Tag Archives: upcycled

This upcycled printer is now a vinyl cutter

Vinyl cutters are typically used to make stickers, signs and graphics. In short, they are quite handy for Makers to have around, which is why LiquidHandWash recently upcycled an old printer by transforming it into a DIY vinyl cutter.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned project builds on earlier work by Instructables members silverjimmy and Groover, who previously posted instructions for laser cutters on the site.

“My idea is to take an old printer and turn it into a vinyl cutter, as they are quite similar in there design and it would hopefully make the build just that little bit easier,” LiquidHandWash explained.

“As most people find the electronics an software the most intimidating part of a project like this, I’ve gone into a fair amount of detail on how to set it up. Turns out the mechanical part of this project is far more challenging, as it takes quite a bit of tweaking, adjusting and general head banging to get the vinyl to cut  properly.”

Aside from an old printer with stepper motors, key project components include:


Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328)
Dupont wires
10 X 40 pin headers
  • Standoffs 
3mm nuts and bolts
  • Vinyl cutter holder 3pc blade
2X EasyDriver Shield stepping Stepper Motor Driver
  • Relay module shield board for Arduino 
Automotive relay

The first step? Determining where the the Arduino, relay and easy drivers will fit by removing all the old electronics and making a laser cut board to mount the components.

“Once that was done it was time to start using some of those Dupoint wires, they make every thing very easy to wire up,” said LiquidHandWash.

“Just pull a pin out of the headers and plug it in if you want to make the end of the wire male.”

Next up? Identifying the four wires on the stepper motor, wiring up the Arduino, installing and configuring the relevant software/sketches, modifying Inkscape, installing the blade and electromagnet, fitting the cutter and applying the sticker.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s meticulously detailed page here.

DIY LANp controls upcycled RGB lamp

The HackShed crew recently debuted the LANp, a DIY Arduino network controllable RGB lamp made from upcycled scanner components.

Aside from an Atmel-based Arduino board, key project components include:

  • 1x Arduino Ethernet/SD Shield
  • 1x Micro-SDHC Card
  • 1x Scanner LED RGB
  • Various jumper wires
  • QK1-4761 LED scanner bar (Canon PIXMA MP620)

“A few weeks ago we ripped out an RGB LED from an old Canon Scanner that was laying around and going to waste,” a HackShed rep explained in a blog post.

“Since then we’ve been playing around with the RGB LED element and decided to put it to good use. We have come up with LANp. This is an Arduino and Ethernet Shield that controls an RGB LED color real-time with a Javascript color picker.”

The HackShed crew kicked off the project by soldering wires on to the pads of the scanner LED.

“We just soldered wire directly to 4 of the 5 pads. The bottom one isn’t used and the next are R G B +5v going upwards. Make sure that none of the wires, or soldered joints are touching each other as this will skew the color of the LED dramatically,” the rep continued.

“It may be worth taping this up after soldering to avoid the wires touching when you’re moving the LED around. Connect up the Pins to the Arduino; we have used pins 3, 5, 6 for RGB.”

On the software side, HackShed based the webserver code on a previous project which details how to configure an SD Card based web server and serve files over a network (with support for AJAX requests).

“We are using the Flexi Colour Picker by David Durman which is a Javascript based color picker that supports multiple web browsers,” the rep added.

“We have put the Javascript inline instead of a separate file so we are not requesting too many files at once from the webserver.”

Interested in learning more about building a DIY LANp upcycled RGB lamp? You can check out the project’s HackShed page here.

Video: Arduino Uno powers revamped CNC machine

A Maker by the name of Shane has up-cycled an old HP printer, transforming the device into a fully-functioning CNC machine.

According to the HackADay crew, Shane made use of the entire 2500C A3 printer to build the new platform.

“While he was taking it apart [for parts], he realized the chassis would make a great frame for his actual CNC machine. With that in mind Shane quickly changed his game plan to making each axis inside of the printer,” explained HackADay’s James Hobson.

“He’s using regular ball bearing drawer runners for both the X and Z axes, covered with a clever design of aluminum angle to keep any possible chips from jamming them. The Y axis on the other hand makes use of the original shaft runners from the print head carriage. Each axis is driven by threaded rod using recycled stepper motors from the printer.”

The CNC machine is powered by an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328), along with a Protoneer CNC shield to control the stepper drivers. Additional features include an emergency stop, hold, resume and cancel buttons for manual control.

Interested in learning more about the Arduino-powered CNC machine? You can check out the project’s official page here.