i just had to slaughter one of my typewriters to get more parts for my robots

after building the first of trashbot that contained mostly parts that i had floating around, i learned that i want to build more robots entirely made from residuals of other machines.

i found some more parts in my cellar, but actually i realised that one beautiful assembly is a mechanical typewriter from the sixties: the olivetti lettera 32 that i truely adore because of its compact design, the missing floor plate and of course its color.

i actually own three of these, so i thought that sacrificing one of them to live on in various robots is actually a nod to them by bringing them back to life. albeit, a different life.

here you see the german model (i have one spanish and one french model, too), the color is not original anymore as the typewriter seems to have lived a life in the sun…


getting the frame off was not easy as there were some hidden screws:


in the front / lower picture you see some of the springs the bring the key back up when pressed:


and the screws showed some resistance…


getting to the “core assets”: the letters and the keys:


actually hard to dig deeper into it without bending the metalhousing for the keys’ fingers:


but in the end i made it:


one of my learnings was that the keys have different lengths of their arms connecting to the lettersas you have to translate the square formation of the keys to the half-circle of the letters so that they can hammer the tape at the same position:IMAG0844

here’s the letters with the complex “SHIFT” mechanics on the left and right. bastards really to me a while to rip them off.



here they are, looking like creepy little bugs. turns out that they are the first parts to go into trashbot v2:


here’s the clean letter choir (beautiful, isn’t it?):


here’s the paper transport and roll disassemble, in the middle you see the curled spring for transporting back automatically when hitting “return”. in the back / top left you see the the bell for the “ding”:


finally, that’s the mechanic yield!


glad i finally blogged about this. in fact, trashbot v2 is alive already and will follow this weekend, stay tuned!

1 thought on “i just had to slaughter one of my typewriters to get more parts for my robots

  1. DJ Holmes

    Pretty marvelous old contraptions, aren’t they? About a year ago I disassembled an old upright piano. Was pretty amazing to look at the design.


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