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.

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Mini Light Table Fits Inside A Briefcase


Hackaday forum member [Mike] was looking for project ideas when his girlfriend, an art major, suggested that he build her a light table to help with her various assignments. Having seen a few of these projects pop up from time to time, he figured he was up to the task. He started hunting around at his local thrift stores and finally came across what he was looking for – a hard-sided Samsonite briefcase.

He ripped out the bottom lining of the briefcase and proceeded to paint the inside white in order to properly reflect the lighting he would be adding shortly. A pair of under-cabinet lights were installed, and wired to be easily toggled on the outside of the case. He located some white acrylic to serve as the top of the table, trimming it to fit snugly in the case without any need for fasteners.

His girlfriend loved the table, though we would be interested in seeing a more portable version – it is built into a briefcase after all. We would love to hear your suggestions on how he might make this more portable, so let us know in the comments.

Broken LCD TV Turned Into A Light Table

[Steve DiRaddo] sent us this sweet little mod. After obtaining a free LCD TV that had a cracked screen, [steve] immediately tore it open to re purpose it. The end result was a computer controlled light table with audio. From what he says, it is very very bright due to the fact that it has 16 CFL tubes behind it as opposed to the usual 2 inside a PC monitor. The TV had a bult in RS232 command port. Whith some quick hacking, he was able to control power, channel, input, and volume via his laptop.