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Sorta OT: What to Do With a Perfectly Good Printer?

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  • Sorta OT: What to Do With a Perfectly Good Printer?

    My current printer (Lexmark Z75) needs print cartridges, and the last time I was in Wallyworld, I noticed that for less than the price of the printer cartridges, I could buy a new Lexmark printer that used the same cartridges and had the same features of mine (though it's a slightly different model). No idea on the specs of the new printer, so I don't know if it's better than the one I currently have, but even if it's not, it uses the same cartridges as my current printer, and comes with the cartridges, so I could slap them in my current one, if it wasn't as good. So, if I were to buy the new printer instead of a set of print cartridges, what should I do with the printer that I don't use? Yeah, I suppose I could hook it up to one of my other computers, but I don't really need to do that (plus I don't really have the space where the other PCs are). So, is there anything I can make out of the innards? It's got motors, circuit boards, a bright bulb (since it's also a scanner), and who knows what else.

  • #2
    Pretty stupid, isn't it? The only thing that might be a catch is the carts with the new printer may have a reduced fill level.

    I just picked up a free Houston Instruments DMP 60 series vinyl sign cutter yesterday from a customer. It's a very old model but it still works. It must be good for something even though I don't need to make signs.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Evan
      Pretty stupid, isn't it? The only thing that might be a catch is the carts with the new printer may have a reduced fill level.

      I just picked up a free Houston Instruments DMP 60 series vinyl sign cutter yesterday from a customer. It's a very old model but it still works. It must be good for something even though I don't need to make signs.


      Resists for printed circuits? Custom camoflage stencils? Hell custom camoflage. Mattes for pictures. Send it on over. I'll think of something.

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      • #4
        That is one of the reasons I won't ever buy a nother Lexmark printer.
        I guess that is an example of current advertising technology, sell a
        product at a loss to insure the customer has to buy supplies at a
        great profit. BAH!
        ...lew...

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        • #5
          My first printer was a 9pin DM IBM whose cartridges had 500+" of inked tape in them and the cartridge would last for 1000 pages or so and cost $10 IIRC.
          Replaced with an IBM 18pin DM whose cartridges had 150" of tape and would do well to last 75-100 pages, cost about $7. Ink jets have a famous rep for chewing up cartridges at a rate that makes printing with them for less than a nickel a page in B&W impossible, especially with the cartridges that have built in chips. Unless you really really need to print photos, using an ink jet seems fatuous compared with the inexpensive laser printers whose print costs are well under $.02/page for B&W. Lasers tend to be a lot faster than ink jets and the ink is not water and UV light sensitive. For sporadic printing you don't have to worry about the inkjet head clogging up either. In my experience, printing photos off the web on a laser printer works quite well and doesn't take much longer to print a text page than a photo 8x10 on the laser as both are treated as 'photos' by the print engine.
          Last edited by sch; 09-22-2006, 11:01 AM.
          Steve

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          • #6
            This isn't a new idea....

            They have been doing this for a long time. Gillette did it with razor blades a good number of years ago. Sell you the handle cheap with maybe 1 or 2 blades and then make the real profits on selling you more blades! They are still doing it today with thier electric tooth brushes. The the power unit, charger & 1 brush is like $12 at WallyWorld. One replacement brush is ~$7!!! You can't tell me those brushes have a mfg cost of more than a dime!

            Anyway, to stay with the begining of this thread, all of the printer makers are playing the same game. I bought a new Dell PC a year or so ago and it came with a "free" Dell (Lexmark) printer. (Such a deal - they don't give you a cable to hook it to the PC, it's "available at extra cost") The cartridges are just a little different than the standard Lexmark ones so you have to go back to Dell to buy more. It would have cost like $75 to buy the set. I got an HP at WallyMart for $80 with new cartridges AND the cable to hook it to the PC!

            Craig

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            • #7
              The printer manufactures main goal is to sell ink cartridges,not printers.Their ploy is to sell you a printer at or below cost in order to sell you ink cartridges for the rest of the printer's life at a very good profit.Kinda reminds me of the relationship between a pimp and a hooker!
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

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              • #8
                [ relationship between a pimp and a hooker!] Welcome to the wonderfulful world of "Machinist and major Corporations" Gotta' whore yourself out to the highest bidder.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Millman
                  [ relationship between a pimp and a hooker!] Welcome to the wonderfulful world of "Machinist and major Corporations" Gotta' whore yourself out to the highest bidder.
                  There's a lot of truth in that statement no matter what you do.
                  Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                  Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Evan
                    I just picked up a free Houston Instruments DMP 60 series vinyl sign cutter yesterday from a customer. It's a very old model but it still works. It must be good for something even though I don't need to make signs.
                    Evan, is this an original pen plotter that has been converted to vinyl cutting?

                    I have only just got rid of my old Houston Instruments DMP-160 plotter which did sterling service for the past 13 years. It still plotted very precisely and the drawing output was far crisper than the larger inkjets.
                    It'll take HPGL & HPGL-2 instructions from most CAD programs.

                    Peter

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                    • #11
                      Yes, it is a pen plotter with a cutter installed in place of the pen. The two may be interchanged at will. It is nearly the same as the DMP160 and I was able to find all the drivers and full manual online. Apparently it will also emulate a model that is supported in XP natively.

                      I was thinking about figuring out a way to make it do circuit boards directly with a high speed engraving spindle on it. I would have to figure out some way to transport the board back and forth, maybe stick it to a carrier sheet. Slip would probably be a problem. I might just go buy some vinyl and go nuts labeling everything in sight.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                      • #12
                        I ran mine as emulating an HP Draftmaster RX with Windows XP, but only via the AutoCAD plotter manager.
                        I have some code somewhere that will also allow it to be recognised and run as a system printer under Windows 98 (I think it's buried in the win.ini file). If its any use having that then let know and I'll see if I can still find it.

                        Peter

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                        • #13
                          Thanks but I have drivers for Win 3.1, 95 and 98. It also won't be hard to talk to in XP even with no driver as it is a serial port device. All I would need to do is print HPGL to a file and send it out.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                          • #14
                            You can cut sand blast stencil, use regular cheaper cast vinyl and cut painting masks for RC car bodies(reversed) RC Boats and plains all you need is white and the occasional sign. you still can get the vinyl on the carrier with the holes or with out. the demise of most of the cutters has been the need for the wide vinyl and the print and cut machines nobody wants the plain cut lettering.
                            Glen
                            Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                            I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                            All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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                            • #15
                              goto Inkman.com . I bought my ink there for the hp deskjet and I have not had any problems.
                              NRA member

                              Gun control is using both hands

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