Let's Make Robots!

Salvaging a Color Laser Printer

Hey everybody! I've been following letsmakerobots for a while but haven't posted anything yet. Love the work guys, keep it up. :) I'll get right to it:

 I've recently acquired one of these: http://imgrr.com/x/10e7311.jpg . It's a Samsung CLX-3160FN Color Laser / Copier / Fax. It needs too many parts to be fixed really, so I've decided I'm going to scavenge at least the stepper motors. Anyone have any advice on anything else inside that may be useful apart from caps and connectors? The keypads will be useless as far as I can tell, since they're of the rubber pad type that's generally a pain to get working outside of the intended machine. 


So, any advice here? :) Also, does anyone want to see pics after I tear it down?

 Edit: Thanks for the great advice! It's sort of a huge beast with tons of goodies inside, no doubt. I'll take photos and post a writeup once I start digging in. 


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It can be useful to others when searching for goodies.

Regarding parts, stay away from Xerox laser printers model DocuPrint 4508, they did a hell of an engineering job  having the whole mechanics driven by one ... repeat: *ONE* 7.5 stepper motor. The power source is integrated with the driver board so it is only useful to take parts off it. There is also the laser on this thing, sadly I cannot find a pinout on the module. So unless you have several of those to kill the trouble is not worth.

That guy looks fairly new which usually means not so many usable electronics.


- it has to have a fairly good power source

- there is an ~200 mW infrared laser diode in there, used with care (because its IR and it can be very harmful to the eye) could be fun

- motors:

    - if you are lucky they still use steppers, if you are very lucky you wil find a matched pair of them - usually not

    - some dc motors here and there, maybe with encoders too

    - probably some brush less dc motors too 

- various useful stuff: gears, rollers, optical sensors, touch sensors, heat sensors

 Older machines are more rich in useful stuff and most usefull of them are old copyers.

Yeah, I figured it would be a pain to get much usable electronics because it's relatively new, which is why I asked before ripping 'er apart. :) Thanks for the input!
I did destroy a lot of printers, and still looking for an old copyer to get some real big nice steppers ... sadly most of them still work or can be fixed :(
Some laser printers use electronic clutches so that one large motor can drive several parts at different times such as paper pickups.
Sometimes along the paper path are small reflective IR sensors, good for line following robots.  Lots of connectors to get. The whole power board could probably be lifted, to buildinto some soprt of bench power supply. The top lid part actually looks like an interesting robot body, wheels under the curvy edge. The gathering blue part on the paper tray might be incorperated into a gripper of some sort. 
Ahh yep, I do believe there should be some IR sensors in it. The top part is HUGE, if I built that into a robot, my cats could ride around on it. (hmm. not a bad idea, actually!) Good call on the paper gathering bit as well; I'm totally saving that now.
there should be one optical encoder on the side of the cartridge holder, 1 or 2 high resolution optical encoders on shafts that move the paper. I recommend keeping it on the side for future parts and just stripping down all the useless plastic bits. I already have 3, one of them s wireless printer, just need to figure how to hack it. 
Thanks a million for the advice. Optical encoders will be useful indeed :)

How  about some of the mechanical parts? Rollers, gears, belts, pulleys, plastic guides, trays, covers, etc. You can cut and shape them into robot chassis bits as needed.

Look for matching motors and steppers.

There may be a hi-res optical encoder wheel and sensor.

Maybe the LCD screen?