My journey into building a 3d printer from old printer parts

Just because I've got nothing better to do with all my free time....

  (copy of by blog at )


I got looking at all of the various DIY 3D printers on the market, and got wondering to myself... 


Why are there not many hobbyists re-using old All-In-One or Multifunction printers to scavenge parts from? 


My gut feel provides two answers.... 


  1. Many people have tried and failed...  but I see little evidence of this through Google searches.  
  2. The various RepRap kits have made it both affordable and technically possible through decent and thorough documentation to build from a kit, thus no need to do it completely from scratch.



Further research into true DIY 3D printers, finally led me to this incredible project out of Africa, building a 3D printer from recycled electronics.




Then I got looking at this DIY 3D printer below , and decided that I need to at least try this.




I visited  and did a search on cheap Multifunction Printers in my area.


I immediately purchased a functional Brother MFC-7340   for $25


And a Canon Pixma MG-3520 All-In-One Scanner/Printer *NEW in Box* for $20



Between these two printers, I should be able to scavenge the X/Y bed from the scanner intact. Including linear bearings, rods, steppers, gears and belts.   I will leave the dimensions as is.  I know it will be a bit strange, but...  This entire project is a bit strange.


I should also be able to get two Z axis steppers, linear rods/bearings gears and belts as well.  I will have to fashion a sturdy support  from T-Slot extrusion...


To that end,  I purchased some 80/20 T-Slot aluminum extrusion for $40








Then there are the parts that I KNOW that I cannot (should not!) make myself. 


The Electronics will be purchased according to RepRap specifications

              Electronics:  $140  or on   Ebay for $100?


I will purchase and install a prefab Extruder with Hot end:    $95


And will listen to the various recommendations for using a Heated bed:  $25


Total budget?


2x recycled printers     $  50

T-Slot framing             $  40

Electronics                   $140

Extruder                       $100

Heated Bed                  $  25


Total:                           $355

Yes, I know I can get a PrintrBot for $300, but mine will be significantly larger... 

...and I hope I'll learn more than just frustration along the way.   (Yes, I also know there will be frustration to share)

Whether I succeed or fail... I will document the journey here, in photos and possibly some video.


Wish me luck...


If you have tips, recommendations, whatever, please feel free to leave a comment below.  (Just don't tell me I'm an id10t ...  My wife has well informed me on that aspect...)









My local 3D printer supply company:  (local being an hour or so away...)



Contact Us:Address:

Unit 121, 2400 Midland Avenue, Toronto, ON Canada M1S 5C1

Workshop: 1 (416) 792-8388

Sales & Support: [email protected] / [email protected] - Hang Zhuo

3D Printing Services: [email protected] - Tong He

Other Inquiry: [email protected] - Jing Guo

I don’t know how much mass will play in to your build.

I am basing this comment a bit from what I have gleaned about DIY CNC mills. When designing a system to travel linearly, you need to be aware that, if your rails can not support the mass reliably, they will bow and you will lose accuracy. That is why many(?) printers make use of 8mm smooth rod (IMNSHO). :slight_smile: While the smooth rods are good enough for printer heads, I am not so sure how they will hold up to the added mass of a heated bed/support/print object. There is a large DIY laser cutter project that is also having deflection issues, and, I think he is using extrusion for his carriage.

I am not trying to discourage you. I am just sharing what I think I know. :slight_smile:

/me waits to be proven wrong. :smiley:

I did see this comment on a Reddit page

First things first… this was “supposed” to be a Blog entry… I’m not sure how I stupidly put it in the forum… oh well.


The “cure” was to support the rods in the middle, assuming that your bed is 10-12" in width, and the linear bearings are out beyond  the ends, you have a bit of room to play. 



That’s an interesting
That’s an interesting project.
I started to build my SmartRap… to be able to print parts for a second larger one.
For the moment, I have an Epson CX 6400 stored in my garage, waiting to be open to looks at what parts are there.

I will be following every step here, especially frustration management :slight_smile:

Good luck!

Very, very much appreciated.

Thanks for all of the support guys.


Shall be fun!