I have a fairly recent 3-in-1 Cannon ink jet printer, which works fine accept creating a small skew on the printing page. I wanted to just throw it away, but was wondering if I can pull out components from it and use it with an Arduino?

It has a color LCD, Sensor in the scanner and it probably has a few servo motors. Are my assumptions correct? Would they be in a form where I can remove them and use them?


Printer Model: PIXMA MP 470

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question is a bit too broad, in that it does not provide the printer model number or any inside photos, which would have enabled a considered response in terms of which parts could be liberated in a usable state. However, if you are throwing it away anyway, just go ahead and open it up: From personal experience, at least the motors (servos, steppers), the LCD panel (if it uses a commonly known protocol e.g. SPI or I2C) and the mechanical assembly come in handy for experimentation. The power supply might also come in handy, it usually sits on a separate board and can be extracted easily. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ More likely stepper motors than servos; easy to drive. Plus some nice precision steel bar guides, belts and gears. The LCD will be undocumented and therefore difficult to use; good luck with that! \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnindoGhosh I've added the model number for the printer with the link to its support site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Danish
    May 1, 2013 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianDrummond - many inkjet printers retain a stepper for paper feed, but use a servo motor for cross feed, often closing the loop with a linear optical encoder strip, or a rotary one on very early models. \$\endgroup\$ May 1, 2013 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ The tinkerers who do this kind of stuff do not have to ask! It is futile and they know it. If you want to know if you can use parts from a printer, the only way is to try it. No support site will guide you in this sort of information. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kaz
    May 1, 2013 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Made this an answer by request...

Any electronic component/device can be re-used, it's just a question of what's worth using vs the time & effort required. I made the paper feed mechanics of one into a barrel polisher. Using the head/feed mechanism(s) from printers/scanners as the axes for 3D printers or CNC mills/cutters is popular (see Hackaday.com).

Also see Tim Hunkin's website for various genius ideas.


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