Here's an interesting project that combines ecology, design, and robotics. Electronic waste gets grounded into a paste which is used as the material to construct a chair by a robotic arm.
Dirk Vander Kooij is set to unveil a new line of “Endless” furniture made from recycled e-waste at “The Future in the Making”, an exhibition organized by Domus that will take place during Milan Design Week 2012. The young winner of the 2011 Dutch Design Award has reprogrammed an old industrial robot to extrude electrical appliances into chairs and tables. Vander Kooij, who until now has focused on synthetics, will present a new and different range of materials in Milan.
The Endless robot uses ground-up plastic from old refrigerators and squeezes it in a continuous thread, layer by layer, to form pieces of furniture. This kind of low-resolution 3D printing can produce a chair in just 3 hours. The technology also enables the designer to modify a model after a piece of furniture is produced – a bonus that the traditional injection moulding process doesn’t offer. The machine can be programmed to build furniture of any shape and size.