Can you recall the last time you used your PC’s floppy disc drive? Better question, do any of you young Makers out there even know what a floppy disc is? How about that DVD player, or have your resorted entirely to Netflix? In any case, a Maker by the name of “
In an attempt to make the community more conscious about the “big problems with the e-waste generation,” Mike began by attaining a pair of DVD disc drives and one floppy drive, which are used to supply the stepper motors for the printer. The Maker then took a PC power supply along with other cables and a soldering iron to create the inner workings of the printer.
After downloading Arduino IDE, he used an ATmega644P based RepRap Gen6 to serve as the brains of the makeshift machine; however, he does note that RAMPS (ATmega2560) can also be used to bring the printer to life. The device runs off of free Repetier Host software, while the remaining components were each devised using cheap lasercut materials.
As far as filament goes, the machine uses 1.75mm bio-plastic filament, which is both easier to extrude and more flexible than the typical 3mm standard. Mike also notes that this size filament also require less power to drive the DIY machine than the 3mm. Aside from being eco-friendly, in comparison to ABS, the selected filament melts at lower temperature, attaches easily to the printing bed and has very little retraction.
As they say, one man’s trash is another Maker’s treasure. Interested in creating your own $60 3D printer using e-waste? You can access a step-by-step tutorial of the build along with all the necessary downloads on its official Instructables page here.