A Clever Hack Makes Any Receipt Printer Spit Out The U.S. Constitution

No more shall you print 20-feet-long receipts when I buy AA batteries! Now you will print our nation’s founding document!

Swiss artist Thibault Brevet apparently has an affinity for America’s most treasured document: the Constitution. He created a hack that can produce a brand-new paper copy of it from any receipt printer.


Brevet, best known before this for a project called “Grand Central” that used a robot equipped with markers to write crowdsourced thoughts, was commissioned to come to this year’s South by Southwest with a project. He created CONSTI2GO, a clever hacking device made from an Arduino microcontroller.

CONSTI2GO looks like a buzzer you might use as a contestant on Jeopardy, with a long cord at the end attached to a serial port (the big kind you once used to plug your printer into your computer). What’s unique about the device is that it actually has the entirety of the U.S. constitution built into it, with one purpose: When plugged into a standard receipt printer, it’ll override that printer’s interface and tell it to print the Constitution immediately.

CONSTI2GO is self-powered and pocket-sized, so if you wanted to carry it around and sneakily print off super-long copies of the Constitution at CVS, it’d be pretty easy to do.

[via Creative Applications]

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.