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Initiative creates open source protective equipment made out of recycled plastic

Shared by Ana Ribeiro on 2020-08-07 17:42

About the solution

Groups of makers around the World came together during the Covid-19 pandemic to produce protective equipment to tackle the overall shortage of these essential materials.

One such group, called Precious Plastic, started doing the same but with a focus on protecting the environment. Precious Plastic is a community of makers, with workspaces all around the world, which aims to reduce plastic waste and create an alternative global recycling system.

Using their machinery, they are able to shred used plastic into small pieces, melt it and reshape it into new products. Through this process, workspaces from the Precious Plastic Universe started creating items like face shields, respirator masks and hands-free door handles.

Their injection molding machine can produce protective equipment 75 times faster than 3D printers so the community has been working very hard to produce equipment in large quantities. For example, "A Precious Plastic workspace in Gran Canaria was requested to provide over 3,000 face visors for the government, hospitals and private sector", explains Rory Dickens, a Precious Plastic member.

The designs for all the machinery necessary to reproduce the system are available online at the Precious Plastic website, so anyone in the world can build them and start manufacturing the items, which are also open source and freely available to download.

Most of the items are made with recycled plastic but, in order to ensure that hygienic standards are met, for items like the respirator mask, the community has stated that it is okay to used they’re machinery to build items out of virgin plastic. However, they want to stress the safety of using recycled plastic: "To make the items the plastic is heated to over 200 degrees Celsius which sterilizes the plastic and it has previously been cleaned. The injected items also benefit from not being porous like 3D printed counterparts, ensuring bacteria and viruses can't hide inside the plastic", Dickens explains.

Adapted from: https://davehakkens.nl/preciousplastic/precious-plastic%CA%BCs-response-...

More information and Source Files: https://preciousplastic.com/covid-19.html

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About the author

Makers from the Precious Plastic Universe, a worldwide community which aims to reduce plastic waste and create an alternative global recycling system, started creating PPE made out of recycled plastic in order to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic while maintaining a concern for the environment.

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