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At-home 3-D printer can make items out of used plastic bottles

The new Ekocycle Cube 3D Printer from Cubify, which uses filament cartridges produced from three recycled 20 oz. PET plastic bottles, will cost around $1,200 and come out later this year on Cubify. The material supposedly has the durability of standard 3-D printer filament. And it’s made by will.i.am, 3D Systems’ chief creative officer, so that’s fun too.

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Second Life: The Heineken WOBO Doubles as Beer Bottle and Brick

Fifty years ago, Heineken developed a revolutionary and sustainable design solution to give its beer bottles a second life: as an architectural brick. The concept arose after brewing magnate Alfred Heineken visited Curacao during a world tour of his factories in 1960. He was struck by the amount of beer bottles—many bearing his name—littering the beaches and the lack of affordable building materials for residents. In a stroke of genius (or madness), Heineken realized both problems could be solved if beer bottles could be reused as structural building components. Enlisting the help of Dutch architect N. John Habraken, Heineken created a new bottled design—dubbed the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle)—that doubled as a drinking vessel and a brick. As author and architecture critic Martin Pawley notes, the WOBO was “the first mass production container ever designed from the outset for secondary use as a building component.” The new squared off bottle was both inter-locking and self-aligning, allowing it to nestle seamlessly and snugly into adjoining “bricks.” With Habraken’s design, a 10 by 10 foot hut could be constructed with 1,000 WOBO bottles. Though a test run of 100,000 bottles was produced in 1963, the marketing department’s worries about liabilities doomed the project. The WOBO was subsequently and unceremoniously retired. Though only two official WOBO buildings remain, both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk near Amsterdam, the concept remains a powerful and inspiring one. Indeed, the experiment is a reminder of how a major corporation might seriously take on sustainability in an innovative way.

An inventive Russian YouTuber has figured out how to turn plastic bottles into string, using purely mechanical means. After “unraveling” a single bottle he’s left with what appear to be several yards’ worth of filament, which he then uses to bind things together.

Hitting the resultant plastic twine with a heat gun causes it to partially melt and shrink, more or less fusing it into place.

(via The Most Creative Recycling We’ve Seen Yet: Turn Plastic Bottles into String - Core77)

DIY Cute Containers From Plastic Bottles : Denise Meneghello

Using an iron to smooth out pretty recycled bottle containers is pretty clever. I have yet to try it, so I’m not sure if it leaves any bits on your iron, but I can’t see a quick melt leaving behind anything that couldn’t be cleaned off when cooled down.

The tutorial is in Portugese (I believe) but the photos are pretty self explanatory.

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French artist Gauvain Manhattan found six old paintings at flea markets and gave them awesome pixelated makeovers. Each painting is now an ode to old school arcade games such as Castlevania, Pokémon, Street Fighter and Duck Hunt. Manhattan plans to continue this geektastic series as soon as he finds more paintings that fit the bill.

Visit Gauvain Manhattan’s website to check out more of his artwork.

[via Unreality]

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Recycling old batteries into solar cells

A system proposed by researchers at MIT would recycle materials from discarded car batteries — a potential source of lead pollution — into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.

[read more] [paper]

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