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.