How to make a usb thermal label printer wireless with raspberry pi

I made my 6×4″ usb thermal printer wireless with a raspberry pi. I posted a video of it to r/raspberrypi, which was quite popular. So I’ll tell you how I did it in this post…

I can now print from my thermal label printer all over the place! It works with AirPrint. So I can use my iPhone, MacBook, windows pc. Whatever! 

When I bought the label printer I knew I’d try make it wireless with a Pi. I made it about 1 hour before I cracked and stole my Pi Zero 2 from my 3D printer to make it wireless. It’s such a better experience. 

You can also install multiple printers on one raspberry pi via CUPS. So I’ll probably get a laser printer running on it soon too. 

What you need

  1. A raspberry pi. I used a Zero 2. Any pi with built in wifi will work. 
  2. Thermal label printer. I’m pretty sure any generic 6×4″ printer will do. I think they all use near identical parts and drivers on the inside. I bought this one.
  3. Usual raspberry pi accessories. Micro sd, otg cable for zero, power supply etc…
This guide is for someone who’s a bit familiar with the basics of setting up a raspberry pi. I’ll post links to how-to’s for the basic setup steps. 

Video guide. 

This is the video I followed to get my thermal label printer wireless. 

He does a great job of walking you through everything. The driver used is for the Rollo printer. But I think it’s universal across thermal label printers that aren’t made by Zebra or Brother.

The only part I had problems with was downloading the driver from rollo website. It just wouldn’t load the webpage. So I downloaded it on my Macbook and transferred it to the raspberry pi over a USB-stick. 

Useful link: I found this post about CUPS. It’s another resource for getting remote printing working across devices. 

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