June 08, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
A few days ago, a coworker donated several dot-matrix printers to me.

Okidata 120F
Okidata Microline 182
IBM Proprinter
Panasonic KX-P1124

I asked for them because in my research on CNC machines, it turns out that dot-matrix printers contain stepper motors. And a machine that has a stepper motor likely has rails and rail slides that'll help with my CNC project.

I already purchased a set of large stepper motors on eBay, but I figure that as long as I'm doing this project, I might as well have as many back-up parts as possible. And who knows? Maybe I'll make more than one table.

Here's some pictures of my scavenging results:




Motors, a transformer, rails, and rail slides. Yum.

It's really fascinating to see how different printer manufacturers did things. For instance, the Okidata printers used a rack-and-pinion setup to move the printer head across the paper. The Panasonic used a belt system, and the IBM used a worm drive. Also, the IBM was the only printer that didn't have any screws inside - everything was clipped in place.

I think the IBM's worm drive could provide the greatest accuracy, and in fact, all the plans for DIY CNC machines call for a similar setup - just a simple threaded rod from hardware store.

np category: 3D_Projects


Greald Smith said:
I'm looking to buy a printhead drive line for a IBM proprinter 2
September 23, 2009

jovial_cynic said:
Sorry - I no longer have any of the parts from these printers.
September 23, 2009

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