Someone Made a 3D Printer Out of a Floppy Disk Drive and Other E-Waste

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

E-waste is all around us, but as the brilliant Instructables user behind this 3D printer proves, there's plenty to be done with it – with a little light engineering required.

An Instructables user named Mikelllc has gone way further, uploading his designs for a 3D printer made from 80 per cent recycled e-waste and costing roughly $60 (£38). Part of the idea, he writes, is to "help us to be more conscious about the big problems related with e-waste generation."

So how did he do it? You can read the full post here, but he starts with two DVD disc drives and one floppy disk drive, which will supply the stepper motors for the printer. Then he grabbed a PC power supply along with other cables and a soldering iron, creating the guts of the printer by hand. The software comes from Repetier Host's free program, and the other hardware is made using cheap lasercut materials as well as a 3D-printed nozzle.

While this alone certainly won't fix the issue of ever-growing global piles of e-waste, it definitely drives home one issue at play here: the fact that we could be doing a lot more with what we already own. [Instructables, Prosthetic Knowledge]