Paper Roll Advance

I was thinking it would be good to use a paper roll for drawing on. Would it be possible to advance the paper in software if an appropriate mechanism was built?

We’ve actually just built something similar for an exhibit at Museum Speelkok. For this one we decided that the most fun route was to have a button that the Line-us presses to advance the paper. It’s the black microswitch below the paper track. We used a mechanism from a label printer (something like this one). Durrell also made this purely mechanical one using some one way bearings which is even more fun that the motorised one.

Let us know what kind of mechanism you’re thinking of and we can give you some ideas on how to control it.


Never thought about using Line-us to press a button, nice simple idea rob. Was it programmed to move to the switch or was it part of the drawing?

I was just going to build something to move the paper once I found some suitable paper rolls (not the thin thermal paper). I don’t even have a Line-us yet, I forgot about Line-us after I missed out on the kickstarter campaign, It’s time I ordered one.

For the exhibition we did a custom app, so it was easy to add some GCode to the end of the drawing to press the switch. There’s no reason why you couldn’t just add it to the drawing though. We’re using till rolls like these and they work quite well. Let us know how you get on.

Is there any more details anywhere about the mechanical one-way bearing build? I quite like the simplicity of that. Could be another great candidate for use with Node-RED.

Not really at the moment - Durrell did it quite a while ago just as an experiment. We’re getting ready for Design Junction at the moment but I’ll see if I can dig something out afterwards - at least some better photos. It wouldn’t be difficult to replicate if you’ve got access to a laser cutter.

That would be awesome. I do own a laser cutter so shouldn’t be a problem making one up :+1:

I am also at a museum MOXI with a laser cutter and would love to consider replicating your ingenious build! We just started playing with a Harmonograph and Line-us. We draw with an Apple Pencil in Line-us, and the Line-us replicates it. Quite cool!

Durrell’s been doing quite a lot of work on paper feeders one the last couple of weeks - there are some pictures on our instagram - initially it’s for in-store displays but we’re quite keen to make it into a real product so we’ll keep you posted!