Add a mini printer to any microcontroller project with this very cute thermal printer. Also known as receipt printers, they’re what you see at the ATM or grocery store. Now you can embed a little printer of your own into an enclosure. This printer is ideal for interfacing with a microcontroller, you simply need a 3.3V to 5V TTL serial output from your microcontroller to print text, barcodes, bitmap graphics, even a QR code!

This printer uses very common 2.25" wide thermal paper, available in the Adafruit shop or any office or stationery supply store. Up to 50 feet of paper can fit in the bay. You will also need a 5 Volt to 9 Volt regulated DC power supply that can provide 1.5 Amps or more during high-current printing — our 5V 2A power supply will work very nicely.

You can pick up a thermal printer pack including printer, paper, power supply and terminal-block adapter in the Adafruit shop!

Of course, we wouldn't leave you with a datasheet and a “good luck!” — this tutorial and matching Arduino library demonstrate the following:

  • Printing with small, medium and large text
  • Bold, underline and inverted text
  • Variable line spacing
  • Left, center and right justification
  • Barcodes in the following standard formats: UPC A, UPC E, EAN13, EAN8, CODE39, I25, CODEBAR, CODE93, CODE128, CODE11 and MSI - with adjustable barcode height
  • Custom monochrome bitmap graphics
  • How to print a QR code

This guide was first published on Sep 02, 2012. It was last updated on Sep 02, 2012.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 15, 2022.

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