Stanford Students Design a Fully-Recyclable Laptop
A group of grad students from Standford University have won October’s Autodesk Inventor of the Month award for their unique Bloom laptop – a computer that was designed to be disassembled for recycling in just two minutes without any tools. Computer accessories and components often contain precious metals such as platinum that can be recycled, and as such, the Bloom laptop was designed to be broken down so that its various parts can be recycled with ease.
The Bloom laptop was originally a class project led by Aaron Engel-Hall, who found that while normal laptops do contain recyclable components, they’re all mended together in such a way that no regular user could ever disentangle it. Not so with the Bloom laptop, where all the components can be separated easily from the frame for proper recycling.
In addition to being recyclable, there are other benefits to Bloom’s modular design. Engel-Hall reported that his team used the easy-to-disassemble modularity of Bloom to develop a keyboard and track pad that can detach and be improved ergonomically. The ease of disassembly also makes it easier to repair and upgrade components over the lifetime of the product.
“Buying a computer is no longer a singular investment,” Engel-Hall said, “but a longer-term relationship between the consumer and the service provider.” He added, “[We] used Autodesk Inventor software often during the ideation phase to experiment with the design. We created 3D shapes to represent the hardware we had to design around, and the parametric design of Inventor software let me put in different parameters so that all the model dimensions would update immediately. I was also able to experiment with various thicknesses for the case enclosure, making it as thin as possible while maintaining structural integrity.”
View a video of the product in action here.
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