Disassembling a Brother MFC-J450DW Printer

Introduction: Disassembling a Brother MFC-J450DW Printer

This is a rough guide that shows a Brother MFC-J450DW printer being disassembled for use in a later project. The printer came with the capabilities to print, scan, and fax but only printing was needed. The scanning and faxing components were removed to provide easier access to the printing internals of the machine.

Step 1: Open Lid & Remove Cover

The lid of the printer was opened and the first panel was removed by a combination of unscrewing and prying.

Step 2: Remove Screws

All screws above the main printing component were removed.

Step 3: Remove Display and Buttons

The display and buttons were pulled off of the printer. You get to see an interesting look at the capacitive buttons that are used to control the printer.

Step 4: Remove Paper Tray

Pull out the paper tray for now.

Step 5: Ribbon Cables

Unplugged the ribbon cables for the front display and the scanner.

Step 6: Fax Components

Removed all of the fax components. It is recommended that you save the gears and stepper motor. These can be used in many other projects.

Step 7: Scanner Components

The scanner components were then removed. Better yet, another stepper motor was found!

Step 8: Bare Printer

It can be seen from these pictures that the printer does not dispense ink directly from the cartridges. Instead it pumps the ink out of them and into the print head.

Step 9: Uncovering Circuit Boards

Removed some screws and exposed the circuit boards underneath.

Step 10: Installing Ink

Installed the ink in the printer.

Step 11: Overriding Safety

Had to tape down the safety switches to make the printer think all the covers were closed (the covers were removed entirely).

Step 12: Starting Up the Printer

Started up the printer and it started cleaning the print heads automatically. After that was done, it was ready to print.

Step 13: Test Print

Ran a test print.

Step 14: PCB Wires

The first part of this tutorial was to show that you can remove the scanner and fax and still have a working computer. The second part will show the complete tare down of the printer. This begins by removing the wires attached to the PCB.

Step 15: LAN and Ink Cartridge PCB

Removing the PCB for the LAN connection and ink readings.

Step 16: Ink Housing

Step 17: Main PCB

Removed the main PCB

Step 18: Reveal the Print Head

Step 19: Printer Speaker

Removed the printers speaker. It has a very strong magnet built in.

Step 20: Chassis Separation

Separated the chassis from the parts responsible for printing.

Step 21: Ink Pumps

Begin to remove the ink pumps

Step 22: Encoder

Found a small encoder.

Step 23: More Framework Removed

Step 24: Paper Tray Motor

Step 25: Removing Bulk

Step 26: Removed Motor

This motor has an attached encoder.

Step 27: Uncovering the Print Head

Step 28: Ink Pumping System

Step 29: Print Head

Step 30: Power Supply

Step 31: Finished Deconstruction

I learned a lot about how a printer actually functions from this tare down. The hardest part was resisting the urge to break parts off. I had to keep double and triple checking to find that newly revealed screw that needed to be removed.

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    7 Discussions


    Question 7 days ago on Step 13

    So, I have decided to do this for myself the cavewoman way since I see there were zero responses for the previous text going years back. No gloves needed since ink is water soluble/washes off with just water. Hahaa
    1) gently remove the ink port cover
    2) use an old wash cloth with a thin bamboo skewer/blunt side to shovel the wash cloth into the tabbed spring crevices to soak up spilt ink beneath the ink port. Clean other areas where ink is pooling using the pointed tip of the skewer to get into the sharp edges with the cotton cloth to soak up the spilled ink.
    You could also a very thin wire loop that would fit easily into the ports to drag out the excess ink at the tips.
    3) use a sharp pocket knife blade to splice the bamboo skewer to fit into the actual ink port if you see ink in the clear ports. Use a scooping and pulling out motion to clean it out or move out the little pooled ink. You can dip the spliced skewer into a drop of rubbing alcohol get the excess ink out of the ink clear plastic port. Ink should still be wet and not dry. If dry, the alcohol wet spliced bamboo skewer will dislodge and gently remove the clogged ink. Be sure not to push into the clog. Use more alcohol on the wick/spliced bamboo IF ink is too dry. Never push the dry ink further than its original position. As the dry ink absorbs the alcohol, use the spliced bamboo only to drag the hydrated ink out of the ink port. Or use the hair thin wire loop to drag it out. (I used my scissors to cut a longer and thin splice) bamboo is frayed so I feel it will work well as a natural wick but be careful that the frayed parts are securely attached and can’t come off easily inside the the clear ink port.
    My ink spill happens about two yrs ago and no dried ink was seen anywhere. So, I believe no syringe or alcohol is needed. Just get a thin wire or splice your bamboo skewer to scoop up ink out of clear ink port. Make sure no bamboo pieces will come loose inside of the ink port crevices by testing it gently with your fingers before you use it.


    7 days ago

    Is this an abandoned link and no one is there to answer questions? I see 5 yrs ago no comments plus 8 weeks ago no comments? Hmmm 🤔


    Question 7 days ago

    I hope someone can help me with my question. I just ordered new ink cartridges and I desperately need this printer to work. Please help if you can.


    Question 7 days ago on Step 31

    How do I just get the ink ports cleaned up? I ordered refillable ink kit and it spilled Ink into the ink hub ports and beneath the ink Hub ports.


    Question 2 months ago on Introduction

    Excellent teardown; the ink PCB b57c030-1 is faulty in my friends machine.. I was looking at your teardown wondering if I could bypass it somehow. Thanks again for the pics; I'll update if I'm successful.


    4 years ago

    how many screws altogether and I did not see the papert feed mechanism - mine is stuck after I removed a load of jammed paper from the papere tray and would like to readjust or realign the feed mechanism

    Thanks a very good outlay and clear pictures - I still am scared of trying to dissassemble the 290C I have.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great instructable on disassembly. Thanks for sharing!