Introducing the Pipsta – “The Little printer with big ideas”

Firstly, a huge thanks to Able Systems Limited for sending me the Pipsta to review. This will be the first of several posts about the Pipsta as I look later at some of the in-class applications and uses for it.

Pipsta is a smart little printer that’s full of big ideas. You can link your Pipsta to your Raspberry Pi and do all sorts of things – from printing labels to tickets.

Building and setting up the Pipsta is very straightforward and I spent just under 45 minutes building it and downloading and setting up the software on the Pi. The documentation is very comprehensive and you don’t need a huge skill or experience level to build the kit.

You will notice in my photos and videos the Pipsta looks blue, this is because I have not taken off the plastic coating from the perspex.

A really important and fairly awesome thing to note is that because the Pipsta uses thermal paper technology the only consumable is the paper, there is no ink, toner etc. I have found suitable rolls on Amazon for £4.99 for 20 rolls.

The example code contains a number of useful applications such as printing text straight to the Pipsta, banner printing, printing from web pages, printing pictures and QR codes.

The python libraries are fairly intuitive and this releases a huge amount of potential for the Pipsta. At the moment I am using it in my classroom to print out key words and labels for the whiteboard using the banner print function. By networking the Pi and SSH into it from my tablet I can easily print key words as I walk around the classroom and then get the students to bring them to the front.

The Pipsta can be purchased from ModMyPi here

The official Pipsta website can be found here

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