Jack the (DVD) Ripper

The shelves in my living room are groaning under the weight of DVD boxed sets – and I just can’t bring myself to sit down and rip them all. All that waiting around! And it’s impossible to remember that you’re going to have to swap discs to and from a drive every hour or so. So the pile of boxed sets grows, and grows, and grows, and soon I will have enough be able to start building a new house to keep the DVDs in out of the packaging.

So I was extremely pleased to be introduced to Jack the (DVD) Ripper, a 3d printed, Raspberry Pi-powered device that pulls a DVD from a stack, drops it into a drive, and, when the drive opens after ripping is finished, picks it up again and puts it in another pile.

The whole system runs autonomously, so you can go and get on with whatever it is you do when you aren’t ripping DVDs.

Andy Ayre, who built the project, has made a five-part tutorial available, with an introduction and parts list, mechanics, electronics, software and troubleshooting tips. Datasheets, documentation, software and everything else you’ll need are available on GitHub. We love it – you get to save a ton of time and have some fun with 3d printing and motors, all at once.


Davespice avatar

I love it! I could have done with this when I manually ripped my entire CD collection for use with iTunes a few years ago. I expect this could easily be adapted to rip just audio CDs.

liz avatar

My thoughts exactly. Now, there’s a few days I won’t ever see again…

Dave Akerman avatar

I’m having flashbacks to the months I spent ripping 300 vinyl records …

Jim Manley avatar

You young whippah-snappahs have it soooo easy. Why when I was yoah age, we had ta swap out tha wax cylindahs on ouwah Edison phonographs one-by-one … and recoahd ’em ta magnet wire! Dee-Vee-Dees? Baaaah humbug! Ouwah movin’ pitchas weh on flip cahds, and we like it that way … we loved it!

Davespice avatar

Hehe… I presume you’re channelling the Yorkshiremen from Monty Python?

dan3008 avatar

Man, so wish i had the money and skills to do this. I have 100’s of DVDs to rip lol

chod avatar

How do you accurately pick up just one dvd ?

clive avatar

A tapered, split gripper (a cone split vertically down the middle) that goes through the hole in the DVD. One half is opened/closed by a servo and the taper means that it will only grip the top DVD.

See the tool head: http://www.britishideas.com/2013/09/04/jack-the-ripper-bot-ii-mechanics/

Rich Kavanagh avatar

Stunning project. Simply stunning!

omenie avatar

This is insanely great.

3xBackup's avatar

I read the Ideas for Improvements ( https://github.com/ajayre/JacktheRipperBot/blob/master/Documents/Ideas%20for%20Improvements.txt )

Number 4 made me sad, for some reason, and #5 made me smile again :)

4. Eliminate Raspberry Pi.
- merge BotServer into JacktheRipperBot.exe
- PC communicates directly with Pololu Maestro

5. PC farm for faster ripping
- use Raspberry Pi to create image of discs which are then put into a queue. A farm of PCs work on encoding the queue.

Charlie avatar

Exactly what I was thinking! I think it’s the word ‘Eliminate’ that scares me. Sounds like instructions an assassin is given.

Rick avatar

Haha great project.

Daniel avatar

I thought this looked strangely familiar, in the style of an animation, to the jukebox seen in the film Akira.
That would be a creative way to rip CDs and it could handle a lot!

A jukebox from the film Akira

Jason Bramwell avatar

This is fantastic. I too gave up on ripping my DVD as it was to time consuming so interested in this. Now as not everyone has a 3D printer at their disposal Is there any plan to sell this as a kit of parts?

We were promised robots avatar

Your local hackerspace or makelab should have one for you to use. Otherwise, build a reprap

Rick avatar

You can also go on the repeat print requests reddit page and link to the thingieverse page, asking for a print quote.

david white avatar

I’m thinking Lego Mindstorm here insted of 3D printing. Longer term I would prefer an all in one solution where th R-Pi runs the disc swapping, reads the disc, encodes the video and stores it out to hard disk.

Mark avatar

It would be extra handy if you could use it for duplication too… I burn lots of demo DVDs that change every few weeks. Huge bulk runs don’t work as they might be obsolete before you receive them, but something like this would be SWEET for runs of 5 to 40 demo DVDs! It would be great to do “Lightscribe” title printing too!

Bryant avatar

For duplication you can buy towers relatively cheaply that will burn 5 or more copies at a time. Not as fun as building your own solution though.

EdiTED avatar

Dose this works to rop DVD:s With subtitles to AVI/DivX format?

Also, music… Can it rip to mp3 too?

Spencer Heckathorn avatar

This is so cool!! I have been wanting to build something like this for years but never could see an effective method, this whole project is just freaking sweet!

mrpi64 avatar

Looks like a skeleton from an futuristic hovership.

theoduino avatar

Meh. For some reason, this is illegal in the US. The DMCA makes no sense.

Vince avatar

It is also a great idea for DVD/CD production or backup. If you have to make CD with different serial numbers or make manual backup on CD/DVD/Bluray…

mike avatar

I’m guessing you can get the parts printed through shapeways.com. but it might be$$$. cheaper than buying a 3d printer and better resolution

Arod avatar

It would be great if I can leverage my raspberry pi and a sony cx-985v carousel and rip my 400 dvd’s.

Don avatar


I’ve got two of the bigger brother to your CX985’s – I’ve got the DVP-CX-7000ES’s – Two of em… full of BluRays that I would love to get rid of the 7000’s (can take over a minute for it to find and load the BR). If I could rip my whole BR collection, that would be so much better. Somebody should offer this as a service… “Drop off your stack, and x number of hours later, we’ll give you a HDD with your stuff back.”

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