Single use vape pens have become wildly popular. Estimations says that around 65 million people around the world vape. This generates enormous amount waste. In this set of small projects we aim to reuse most of the parts inside the vape pen. This can keep large amount of batteries and electronic components out of landfills. We will go through what makes a vape pen. How to safely disassemble one. Which parts can be reused. Bill of materials and some cool projects.
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This is open source / open hardware project. Everything here is free to use under creative commons legal code cc0 1.0 universal.
OLED 128px x 32 pix
Mini DC N20
Inductors, Chokes, Coils and Magnetics / Fixed Inductors, Chokes and Coils
This is a little test setup I made for the user inputs on the vape/electric screwdriver. The problem here is that everything needs to be powered off when not in use. When you press a button, the motor driver and the boost converter will be switched on then the motor turns in the desired direction.
This log is continuation of this video, where I demonstrated the electric components of the screwdriver. Everything was set up on a bread board, now we need to figure out how to crank all this electronics into the body of the vape pen.
To do so, I have done some modeling in Autodesk Fusion 360.
Hey everyone, this log is all about how to utilize the parts we have. The designers making the vape pens knew what they were doing. They are small, light and fit in your pocket quite nicely. So here is a list of project that we could take advantage of these properties.
Electric screw driver
This was the first thing it came to mind. The circuitry should not be much of a problem. Two buttons for controlling the direction, charging circuitry and a motor. Of course if we need the motor to wind up slowly and to have battery indication on the screw driver itself, things get a little complicated. The bummer with this project is the bit holder. I had my car mechanic, who happened to have a lathe, turn a cheap screwdriver into the holder you see and make a set screw hole. To be honest I love it. It feels just right. I would love to make it a 3D printed stand with magnetic connectors for charging.
If we change the motor we could defiantly turn this to a micro drill for hand made PCBs or woodwork.
LED Flash light
Another perfect candidate in mine opinion. I found some lenses that fit the bill. This would be the easiest one to happen. Again we need to charging circuitry, nice switch and LED driver. Micro USB for charging and we are good to go.
Radio clock / Mp3 player
Having a mp3 player as a kid was a big big deal for me. I love listening to music to this day so this is also a strong option. I have changed many devices, I liked the design of one and the sound of another. The ones that look good and sounded great had little battery life. I did not get to have the perfect mp3 player. I found a 0.91 inch display that fit like a glove in the rectangular cases.
One of the cylindrical pens was quite longer then the rest. When I dismantled it the battery was larger and reservoir for the fluid was bigger. We can fit two 560mAh batteries in it for total of 1120 mAh. This is not much, but for sure can get you out of pinch. Having two cells is of course is a bit of a challenge. We need to balance them, so they are charge and discharged equally.
Again we have durable lightweight case and a battery to fit in it and this is free. I have build a small GPS module 15 by 30 mm. Magnetometers and a gyro sure, temperature and humidity sensors why not! I found those Tiny 2040 by Pimoroni that need a little bit of trim to fit in the case, but defiantly doable.
This one is the one I have the most lousy concept of all. I need to do some experiments with the wire that is used for vaporizing the fluid. I am almost sure that it can be turn into a small foam cutter.
Which one do you find most interesting or may be you have ideas of yours? Please leave a comment. I really hope that vape pens turn into the next Altoid can. This way we can take thousands of vape pens off the landfills.
Please like and share this project, this means a lot to me.
To make use of vape pens, first we have to know what we are working with. And the best way to do that, is to take a few of them apart. They come in variety of shapes, colors and sizes, but in essence they have the same parts and operate the same way. It is quite amazing how everything is build to optimize the cost. There are no screws and no glue, everything is snapped or taped in place. The only exception is in the electronics part, where the wires are soldered together.