The De-Screwer: E-recycling at home to get your parts back

It’s getting harder (and more expensive) to get components for our projects. Three of us (@dragomir, @jmakivic, and @LookHere) came together to see what we could do to extract useful parts from other devices.

Originally we came together to start a project we called “Mini-Maker” which would use a 3d printer type setup combined with a really cool method being used on the JWST that enables quick jogging to a location and then very precise movement, all with just one motor per dimension. This could be useful for very fine movements with applications in areas like watchmaking, painting model trains, soldering of circuit boards, etc. (just using different heads for different jobs).

As we started work on the project, we shifted focus from construction to deconstruction. Our first prototype was “Table Flip”. The basic idea was that you’d load a part, flip the entire system over, it would unscrew every screw it found, and the pieces would fall into a bin below it. We pitched it to our peers and got some great feedback.

We developed a 3d prototype in blender to construct the parts we needed. The user would load in the piece (red in our mock-up)

and then flip the entire device upside-down.

The device would use a camera and machine learning to move in 3 directions to bring the tool in contact with the screw. The tool would have an electric screwdriver attached to unscrew the screw.

We were able to export all of the components and print them, though there was a printer error so we weren’t able to assemble them.

As we prototype the project we’ll make all of our files public so you can follow along and help if you’d like.

1 Like