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Salvaging Parts from a DVD Drive :

Many small detailing parts can be found in the strangest of things. A lot of people go through old things to see what they can salvage to repair other units of the same item, but did you know that lots of these items can be scrapped and the parts used to detail your models?

Take this computer DVD Drive for example. In this tutorial, I'll show you a good example of what can be found in something like this.

What you need :

  1. The item you are pulling apart - in this case an old DVD Drive.
  2. Screwdrivers, needle nosed pliers and a sharp hobby knife.
What you need

First, remove the cover of the drive by unscrewing the cover from underneath and popping off the bottom, then top covers. If the drive still has it's front fascia, it's best to remove that first. This drive had it's fascia removed earlier.

Step 1

With the covers removed, you should see something like below. Now find the release mechanism at the front of the drive (you know, where you push a small pin in to release teh drive when it sticks) and pop the drawer out. These are sometimes held in with other guides and clips or pop the drawer out of these as you find them.

Step 2

Flip it over so the circuit boards are showing and begin to remove them by unscrewing or unclipping them. This one needs to be unclipped, so grab a flat headed screwdriver and gently push the clips in at the same time as removing the board. If there is a ribbon cable like this drive has, unclip or slice it off with your knife.

Step 3

With the board and drive drawer removed, you now have access to where a lot of the goodies are hidden. Next is to remove the pick up assembly by unscrewing and pulling it out of it's mount holes.

Step 4

Now pop off the rods and slide out the laser pick up. Hang on to those rods as they can be very useful for structural braces or even stands to hold you kits.

Step 5

Flip it over again and now remove the screw rod. These can be hard to remove without damaging them, so it might be simpler to just cut them off at the end.

Step 6

Last thing is the laser pick up. Simply undo screws and pry apart where necessary to get into the guts of the part.

Step 7

Here is the goodies I grabbed from out of the laser pick up.

  1. The lense itself. This would be great for a mono-eye style lense on a larger kit (1/60 anyone?)
  2. Various other lenses. These could be used for other visors or lamp covers for example. They are made of glass so be careful when removing or modifying them.
  3. Magnets! There are 4 little magnetic squares inside the bracket which could be good for mounting parts that need to be removed or simply mounting to a base (one in the foot, one in the base for example).
Step 8

And here we are, a pile of parts that I managed to salvage out of one drive. It's up to you what you could use it for, but I'm going to use the circuit board as a base for a future project and use the rods and lenses for detailing. There is gears and motors which could be used to motorize projects and lots of wires and stuff for making springs and coils.

Step 9

Remember that each DVD drive is different in construction but the parts inside are essentially the same (maybe different sizes or designs).

As you can see here, something as simple as a DVD drive can contain a heap of useful parts that can be used to detail, build, or display a model kit.

If you have any suggestions at all regarding this, other tutorials or possible suggestions for future tutorials, please send me an email and let me know.