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Today was eventful. Printers, printers, everywhere!

During the Public Bloominglabs meeting, as I walked in, there were stacks of printers beneath the windowsill. I knew that this was the cleaning that was discussed. The sprawl of the “cleaning” escaped far outside the door onto the sidewalk. Of course, we did clean this up, but some software dev hacker wanted to do the absolute unspeakable with these 9 printers, many of them laser…..

He wanted to “Throw Them Away”!!!oh god

So, we recused them and set them aside the MAME cabinet we have in the ‘Space. That was Wednesday.

So, today rolls around, and after I dropped off a friend, I saw the email that someone was at the ‘space taking apart the printers for all sorts of stuff. I drop on by, because demolishing plastic printer bodies is my “specialty”.  I was headed there initially for Arduino stuffs, but motors and gears are fun too.

So, I was handed a printer. A junk HP all in 1 printer/scanner. And every screw was a Torx bit. Every last one. And of course, my torx bits are the shot ones on a hex adapter so I can switch them in and out… And all of these were recessed. Waitforit… I have a hacksaw and a hammer!



So, instead of meticulously unscrewing each nasty torx screw, I just ripped the screws and threads off all in one HULKSMASH motion. You can see my handiwork there. Poor printer. Evidently Hewlett Crapard’s printers are these DC motors with opto-interruptors and wheels with tiny black ticks on them. Do note, that is what the _first_ Mendel 3d printer used to control the motors, and they QUICKLY went to using real steppers because DC motors are terrible when you need precision for things like printing!

Of course, that’s why I’m taking these apart; because they are indeed trash with small gems for us parts geeks to use.

Printers Stripped for oozey goodness in motors and circuits: 6  ~  Printers Left: 3

We’re winning.


I finally make it to Boominglabs: Ghetto Line Laser howto

I came last week to Bloominglabs on a Wednesday. And Steve here was running an awesome Arduino class. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ewww…. Arduino.  Couldn’t I use something more professional like an FPGA, DSP, or a PIC? Well. No. An Arduino works great when you want something dirty and quick. Getting it done […]


Today, members at Bloominglabs called for the “Stuff Room” to be cleaned and purged. This left us members a nifty room better fit for cleaner projects and a kicking soldering kit! Unfortunately, cleaning started at 6pm, and I got off work at 7pm. But open house is tonight (and Every Wednesday night), so the cleaning and demolishing continued until about a half hour ago.

We also have a great deal of *TEMPORARY* project space next to our laser cutter. However, it does seem that our LCD projector is on the fritz. The connect cable is some weird non-standard DVI-look alike port that terminates to USB and SVGA. No clue here, but we’re attempting a fix.