A “real-life” InkShield project request

I recently had someone contact me requesting some assistance with a project:

Would you or one of your customers be interested in selling an assembled tested kit with the following customization?

My son-in-law is a butcher, and that means wrapping a lot of meat in a white paper wrap commonly referred to as butcher paper. For years and years and years, they have used a machine that prints directly to the paper as it is pulled off the roll. Different engraved wheels may print the stores name, the type meat, cooking instructions… I believe they currently have about 20 different print wheels.

These things do wear out, and apparently there is no one to work on them any more, nor is there a good replacement. Most other people have gone to ordering or printing their own adhesive labels. My son-in-law and his family prefer the print directly to paper, on demand method better, so they asked me if I could “invent” something. I was thinking that the InkShield might be the perfect fit. Of course there are a lot of other design and safety issues to work out, but I thought if someone else was interested in building a working print head as a proof of concept, I could work on the other aspects.

The main problem statement is: “Simple loading and storing of up to 32 text strings of up to 32 characters each. A method of selecting and displaying which of the 32 will be selected. An input that would enable the printing of the selected string, after a second input begins pulsing. The pulse rate determines the speed of the printing. There would need to be a programmable delay of so many pulses before the printing starts. And a second value for delays between repeats of printing the same string.”

I wouldn’t expect any one to work on it for free, but I don’t think we could afford paying consulting engineers rates either. Looking for more of a hobbyist who wanted to prove to his or her spouse, the hobby is not a sink hole. While I could certainly do it myself. I’d prefer to spend my time on other aspects of this family project.


I don’t have time at the moment to work on this particular project but I thought I would post this to see if anyone is interested in working on this project and making some hobby money. If anyone is interested you can contact me via my contact page and I will connect you with Bud to discuss the details.