Not long ago the only way to make sure that an urgent document was sent to the right people was by sending it over fax with the help of a fax machine. Then came the internet, and with it faster and more secure ways of exchanging files like emails, cloud services, and online faxing. But as a result, faxing became an endangered animal in a blink of an eye; due to this rapid change in technology, these good old faxing machines were reduced to nothing more than big boxes – good for nothing but collecting dust.
But, actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth: the faxing machine did indeed lose its original purpose, but much like anything that has mechanical and electronic parts it can be reused for something else – even for things you might never have imagined in your wildest dreams.
Keeping It Intact
Online Fax Machine
Not too many people think of it at first, but certain VoIP service providers like Nextiva allow users to connect their regular fax machines to the internet via adapters. Better yet, some of the latest fax machines are IP-ready, meaning that they can be linked to the web without the need for an additional device.
One of the most logical ways of repurposing the fax machine is to simply use it as a black and white printer. Newer models have USB ports (like simple printers), but devices with phone ports can also be linked up to computers – provided that the computer has a dial-up modem or a port into which a USB fax modem can be plugged. From then on you only need to set up the fax machine as a printer with the computer’s setup wizard and voila, your old equipment is ready to be used.
An even simpler solution of transforming the old fax machine into something else is to repurpose it as a plain black and white photocopier. In fact, in this regard fax machines work the same way as all-in-one printers, since they can do this task without even being hooked up to any other device. Just make sure the necessary ink and paper supply available.
Fax machines are pretty big, but usually it’s only the exterior case that makes them look huge. Most of the time the device has plenty of spare room inside that is used for absolutely nothing.
This is ideal for hiding the most valuable items in the household, whether that’s money, ID documents, credit cards or jewelry.
Admittedly, the idea of using the fax machine as a safe storage place may sound ridiculous, but if the device is actually working – even with all those things inside – it can easily fool burglars into thinking that it’s a piece of junk that isn’t worth taking.
Taking the Device Apart
Just like any big electronic device, a fax machine is full of countless components from its gears, pulleys and metal fittings to switches, circuit boards and lights that can either be reused in other machines or be sold for money. Just make sure you have the right equipment and knowledge to properly disassemble the fax machine.
In the same way that the heart, liver, kidney or lungs of a deceased person can save someone else, the spare parts of an old fax machine can give life to something completely new, too. As a matter of fact, you just need to get rid of certain components of the device to transform it into a plotter, a 3D printer or any other kind of electronic device.
A Particular Case
Even if you are not into engineering (and programming), the old fax machine can still be used even once the unwanted machinery is disposed of.
The case of a fax machine in particular provides plenty of options for reuse: a toy for the kiddies or pets, the base of a contemporary sculpture, a multi-purpose box, a housing for a home security device – a spy camera, for instance – or a safe with even more space for holding more valuables.
The Noble Purpose
Lastly, if you simply want to get rid of the old faxing machine without giving it a new life or disassembling it, then there is always the option to donate the device to charity, where it can serve those who do need it.