Picture of Turn a Dead Printer Into a Shredder
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

Picture of 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:

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urbanalbino4 years ago
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! =)
jxp14 years ago
irs a great april fool???????????????
renewilson5 years ago
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.
DarkRage35 years ago
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...
No, really?!
You mean a printer is NOT suppose to shred paper? Geesh maybe my Lennox was a shredder in a former life☺
I think that's what happens when the shredder and printer sit too closely together in an unattended room for very long. First, they start chatting, then they get friendly, and before you know it, your printer gets ideas.

It doesn't work the other way round, though, because printers have all those smart chips and stuff, while shredders are just kinda "duhhhh".

Oh no... our printer is wireless... maybe that's why it prints random screen shots of Stephen Colbert, it's been talking to the TV! Jeez, that might make for some difficult times during tornado season. I'll know for sure if paper starts flying around the office.
davidochs5 years ago
Cool concept.
anyoldmouse5 years ago
Maybe you could just turn it into something completely different instead of the exact opposite. Maybe hide a UPS inside, a CPU, a little refrigerator or microwave?

I like the idea of turning everything into a toaster, but an office is an unlikely place for toast.
laxap (author)  anyoldmouse5 years ago
A4/Letter - sized toasts?
But then, with paper jam!
Laser-powered Toaster!  Burns important documents into the toast!


You see? This is exactly the kind of thing I expect to see here. I knew that there was still room for toast innovation. Laser-powered...that's awesome.
You'd have to clean it out really good, and make sure the paper path could handle the extra thickness.  Also, there'd have to be a way to deal with crumbs...

Duplexing toast would be cool, but possibly problematic...  mebbe a prism to split the beam somehow.   And yes I know how a laser printer with toner works.  I am thinking how to do it with a real laser, like those kit ones.

eecharlie5 years ago
Sorry, how is this better than the shredder all by itself? Have you only installed the top part of the shredder so that the cavity inside the printer holds all the confetti? 

Or is this mostly just a joke?

Maybe you could put one of those cooling fans back inside, pointed at a hole in the casing so that when you shred something it blows a cloud of shredded paper at you. Would be great for office parties or dramatically destroying important documents.
tom.needer5 years ago
Inventgeek did this 4 years ago.... not origional!
laxap (author)  tom.needer5 years ago
I got the idea independently, and did not check. So thanks for the info. Credit given.
Goodhart5 years ago
I have a small color jet printer that shreds documents before I ever see them about a third of the time without modification :-) 
I think I owned that printer... it shredded everything I tried to print!
laxap (author)  DarkRubyMoon5 years ago
Did you buy it? do you remember for how much?
We bought a refurbed 2430DL for $249 for printing at home(running a non-profit) which has served us well, as well as being very cheap on toner.  Only problem we have with it now is that there's a line down the right side of every page we print.  The toner only costs us $40-50 for a refill, which lasts a looooong time.  The carts work good for refilling, too, no special tools needed.

No... not really... was just joking.
Azayles5 years ago
'"PC SHRED LETTER"? What the f*%# does that mean?!"

Great 'ible :P I see a mistake in step 3 though:

"waste" should be

"handy parts to use in other 'ibles" xD!

I once used the heater element (like a long thin light bulb) as part of an acrylic bender :D
laxap (author)  Azayles5 years ago

Do you remember the voltage? I also saved the heater.
Azayles laxap5 years ago
Should say it on the white ceramic end caps, at least it did on mine. The one I had was 240 volts, so direct mains.
You can most likely use an ordinary light dimmer switch to vary the temperature, as the filament represents a resistive load -- exactly like a light bulb.
digus5 years ago
Any advantage to not just use the new shredder and chunk the old printer? I can't see it being any more efficient - plus it's 10 times bigger... Geeky and fun though...
laxap (author)  digus5 years ago
Indeed the old printer case will soon end up in the waste, unless I find a better idea... Anyway that was just fun to make and to post.
digus laxap5 years ago
Well I can certainly respect that! At least you're doing something (somewhat;)) productive...;)
modern man5 years ago
The concept is hilarious, but you didn't really show any how to.
I agree with Zack247.
dmfh5 years ago
Remember you can try and recycle the printer....or even donate it to your favorite not for profit organization (may have a tech that will repair it).

I like the office space idea better....lets all just face it....sometimes things just deserved to get punched in the face a few times.
stncilr dmfh5 years ago
whoa! i wouldn't like to be your wife!
MotaBoi stncilr5 years ago
tom.needer5 years ago
sjs2295 years ago
 but what's its use if you are using an actual shredder?

you could use that shredder without putting it in the printer also.
laxap (author)  sjs2295 years ago
Of course, you're right.

But that was just for the fun. This printer was more destroying than printing. Half-shredding. I found it funny to make it perfectly shred.

The hero of this ible is still the printer, not the shredder hidden inside.

might be a bit better with a real trademark sighn--  copy paste away!   

ShredDirect ®
Datawolf5 years ago
I don't unbderstand the added value of the printer !
What about using the shredder directly ?
laxap (author)  Datawolf5 years ago
No added value, just for fun. And also, to enter the contest (also just for fun, since I'm not in the US/Canada) !
danlab5 years ago
we had the same printer, it worked passably until about four years ago when it somehow broke the black toner cartridge and coated the inside with lots of nasty black goop. After that we took a tour of the computer recycling place and it didn't get to go. But ally we just took it the the recyclers and made it their problem.
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