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    Hybrid Recycling: Converting a Scrap Laptop Into a Photo Frame

    Nov 15, 2018 8:50:57 AM / by Enzo Sacchetti

    Repurposing LCD screens from laptops into functional photo frames and monitors.

    Old possessions such as furniture and clothing can be reused and converted into creative projects for utility or decoration, but have you ever thought this was possible with used electronics?

    At our TechReCommerce Lab, we take old electronics and we give them a new life. We call this process Hybrid Recycling.

    Our first hybrid recycling project was to transform scrapped laptop screens into electronic photo frames and dual monitors. These utility designs are also stylish and can be shown off in a home or office.

    Why Hybrid Recycling?

    We take in tons of unwanted laptops and salvage them however possible. Unfortunately, not everything in a laptop can be recycled and there is not currently a worthwhile marketplace to resell certain components, leading to waste. One of these components in a laptop is the LCD Screen.

    As opposed to accepting the worthless fate of these functional screens, we brainstormed ways we could still use the LCDs outside of the laptop. Since we live in an age of digital photography, it was decided that the screens could be used as a replacement for traditional photo frames as a larger, electronic, visually appealing substitute.

    Hybrid Recycling Logo V2 - LCD Frame


    Product Materials

    Photo frames from recycled LCDs were created using a variety of new and recycled parts and different types of technology.

    The LCDs that were removed from laptops simply couldn’t be plugged into an SD card and cycle through photos on the screen. Specialty controller boards were needed to hook up to the LCDs that would take in inputs and translate them to the screen. These controller boards accept not only flash drives that hold photos, but also HDMI and VGA inputs, which makes the photo frame also a functional monitor.

    product materials


    Controller board used for our LCD Frame Project

    The screen and boards were encased in a specifically fit design that is visually appealing, made from recycled parts, easy to put together, and customizable. 



    The Process

    The first step in this recycling project was to research. It was necessary to understand what made LCDs work, the different types there were, and how to properly remove them from a laptop.

    After research was done, the controller boards were ordered and the first prototype was made.

    This preliminary model did function, but areas of improvement were also identified. Potential improvements included:

    • Reuse screws from old electronics
    • Reduce size of the casing to improve portability
    • Create a stand for the model

    MG0A7517 SQUARE X2250MG0A7617 SQUARE X2250-1

    Enzo using CAD and slicing programs to prepare cases to be 3D printed                          3D Printed Controller Board Holder used on first prototype

    After a few improved designs, a final version was created. Here are some photos of the latest version of the photo frame.

    P1000054 X2250

    P1000082 X2250











    LCD infographic

    Moving forward, this project may be turned into an optimized process to make recycled monitors that can be customized by those who receive them. Also, multiple different designs can be created with a variety of screens and materials.

    Overall this project proves that the limitations of how to recycle are nearly limitless with creativity, ingenuity, and proper technology. What will you come up with?

    instagramTo know more on our Hybrid Recycling projects, follow us on Instagram: TechReCommerce_Lab and check out our website







    Topics: reverse logistics, recycle, reuse, material recovery, tablet, dismantling, ewaste, dismantle

    Enzo Sacchetti

    Written by Enzo Sacchetti

    Enzo is an Industrial Engineering Intern at GEODIS. He uses a variety of technologies to repurpose e-waste in hybrid recycling projects to improve the reverse logistics capabilities at GEODIS. Enzo is a Senior at Binghamton University studying Industrial and Systems Engineering and Sustainable Engineering. He is also Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.

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