Upcycling A Flat Bed Scanner

[Piffpaffpoltrie] had a 20-year-old Acer flatbed scanner that they just couldn’t justify keeping. But it does seem a shame to throw away a working piece of gear. Instead, the old scanner became a light table. We’ll admit, as projects go, it isn’t the most technically sophisticated thing we’ve ever seen, but we do think it is a worthy way to upcycle something that would otherwise be filling up a landfill.

The scanner was old enough to have a CCFL light source inside. However, it was too small, so it came out along with many other components that may yet find use in another project. If you didn’t know, scanners are good sources for small stepper motors, straight rods, and first-surface mirrors.

The only parts that survived the refit were the power supply (including the wall wart), the outer case, of course, and — oddly — a large controller board. You might wonder why a light table needs a controller board, and the answer is it doesn’t. However, there’s not much need for a 20-year-old scanner controller board, and reusing the board allowed the power switch and power socket to be exactly where they were supposed to be. The board is effectively just a mechanical mounting bracket at this point.

The new lighting is LED, and some white cardboard and foil finished up the build. Truthfully, all the scanner donated was a piece of glass, the enclosure, and the power supply. Still, it makes an attractive light table and we are always up for upcycling.

If you need something to do with the insides, how about building a camera? Or deck out your PCB lab.

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