Trigger a copier

Hi all,

I would like some help or advice with a project.

The aim is to trigger a photocopier to print at
around 1 minute intervals.

Not sure the best way to go about this.
A lever mechanism to press the print button
or maybe try and hack the printer driver
to print at set intervals?

Any suggestions welcome.



Depends... What kind of photocopier is it?

Newer models often have LAN connection and can act like a printer (we got such a model in our company several years ago). You could use a computer to send a print job at set intervals.

If it is older - without printer functionality - and you can/are allowed to hack it (take it apart) the easiest way would be to "short" the print button with a relay and to start a copy job at intervals. Depends on your experience with electronics/electrics. With a little experience it may be easy. The interval(s) can be "programmed" with an Arduino. It can be done with (for example) an Arduino Uno, a relay shield and some wires.

An other option: Use a servo to press the print button. Arduino can drive the servo at set intervals or different triggers (light, sound, movement and so on).

If you provide more information it may be easier to suggest.

Thanks for your reply. I will get back with more detailed info on the copier.

Cheers Keef476

Hi again,

the copier is a Ricoh Aficio MP 1600.

The servo idea sounds good if you have any more details on how to assemble this as I have never used servos although I have used small motors.

The button only needs very light pressure to operate.

thanks in advance


The servo idea sounds good

The button only needs very light pressure to operate.

That’s realy good!

The “servo method” is the least invasive method. I have used it several times, when I was not allowed to take something apart. :slight_smile:
You can attach the servo with double sided foam tape to the copier, in a way that the servo horn can press the “copy” button.

Often I used a standard servo, used in model planes or cars, it’s pretty cheap.

On how to use a servo, take a look at:

page 178

This code is a very basic (proof of concept).
It does nothing else than moving the servo horn from 0 to 80 degrees (to press the copier button) and back to 0 and waiting for the interval time.

#include <Servo.h>    // include the servo library

Servo myservo;  // create servo object to control a servo

// you have to adjust the following 3 variables to your needs
int positionZero  = 0;    // variable to store the servo position: knob not pressed
int positionPress = 80;   // variable to store the servo position: knob pressed
long interval = 60000;    // this is 60 seconds

void setup() {
    myservo.attach(9);  // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

void loop() {
    myservo.write(positionPress);     // tell servo to go to position "press the button"
    delay(700);                       // press the button for a short time
    myservo.write(positionZero);      // tell servo to go to position "zero"
    delay(interval);                  // wait for the interval 

Many thanks for this. Ill take a closer look at it and get back to you.

Thanks again.

Ok well someone has to ask, so it might as well me, WHY? :)

(Maybe the forum name, Interactive Art, answers the question ..... doesn't have to be a rational explanation, but I really am curious!)