Looking to design a 3D-printer, but can’t afford the materials required? Well, an Instructables user Mikellc has designed a $60 DIY 3D-printer that is crafted from recycled electronic components.
Currently, only 12.5% of all electronic waste or e-waste is recycled and the rest of them – around 20 to 50 million metric tons per year worldwide makeup the landfills. Many such products ending up in landfills can also produce toxic chemicals like lead that pollute the air and soil. Hence, recycling electronic products is good economically as well as ecologically.
The eWaste 3D-printer is easy and cheap to design. MikeIIc notes that 80% of the required components can be easily got from the old chunk lying in your home office, basement, attic or closet. You need to follow MikeIIc’s step-by-step instructions which are clearly explained. The tutorial educates you on “How a generic CNC (Computer Numerical Control) system works” and then programming your printer to respond to G-code instructions.
One interesting thing about this 3D-printer is that in addition to designing a usable machine, you will also be equipped with solid tech skills at the end of the process. To get started, you require a pair of 5.25” used CD/DVD drives, an old 3.5” floppy disc drive which will supply the stepper motors for the printer. You also need a standard PC power supply along with other cables, female connectors, a heat-shrink tube, and some CNC electronics.
There are a few other components- like a NEMA 17 stepper motor- that you’ll need to buy, but for the most part you’ll be using recycled parts. The instructables page provides clear instructions for everything from soldering the cables to the motors and connecting wires, installing and using Arduino printer control software, and more. In case, you don’t find the required components from the used stuff, there are instructions and template that help you in designing your own laser cut parts for the frame, which can be assembled without the need for glue.
The eWaste 3D-printer uses 1.75 mm plastic filament which consumes less power to run your machine. It is easier to extrude and also much more flexible than the PLA bio-plastic. You can contact MikeIIc for any problems regarding the project.