The PolaPi-Zero is the second iteration of Pierre Muth’s exploration into portable photography with the Raspberry Pi and thermal printer. No stranger to thermal printing builds, he’s previously created such wonders as a camera booth lottery ticket system. Take your photo and if your thermal printout displays another’s face, locating them grants you both a free beer.
Pierre Muth is an electronic technician with a love for making things, thermal printers, and the Adafruit Big Red Button.
So while his original PolaPi model also housed a Raspberry Pi – the version 2, with a full-size casing – the newer model allows for a smaller body with its use of the Raspberry Pi Zero.
In his original PolaPi build, Pierre had been forced to cannibalise a retail-grade thermal receipt printer, leaving the unit bulky and weighty. With the new model, following in the footsteps of the small-bodied Raspberry Pi Zero, he managed to acquire the Nano Thermal Receipt Printer from Adafruit: a smaller device marketed specifically for use with boards such as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Coupled with a Sharp memory LCD, the camera allows its user to see the image on screen in black and white before printing, guaranteeing the quality of the photograph before you commit to the print.
Pierre used the project as “a good excuse to start learning Python (finally)”, in part due to the array of existing Python code available online. His original camera ran using Java, and though he admits to the final Python code not being “the most elegant”, he provides it via both his GitHub repo as complete code, and as a downloadable image for the Raspberry Pi Zero.
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8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.