An Autodesk-sponsored team of Mechanical Engineering students from Finland’s Aalto University and Stanford University in the US have designed a laptop that can be disassembled for recycling.
After nine months of research and testing, the end result is the prototype Bloom laptop. It can be disassembled in 10 steps, without tools, and separated into material types, such as plastics and metals. As a comparison, a comparable commercial laptop took a team of three engineers 45 minutes, three tools, and 121 steps to disassemble.
The team was set the task of developing an electronic product that makes recycling a more effective, engaging, and complete process for consumers. The laptop prototype achieves the aim because it can be disassemble for recycling easily and intuitively without tools. The "greenness" is reinforced by the modular design that offers other benefits. The ease of taking the device apart also makes it easier to repair and upgrade, extending the products useful life beyond a one-off investment Finally, the user-friendly design of the laptop reinforces consumers’ internal "feel good" motivations for recycling.
Great idea. Let’s hope it reaches mainstream production. So many other products could benefit from similar design. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 1.9 to 2.2 million tons of electronics became obsolete in 2005. Of those, only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled.