do this headless.

Then there was the issue where my printer was so old that the drivers were no longer available. With some forum browsing and sketchy workarounds, I was able to get it working. Most of the time.

What I learned

It is probably easier to just print the old-fashioned way, but why do things faster when you can over-engineer a solution?

What's next

Finding ways to make it reliably work with all devices.

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