Every so often a project comes along on Instructables that really, truly is useful…if for nothing but creating great conversations. The ‘EWaste 60$ 3DPrinter’ from first-time Instructables author mikelllc is one of those projects.
To begin with, this is the perfect project for anybody that wants to learn more about how a standard CNC system and g-code works. Secondly, the device is not only a mini-desktop fabricator, it is also a statement towards our current state of technology-driven waste…particularly because the device is made from outdated technologies including a floppy disk drive and two standard CD/DVD drives from an old PC.
To say the final product looks like a post-apocalyptic machine that was hacked together by a mad scientist with found items scattered across a wasteland is an understatement…because the dang thing literally is.
Essentially, the project is about teaching the machine to respond to g-code instructions and adding a small plastic extruder to follow programmed paths similar to existing 3D printers and CNC machines.
“Following this instructions you will get a small footprint 3D Printer that is built with about an 80% of recycled components, which gives it a great potential and helps to reduce the cost significantly. On one side you get an introduction to machine building and digital fabrication and on the other side you get a small 3D Printer built out of reused electronic parts. This should help us to be more conscious about the big problems related with e-waste generation.”
Using the aforementioned floppy disk and CD/DVD drives as an upcycle-inspired design driver, the project is the perfect blend of soldering, programming, fabricating and ultimately, ending up with a machine that is capable of printing its own repair parts.
If you have a day to spare and $60 you’re willing to throw at having your own miniature desktop 3D printer, this project couldn’t be any more perfect. Check it out in full over at Instructables.