Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Converting an A3 printer into CNC machine - Pt1


This is a retrospective blog on my conversion of an old HP 2500C A3 printer into a CNC machine.  It's retrospective because the original plan was to just pull it to bits for parts!  If I had known (or planned) that it would become a CNC machine, I would have blogged as I went.

So what started as a deconstruction turned into a reconstruction once it became apparent that the bare bones chassis of the printer would be the perfect starting point for a desktop CNC machine.

The printer is approximately 12 years old, and I hadn't used it since it stripped off a few teeth from any one of many gears inside the beast.  You can pick these printers up off places like Ebay and Amazon for around $150-$200.  They had mixed reviews in their day, and the cartridges were hideously expensive.  The thing weighs around 30kg (66 lb) so it would be ideal for a small boat anchor.

The tear down:

It took a few hours to pull apart, and the panelwork did its usual thing of holding on for dear life via the hidden lock tabs, screws and various other clips.  Everything is held together with T-6 and T-20 star screws.  I was able to use most of them during the reconstruction.

So after trimming 3/4 of the weight out of it (including a nice collection of 7 motors), I was ready to start.

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