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Recycling Laser Printer

Not happy with your document? Hit "Recycle".
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
  [vote for,

Expand a laser printer so that there is space for a piece of A4 to lie flat between the photoreceptor drum and the fuser rollers, then put a window in the top of the case. You can then view your document after it has picked up the toner but before the toner has been fixed. Hit "Ok" to send the paper through the fuser and into the output tray, or "Recycle" to clean the paper by passing it under a negatively charged wire and put it back in the paper tray. The toner is dropped off the wire and back into the toner hopper.

Inspired by "Deprinter", which was cooler but not possible.

wagster, Feb 16 2005

How laser printers work: http://computer.how.../laser-printer1.htm
If you don't know what a photoreceptor drum is, find out here. [wagster, Feb 16 2005]


       I'm all for recycling lasers any time we can.
normzone, Feb 16 2005

       [wags], that's good.
david_scothern, Feb 17 2005

       How well does toner wipe off paper? and whould the negatively charged wire be able to get the toner dust out of the fibers of the paper? wouldn't do well for high end jobs...maybe a press setup...so you can view a flat version from a mirrored viewport and see the toner layout before it hits the paper?
Sabriand, Feb 17 2005

       If only they'd make something that would let you know what it looks like before you walk all the way over to your printer. Perhaps right on your monitor.
Worldgineer, Feb 17 2005

       I always use Print Preview, but it isn't always a true representation of what ends up on the page (I've found this to be especially true with Excel), this is.   

       [sabriand] - I'm not sure this would be a problem. The toner is picked up by the developer drum, passed to the photoreceptor drum and then passed on to the paper perfectly all by the use of static. The force holding it to the surface of the paper is very small and won't be pulling it into the fibres, so I imagine it should all lift off if pulled off by a charge of about ten times that of the charge on the paper.
wagster, Feb 17 2005

       hmmm...depends on the quality of the paper, As i understand it the toner (which is actually plastic particles) is pressed onto the paper as part of getting it to sit there. Just because there's a charge that should pick it up, doesn't mean that it wasn't pressed firmly into the grain.
Sabriand, Feb 18 2005

       Maybe I've misunderstood the process. If the toner is pressed into the paper before fusing then it isn't going to come off easily. As far as I'm aware though, it is transferred using charge transfer with no pressure. Anyone know for sure?
wagster, Feb 18 2005

       yes, it is held in place by the charge, but it is rolled on and the paper also presses against the drum. so it's a combination. plus if the charge is pulling the toner onto the paper, that would mean that is it coming into contact forcibly with the surface. I think the idea would result in conserving toner, but would leave a ghost image like a badly erased chalkboard. as it wouldn't save paper, only toner i don't know if the extra manufacturing costs in metal and plastic and glass, along with a lighting system to see the page clearly would be justified.
Sabriand, Feb 18 2005

       Sadly, I think you may be right.
wagster, Feb 18 2005

       There isn't that much of a charge between the paper and the drum. It is a process that leaves 10 to 30% of the toner not picked up by the paper, (waste toner) in regular copiers. On the old Canon NP 200 I could stop the copier process at a precise instant and be able to open the door and carefully pull out the paper with unfixed image which I manipulated with air brush and sticky tape. The fuser is heated and melts the plastic half micron particles into the paper. As lungs cannot expel particulate smaller than two microns in diameter, waste toner is a health hazard. Service shops should have proper filters on their exhaust from the toner booth, where all toner is air blasted from parts being worked on. In the eighties, I estimated that a two million pop. city was dumping 50 lbs.of toner into the air per day. I don't think the paper is pressed against the drum. Non of the stuff I strip does that but maybe modern cheap stuff does. I forgot to say you're baked sir, toner can only be charged once and cannot be re-used.
mensmaximus, Feb 18 2005

       first smoking then toner...imagine copying free zones. So are you saying that a device like this would have to have a filtered toner recycling system, or that it would present to much of a health risk to bother? Also, if what you are saying is true, large format laser copiers that require the dumping of loose toner into a reservoir are killing attractive and industrious secretaries all over the world...
Sabriand, Feb 18 2005

       I notice their numbers are dwindling or maybe more are finding their way to island paradises. A compromise is to buy an air filter with virgin coconut charcoal granules. It's about $200 for fity pounds of the granules and any fan can pull air through it.
mensmaximus, Feb 18 2005

       Edit: This message censored due to new guy faux pas.
Sabriand, Feb 18 2005

       correction: improvements wouldn't be worth losing the ability to ask what if about this one.
Sabriand, Feb 18 2005


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