Recently we built an injection molding machine (inspired by the ‘precious plastic’ machines by Dave Hakkens) to investigate low-tech injection molding by hand. The tests with this machine are meant to learn about the process of injection molding and about creating products from bioplastics, the plastics of the future. At this stage we are testing with PLA, a mainstream bioplastic derived from corn starch.
The transition from oil-based plastics to plastics made from renewable resources is extremely fascinating and will play an important role in how future products can be designed and produced in a more sustainable and responsible way. Bioplastics are generally much cleaner to produce, emitting much less CO2 in the process and are made from renewable resources such as corn and potato instead of our finite fossil resources. A new generation of bioplastics made from algae can even introduce a negative carbon footprint, which means they absorb greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.
New bioplastics are still being developed and their market share is growing. This project was started to get a ‘hands-on’ feel of working with bioplastics and to investigate the possibilities and difficulties with this type of plastics.
The mold of our ‘Corny Desk Tray’ was CNC-milled from solid aluminium and our injection molding machine was created with great help from Akko Goldenbeld and Eef Beusen.