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Plastic

— Science

Researchers convert plastic bags into a variety of petroleum products

Despite efforts to limit their use through implementation of charges or bans, billions of plastic bags continue to clog landfills, waterways and the world's oceans every year. Already a potential source for carbon fiber and carbon nanotubes, researchers have provided another reason not to throw the ubiquitous bags away by converting them into a range of petroleum products. Read More
— Electronics

Move over 3Doodler – here comes the SwissPen

You may recall that earlier this year, WobbleWorks made quite a splash on Kickstarter, raising over US$2 million for its 3Doodler. Surprising as it sounds though, there may actually now be some competition in the handheld 3D printer market. Swiss 3D Print recently revealed its own device, called the SwissPen, that sketches wire sculptures in mid-air using heated plastic filaments. Read More
— Environment

WaterBean purifies tap water to reduce plastic bottle waste

It's a given that recycling waste products is a good thing. It's certainly better than sending our trash to landfill where it will sit rotting (or not, in the case of non-biodegradable waste) for decades to come. However, even better than recycling is to not create the waste in the first place. Bottled water is now big business, and more popular than ever before, but bottled water guzzles energy and creates waste that really doesn't need to be created. WaterBean offers one possible solution to the problem. Read More
— 3D Printing

6-meter tall KamerMaker to 3D print Amsterdam house by year's end

It is surely now but a matter of time before we are reporting on the completion of the first 3D-printed house, or at least something purported to be such a thing. Amsterdam-based DUS Architects is the latest company to show its hand, and has developed its own 3D printer, the KamerMaker (literally, RoomMaker), with the intention of 3D printing a house before the end of the year. Read More
— 3D Printing

Softkill's intricate 3D printed ProtoHouse is all about the plastic

London-based architecture team Softkill Design has entered the race to create the first 3D printed house. Unlike the first plans for 3D-printed houses that emerged at about this time last year, Softkill thinks that the future of 3D printed housing lies in prefabricated components rather than printing houses whole using vast uber-printers on site. By using plastics rather than sand or concrete, Softkill may just have hit upon a concept that actually feels... 3D printery. Read More
— Medical

Plastic used to replace and regrow bone

Over the past several years, a number of research institutes have been exploring the use of implants made from material with a scaffolding-like structure, as a means of regrowing bone at severe injury sites. Both MIT and Tufts University, for instance, have been working on collagen-based materials. Now, England’s University of Southampton has announced the development of a new type of bone-growing substance, made from plastic. Read More
— Environment

Plastic islands being used to restore African lake

As the ever-growing giant flotilla of floating refuse known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will show us, we shouldn't be putting plastic waste in our waterways. A new project, however, is aimed at helping the environment by doing so ... in a roundabout way of speaking. The participants plan on taking several artificial floating islands made from post-consumer plastic, planting papyrus on them, and then using them to help rebuild the ecosystem of Africa’s Lake Naivasha. Read More
— Environment

Play it again Sam: Fujitsu recycles old CDs and DVDs into new notebooks

Although optical drives in consumer notebooks are becoming less common nowadays and we are storing more and more of our digital information on hard drives instead of optical discs, CD/DVD players are still a mainstay of desktop computers and business laptops and new systems often come bundled with discs containing all sorts of never-to-be-used software. With the help of its Laboratories Division, Fujitsu has developed a new recycling system to make new front panels for notebook computers from all the discarded CDs and DVDs collected, sorted and recycled by its five recycling centers across Japan. Read More
— Environment

Sea Chair Project harvests plastic from the oceans to create furniture

You may have heard about the huge floating islands of garbage swirling around in the middle of the Earth's oceans. Much of that waterlogged rubbish is made up of plastic and, like Electrolux with its concept vacuum cleaners, U.K.-based Studio Swine and Kieren Jones are looking to put that waste to good use. As part of an ambitious project, they’ve come up with a system to collect plastic debris and convert it into furniture. Read More
— Good Thinking

EBIT system promises stronger, cheaper plastic parts

Many plastic items consist of both blow-molded and injection-molded components that have been welded together. Not only does this require multiple machines and production steps, but the parts may also fail at the weld points. Spanish research center ASCAMM’s new EBIT technology, however, combines the two plastic injection techniques in one process, to efficiently create weld-free parts. Read More
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