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is also a statement towards our current state of technology-driven waste…particularly because the device is made from outdated technologies including a floppy disk drive and two standard CD/DVD drives from an old PC.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.”

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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.

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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.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.