Introduction: The Ideas Printer

Picture of The Ideas Printer

The purpose of this instructable is to build an "ideas printer". I transformed an old broken HP deskjet 400 in both a container and a workplace to solder, glue, cut and build my projects.
I want also to hide tools when not used.


Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

- old printer
- hot glue
- screwdriver
- soap
- multimeter
- solder
- tools you want to store in the printer
- breadboard
- copper wires

Step 2: Disassemble the Printer

Picture of Disassemble the Printer

- find the screws that keep the printer together
- unscrew them
- open the printer
- remove all electronics and mechanics of the printer until you have a plastic box

NOTE: keep ll this precious stuff, it will be usefull in other projects

Step 3: Clean the Printer

Picture of Clean the Printer

The first step is to clean the printer.
- use water and soap
- be patient and take your time, you want to get dirt only once. If you do a good job in this step, next steps will be cleaner
- you can use also products to clean glasses or windows (they are more efficient on old ink)
- before putting together all pieces, be sure that they are dry

Step 4: Explore Potentiality

Picture of Explore Potentiality

- when I build some project I usually take some time to explore if there are some creative way of using you material
- I will try to find some of the lights and buttons of the printer as I/O (input/output) in my circuit prototypes
- using the tester to measure resistance, I find two wires that loops when the big button is pressed. I will use this feature later in the project

Step 5: Add the Breadboard

Picture of Add the Breadboard

The breadboard is the main component to prototype your electric circuits.
- use some hot glue to attach a breadboard to the paper tray of the printer
- before gluing, be sure that paper tray with the breadboard attached can close

The free space left on the paper tray will be used to cut or glue. You can use the extensible part of the tray when needed to enlarge the size of the working area.

Step 6: Add More Features to the Printer

Picture of Add More Features to the Printer

Based on your interests and usual activities you can add a lot of features:
- useful labels (I sticked a resistor color scheme)
- solder pad (to clean the solder)
- solder wire
- a button wired to the breadboard

NOTE: you can also add a power supply to give 5v and 12v to the breadboard (you can use one from an old computer)

Step 7: Add Tools

Picture of Add Tools

Now you can add useful tool inside the empty space of the printer:
- wires and rubber
- solder
- a little hot glue gun
- voltage/current meter

You can also add boxes to store electronic components like diodes, resistor or condensator. 


zack247 (author)2010-03-20

now all i need is a printer... (glances at his brand new lexmark x2650)

agis68 (author)zack2472011-02-14

i have 6 old jetprinters....i can send u one...:)

derte84 (author)zack2472010-03-21

 a lot of people keep the old ones unused in boxes.Try asking to friends

zack247 (author)derte842010-11-07

hey i found the printer in the storage room! hp deskjet 350 (i think) blue, small, and it has a removable paper tray. i think i might add a 5v and 12v power supply using a 22v adapter.

zack247 (author)derte842010-03-21

i think i have one in the storage room somewhere. one thing you could do is use a cold cathode light from a scanner as a worklight, and mount it just behind the front of the printer's casing

derte84 (author)zack2472010-03-22

i'll definitely do it when I destroy my old scanner for building a CNC thing :)

Do you know how many volts need these lights?

scratchr (author)derte842010-03-22

I have one that needs 15v@1.5a, they don't document the requirements, so i recommend using a adjustable regulator circuit to test the inverter.

zack247 (author)scratchr2010-03-22

yeah. i tried testing my inverter by hooking it up to a regular psu, little did i know it was malfunctioning and the inverter started smoking. then, as i was putting it away, one of the wires broke off of the cathode tube

renewilson (author)2010-05-14

I think that the same can be done with the printer's toner cartridges. It would act like a small portable tool storage place. But am i no t sure that will be good or niot as i have never worked on it

scratchr (author)2010-03-21

great idea!

derte84 (author)scratchr2010-03-22

thanks :)

Misac-kun (author)2010-03-12

pretty usefull, i will do one for me when i find an old printer in the junkyard

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