An opensource press designed to enable local production of plastic sheets to make skateboards from recycled shredded plastic.
Not one piece of plastic has naturally biodegraded, without human intervention, since its invention. Every year we produce over 300 million tonnes of new plastic. Despite most being recyclable, over 90% ends up polluting the natural environment. The goal of my project is to challenge the stigma attached to used plastic from seeing it as a waste product to seeing it as a valuable resource.
The final system is a self-contained heating and pressing machine that can be used to press recycled plastic in to skateboard decks. The press features a heated based and a modular aluminum mould that can be used to create multiple styles. The pressing action is provided by a bottle jack. The system includes several human interaction features; an ergonomic hand grip for the jack, a robust military grade painted finish and LEDs to indicate when the base is hot.
The pressing system is fully functioning and producing usable decks. The future scope of the project is to continue to conduct research to formulate the perfect material composition which matches the properties of a wooden deck.
Traditionally, decks are produced in Canada and America from Canadian Maple trees. Transportation is costly both environmentally and economically. The industry is the biggest contributor to deforestation of Canadian Maple. The press was designed to enable small community organizations to set up local recycling schemes where they charge people to use the machine, buy waste plastic and produce their own decks, or simply allow people to use the machine for free.
Design available at www.mandin.earth.