The company I used to work for was throwing out this all-in-one laser printer. It needed fixed; kept saying there was a paper jam despite the fact there was none. We tried to reason with it, but to no avail. Since repairs tend to cost more than printers and this was the third time it needed repaired, it was determined it was more cost effective (financially, that is to say it doesn't speak for the environmental cost) to just get a new one. The Brother printer was going to be tossed.
My fiance, hoping to save it from the landfill, decided to try and sell it on Craigslist. That failing, I decided to take a few parts off of it before recycling it. I wanted some screws, springs, small motors, etc for my work shop. So I grabbed my drill and set about taking it apart.
At first, I thought "Hmm... there are way more screws and springs here than I need." After about an hour I thought "This thing is an engineering marvel! So many tiny screws and springs and gears working together perfectly. Who comes up with this? Must be some brainy mugs." 8.5 hrs later (and no paper jam, BTdub) I was surrounded by two heaping crates of plastic stuff, one heaping crate of metal things, a box full of motherboards, wires and motors, a large pill bottle full of screws, plus hundreds of gears, rods, springs, clips, and optics. By then I was thinking "This was all headed for a landfill. I'm not even sure that recycling it is sufficient." The amount of material contained within was astonishing.
Here's the laundry list:
~550 tiny screws weighing one pound.
172 springs. This one on my pinky nail is so small it's hard to comprehend (no comments necessary on my need for a mani). I'm thinking about using the printer optics to fashion some real small glasses.
|Motherboards, wires, motors, fans, lights, etc.|
|Glass, mirrors, optics, prolly some kinda laser|
|Rods, pins, rollers, &c.|
|142 plastic gears|
|The table wasn't big enough for all the plastic so I had to lay it out on this table cloth on the lawn. The large open areas are covered with transparent plastic.|
So that's it. One printer, from one (small) business, in one city. There are literally millions of these out there and they're "disposable." If I hadn't torn this one apart, I'd have had no idea.
Anyway, on to my high horse. I started to make stuff outta this printer. So far I've used two screws to attach a light switch cover in my shop, built a wind chime (it sounds very nice) and I'm working on a gourd shaker that uses the springs for the shaky noise things on the skirt. But those will be separate posts. I'd also like to make a picture frame using the motherboards and the scanner glass. If anyone has any ideas leave a comment and we'll see what we can come up with!