Taking my vitamins.

I stopped in at a printer repair shop today and asked the store owner if he had any printers he was throwing out. He had plenty of old printers out back from which I chose a 10 year old cannon printer and scanner.

The 10 year old printer obtained for free.

After over an hour of dismantling it I was a little disappointed to find there were no Nema 17 like stepper motors that I was after. However there was plenty of other usefully bits.

Parts from the printer.

Some of the highlights included two sizeable stepper motors, a collection of solid stainless steel shafts, belts,  plastic gear wheels and a long bladed blower fan. I’m not sure what use the steppers are as I currently have nothing to drive them with.

More parts from the printer including two mirrors and a lens.

Also of use is a full gearbox that is attached to one of the steppers, which could prove to be useful for driving a automatic filament spooler for the nurdle extruder. The blower fan (at the top of the image above)  could be used with hair dryer nickel chromium wire to provide a stream of warm air over the print bed on a Mendel. The shop owner I got this printer from asked what I wanted the parts for and so I explained what a reprap was. He seemed quite intrigued by the idea and so said he would put aside some mote printers he cant fix for me to pull apart. So maybe I will have more luck finding some Nema 17 sized steppers next time. The point here is if you see a printer repair shop in your local area it may be worth sticking your head in the door as old printers are a treasure trove of useful parts.

About Richard

I am a Materials Engineering working in the field of Magnetic Materials in Melbourne, Australia. This blog covers my personal interest in all things CNC.
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2 Responses to Taking my vitamins.

  1. Elmo says:

    As long as the steppers aren’t unipolar-only (exactly 5 wires) you can drive them with the reprap electronics. Do note the resistance, which might be quite different from what the usual motors in use in repraps have. The bigger problem with motors that come from printers etc. is that the shafts are very short, otherwise they would be very usable.

    A source of nema 14 motors are very old hard drives, in the size of 5.25″.

    The most easily useful components for me have been the smooth rods, and only the 2 longest rods in my mendel had to be bought anew.

    • Richard says:

      Unfortunately I have not got my hands on the reprap electronics yet and wont for some time. I’m coming into the last semester of uni next week and know that they will distract me from my studies, and so I am holding off for a bit..

      Also I’m finding the stainless steel rods i’m pulling out of printers are all too varied in length and thickness to be of much use for the Mendel. I guess thats just because I have mainly been pulling apart domestic printers as opposed to commercial photo copiers. Although, one quit thick (1.5cm in diameter) stainless steel shaft I now have would be perfect for drilling out to make an extruder barrel.

      Thanks for pointing out 5.25″ hard drives, I will keep an eye out for some.


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