Back in July I posted a video of the laborious process of e-recycling, and posited that most product designers probably don't consider how the things they design are eventually going to be taken apart for recycling. But a group of Stanford grad students, recognized by Autodesk, are doing that very thing.
Autodesk's Inventor of the Month award for October goes to the Stanford group's Bloom laptop, which is designed to be disassembled for recycling in just two minutes, and using no tools!
"We used Autodesk Inventor software often during the ideation phase to experiment with the design," said Aaron Engel-Hall, a Stanford student and team member. "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."
...Beyond recyclability, Bloom delivers other benefits for consumers. The team used the easy-to-disassemble modularity of Bloom to develop a keyboard and track pad that detach and allow for improved ergonomics. The ease of disassembly also makes it easier to repair and upgrade components over the lifetime of the product, so that buying a computer is no longer a singular investment, but a longer-term relationship between the consumer and the service provider.
Check it out:
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It might as well save the laptop from being recycled if even the motherboard can be upgraded, though that would required a unified design for all laptops, which is unlikely.
Now how about a laptop that's easy to upgrade?