Introduction: Disassembling a CD/DVD Reader and Reusing Its Parts

About: A eletrical engeneering student, video games lover and hardware aficionado. Starting my journey through the world of electronics. Microcontrollers?! I love them!


Talking about CD and DVD drivers, they are awesome! You can find many cool and valuable(for a hobbist) things inside them to use in your projects. There are so many things that you can do with one or more of these drivers that you will be impressed.

This instructable is about this, reusing the parts from a old/dead CD or DVD driver. After disassembling many of these drivers i could learn its tricks and know what can be done with them, now I want to share this specific knowledge with you.

So, let's start!

Step 1: Finding Your Victim

You can find a dead CD or DVD driver in old computers, maybe you have one in your house. But if you don't have one don't worry. I got mine from a computer repair workshop, if you ask for one in the workshop next to your house they will possibly give you one, because this drivers when dead and being substituted are going to trash, asking don't cost anything.

Good luck!

Step 2: The Tools

To get it open, you will need only some screwdrivers, for the most part i used only a philips screwdriver, But the ideal is to have a kit with many screwdrivers, because you may need a strange to disassemble the laser.

Maybe you will need pliers to pulling the magnets in the laser structure.

Ah, you may also need a solder iron and the skills in how to use it.

Step 3: Starting the Surgery

The first thing to do is to loose the four screws under the driver, after that you can pull the cover.

Step 4: Retiring the Other Part of the Metal Case.

Now on the sides of the press the marked parts on the images and pull
the front of the driver, after that finish taking off the metal cover.

Step 5: Retiring the Electronic Board

I don't use the electronic board, but it is standing in the way of our progress, see the images to know how to take it.

I recommend that you put these parts that don't have much value for us in a box/bag for discarding correctly later.

Step 6: The Tray Motor Board

In the images, you can see how to take off the tray mechanism, there are some things that can bee used here.

You will need knowledge in desoldering to retrieve the parts from the board.

1 x Green diffuse LED.

1 x DC motor.

1 x push button.

1 x strange button.

Step 7: The Tray Mechanism

Here, there are some gears that you can use with the motor from the step before.

What you can make with this parts depends of your creativity, you can make a reduction to a robot or something like that, I using some these in one of my projects, You will see it in Instructables in some time.

Step 8: That Thing That I Don't Know the Name.

Yep, I don't know if this thing has a name.

Let's call it 'Laser movementing mechanism', ok?

For me, that is the real treasure inside these drivers, because I have seen people use them to make laser cutters, engravers, 3D printers and plotters.

Following are some projects that I like with that mechanism:

A Bio Printer.

Poor Man's 3D Printer.

Pocket laser engraver.

And my favorite:

Printer from a CD reader.

Step 9: The Brushless Motor.

The motor used to spin the CD or DVD is a brushless motor, that means that you can't simply connect two wires in a battery and it will spin, for that, you will need a Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) and maybe some mods , following are some instructables with motors like this.

Some projects with these motors:

Arduino CDROM BLDC Motor Driver

I saw people using these motors to fly RC planes with some modifications.

Step 10: The Stepper

The motor used to movement the laser is a stepper motor, stepper motors are very good to positioning, the signal sent to the motor makes it move to a determined position.

The stepper motor in these drivers is bipolar, and have to be used with H bridges , I use the L239D chip, a dual H bridge to drive them.

Nice projects with these steppers:

Arduino Mini Laser Paper Cutter.

Arduino mini pen plotter.

The MicroSlice | A tiny Arduino laser cutter.

Step 11: The Laser

The DVD/CD readers have two lasers, while the CD readers have only one, yeah... I think. The laser used to burn DVDs can be strong enough to burn matches and other things.

Following are some instructables using these lasers.

A Homemade Laser Pointer.

Homemade Laser Module.

*Don't point the laser to your eyes, or to anyone eye or not,it can do serious eye damage or burn the skin, don't be stupid it's not funny.*

Step 12: Well Done!

Hey, we can stop here.

I hope that you liked this Instructable.

Remember to discard the parts that you're not using within the regulation of your city/state/country.

Now you have some things to experiment with, good bye and be creative!

In some days (or weeks) I will be here with something made with these drivers.

Please, if you liked my instructable, vote for me in the 'Teach it!' contest.

See you.

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