Introduction: 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
- 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...
- do like in the Office Space movie
- just dispose it calmly and properly
- or, turn it into a shredder (and for me, apply to the Dead Computer Contest): Read on...
Step 2: Protagonists
- The printer in question.
- A small shredder.
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]
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:
- Instead of printing your document, take (manually) a sheet of paper from the tray, and
- shred it (see picture).
- Improve your work on your computer, and repeat until fully satisfied. Only then, print for real.