Just spent some time I should have been doing something else messing about with a Thermal receipt printer. It has been hanging around the workshop for a long time since its previous life in a robot costume….
It came to me in the middle of the night that one of the morning boring prep jobs it to mark out trusses with units, or mark a temp prep truss up so that a bar loom can be made. Using a cloth measuring tape, and white gaff to mark the units. The info is already in LightWrite, so why not print it out.
I wrote a little app in Processing that takes a feed from LightWrite with these fields
|Unit#||Channel||Distance From C||Position||Dimmer||Instrument Type & Accessory & Wattage||DMX||Mode||User 18||Colour||Gobo||Circuit Name||Circuit#|
It then just presents you with a list of positions to print. The printer can be calibrated with a little calibration routine so that distances are accurate.
Cue tonnes of paper on the floor testing different methods.
Out spits a long old receipt with the units centre marks marked, with all the other info so you can make a loom, plug it up, colour it etc.
After a few goes I realised I would need a printer that could take bigger rolls. I bought one on Amazon for £29.99 inc postage, and it can take 40m rolls. The rolls cost about £2 or less. Not the greatest for the environment, but it beats all that wasted tape and scratching of heads.
Sadly the printer driver didn’t work with my Mac so I had to bodge a RasberryPi inside it. Work in progress!
Just printed out my first show.