Intro: Solid Ink Recycling Into Crayons
My family got me a Xerox ColorQube 8570 for my 50th birthday. It's seriously awesome.
Fast with really good colour saturation on my printing.
One small thing is the *cost* and availability of the ink, you just can't go to the local office supply store.
When the printer does a cleaning cycle, it seems a waste of the expensive ink that gets dumped into the waste tray.
The solid ink blocks are pretty much like big hard blocky crayons.
Step 1: Get Your Waste Ink
Although the printer uses ink in the basic CYMK (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, & Black) of printing, the waste tray that collects the ink all mixed and comes in only one colour.....BLACK
Nevertheless, it still can be remade into crayons.
Access the waste tray as per the printer instructions
Step 2: Empty the Waste Tray
You might want to wait for a couple of cleaning cycles to yield enough waste ink sufficient to make the crayons.
The picture here shows the waste ink in the tray after two cleaning cycles.
It's rather easy to pop out the waste ink and return the tray to the printer.
Step 3: Prepping the Waste Ink
Break up the waste ink into smaller pieces (more or less thumbnail sized)....it will melt easier and faster in the next step
Step 4: Bring Forth the Crayola(tm) Crayon Maker!
I picked up a Crayola Crayon Maker at my local charity/thrift store for $8
This item can be had easier on eBay in prices ranging from $10 and up
Plug your Crayon Maker in and follow the manufacturer's instructions, dumping in your ink chips into the melting trays like you would for your crayon pieces.
NOTE: It will take at least TWO heating/melting cycles to get the solid ink to the proper state to pour into the mold
The Crayon Maker will only make 4 half-crayons at a time. There will be some excess that overfills the mold, just break it up and it will re-melt just fine
Just repeat the process until you use up all your ink
There might be a little bit leftover not enough to make a full half-crayon.....just set it to melt, don't pour. Leave it in the melting tray until you get enough to make more
Step 5: Finished
Two cleaning cycles worth of solid ink was enough to yield me 15 half-crayons.....your mileage may vary
The resultant crayons are a bit harder than regular crayons, but still can be used for drawing/marking/colouring
My daughter loves to draw *a lot* and seeing that I can make my expensive solid ink waste put to another purpose makes me feel I'm getting a little more of my money's worth!