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Hackaday Prize 2022: Upcycling Acrylic Scraps



Dwelling and dealing in a distant rain forest could sound idyllic to these presently caught in bland suburbia, and to make certain it does have loads of perks. One of many downsides, although, is getting new supplies and tools to that distant location. For that motive, [Digital Naturalism Laboratories], often known as [Dinalab], has to reuse or recycle as a lot as they will, including their scraps of acrylic leftover from their laser cutter.

The method might sound easy, however getting it to really work and never burn the acrylic took quite a lot of tries. Acrylic isn’t as thermoplastic as different plastics so it’s a lot tougher to work with, and it took some refining of the method. However as soon as the small print have been ironed out, basically the acrylic scraps are gently heated between two metal plates (they use a sandwich press) after which squeezed with a jack till they stick again collectively in a single cohesive sheet. The important thing to this course of is to warmth it and press it for a very long time, sometimes a half hour or extra.

With this course of lastly sorted, [Dinalab] could make rather more use of their obtainable assets because of recycling a cloth that almost all of us would find yourself tossing out. It additionally helps to maintain waste out of the landfill that may in any other case exist within the surroundings indefinitely. And, if this appears acquainted to you, it’s because this same lab has already perfected methods to recycle other types of plastic as well.


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