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Vax unveils a prototype vacuum cleaner made from cardboard

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July 6, 2011

Industrial designer Jake Tyler has spent the last 12 months at the Worcestershire headquar...

Industrial designer Jake Tyler has spent the last 12 months at the Worcestershire headquarters of Vax, developing a vacuum cleaner made from cardboard for his final year degree project

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Corrugated cardboard can be traced back to the latter part of the mid-19th century, although cardboard itself goes back much farther than that. Most of us will have encountered it at some time, probably as the outer packaging of our latest digital must-have, but it has recently been breaking away from such traditional uses. Over the past few years, we've seen everything from a cardboard record player to a festival tent to a USB drive. Now, industrial design student Jake Tyler has created a prototype cardboard vacuum cleaner - the Vax ev.

Tyler worked on his final year degree project at the Vax headquarters in Worcestershire, UK as part of a student placement scheme and with the support of the company's New Product Design team. The Vax ev has been built with maximum sustainability in mind, but not every component can be made from cardboard (or we'd be forever having to go to the hardware store for replacement parts).

Jake Tyler showing off his Vax ev cardboard vacuum cleaner prototype

Non-cardboard parts have been made from recyclable, pure nylon plastic using rapid process manufacturing rather than injection molding. The Vax ev's corrugated cardboard panels benefit from a flame retardant coating and actually start life as part of the retail packaging that the cleaner is transported in - gluelessly popping into place around the non-cardboard motor housing.

If the corrugated panels get damaged (and if the cleaner gets knocked around half as much as the one I have, it will probably suffer dents and rips fairly early in its operational life), the relative cheapness of replacement manufacture should mean that they can be swapped out for pristine new ones with few problems and little expense. The outer casing can also be personalized with the aid of a few marker pens.

Vax says that it is currently looking into producing a limited run of the cardboard cleaner. We'll keep an eye open for further developments.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
3 Comments

Seems like the perfect repair accessory here would be...duct tape.

Chuck Franke
7th July, 2011 @ 09:45 am PDT

Check out the website at www.cardboardvax.com - you can find out more about how it was made and register your interest in taking part in a prototype trial. There's also a cool mini cardboard Vax you can cut out and keep!

Jo Perks
15th September, 2011 @ 09:23 am PDT

can u please tell me the manufacturing or assembling process of this cardboard vacuum cleaner?

Please reply soon!

Marium Khalid
10th February, 2012 @ 07:47 am PST
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