Turn a Dead Printer Into a Shredder

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Introduction: Turn a Dead Printer Into a Shredder

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Printers tend to fail. In my company, we had one that ended up making us mad with all sorts of failures (see next step), wasting a lot of paper. So I decided to transform it into something it could be very good at: a shredder.

Step 1: Printer Failures

Non-exhaustive list of possible printer failures that can drive you mad:
  • just won't print
  • stays stuck in the middle of a job
  • ejects a blank sheet before, after, or instead of your print job
  • will output lots of pages full of text with weird characters, instead of what you expect
  • PC Load letter syndrome (actually, could be your mistake, A4 vs Letter)
  • no more ink, in the middle of your 100 pages document
  • does not resume correctly (skips a page) after you had to reload paper in the middle of a document; very annoying when double-sided printing...
  • paper jam
  • after you fixed the paper jam, resumes printing but skips a page
  • loads two pages instead of one (inserts one blank page)
  • loads two pages instead of one, but slightly shifted (wastes two pages)
  • loads page with a skew
  • refuses to print a black/white document, because one of the color cartidges is empty (although there is enough black ink)
  • spreads ink/toner everywhere
  • folds the pages (unfortunately, not as a paper plane)
  • etc, etc, etc...
When you've decided it's time to get rid of it, you have several possibilities, among which:

Step 2: Protagonists

  • The printer in question.
This one is a venerable Konica Minolta Magicolor 2350 color laser printer. It was certainly among the awesome ones, back in the days when color laser printer were uncommon, big, heavy (lots of parts were made of metal), slow, and very expensive (way more expensive than the toner -- unlike nowadays).
  • A small shredder.
Note how both styles differ. WALL-E and EVE ancestors?

Step 3: Rip the Guts Off

Remove all what can be removed without compromising the case stability.

You will end up with a big amount of waste. Similar to after eating artichokes.

Many parts are very specific and probably difficult to reuse, but some can be salvaged for future projects (motors, switches, magnets, and a crazy amount of screws).

Dispose the rest properly.

Step 4: Install the Shredder

I had to enlarge the paper ejection slot, to give access to the shredder.

Step 5: Use IT!

Well, it may look like a familiar scene, indistinguishable from a regular printer at first, but the paper now moves in the opposite direction!

Step 6: ShredDirect [TM]

One word about the ShredDirect [TM] technology.

How often did you notice, right after clicking the print button, and before it was even printed, that your work was not perfect enough? How many times did you print your work until perfect?

Now with ShredDirect, you waste the same amount of paper, but you save the ink!

Here is how it works:
  1. Instead of printing your document, take (manually) a sheet of paper from the tray, and
  2. shred it (see picture).
  3. Improve your work on your computer, and repeat until fully satisfied. Only then, print for real.
Compatibility: ShredDirect works with most modern operating systems, and Plan9.

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user

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54 Comments

You should submit this as an April Fool's prank for the contect

Do it with a printer/scanner/copier instead of just the printer. Lots more "fun" at the office that way.

Anyone in the student loan business... you should install one of these, so next time you guys are working on my file maybe you could make something useful happen.

Actually, doing that could get you fired or in serious trouble...

It wouldnt, well It would because you are destroying a printer, but no one is stupid enough to put a piece of paper in the top of the printer, when the paper tray is on the bototm.

Your title is misleading. It should be: "Hide a shredder inside a gutted printer"

I thinked that you are used mecanizm for copy machine and change or repare some tools to finish the jop!

I would totally do this (or have husband do it) if I had one of these huge printers! Its geeky and a cool conversation piece. Good job on the tut. I would go crazy and paint the printer! =)

user

irs a great april fool???????????????

Well do you think that it is going to work. I have doubts on that. Have any one tried it. What will you do with you laser toner cartridges that you will replace it with your shredder tool. Will it fit into the slot that yo are telling.

Well would like to experiment on this but when i have a spare printer to ruin it not now.