3D printing in turbulent times
Prototyping prior to launching
Gratitude to the 4 design consultants in Switzerland, Spain, Germany and Portugal involved in the prototyping of the design.
Despite distance, Covid-19, and restrictions, we made it!
Can't see the wood for the trees
A pal of mine is building up his house, and he’s determined to install both solar heat collectors and photovoltaic panels on the roof. He asked me for advice and, talking about that, he came up with a horrific idea that made me shiver with unease by his tone of conviction “well…I’ll have electricity and hot water from 100% renewable power: I can forget at last about turning off the lights or caring about closing the hot water tap [… ]” (I cut the rest for the sake of politeness).
Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam… Modern cities full of charm. And how lovely it is to stroll with your bike without getting home with your face covered in dust from the car exhaust gas. However, how unkind it is to carry your new IKEA wardrobe or the groceries to your house door! There’s a huge debate both on the streets and in many parliaments about pedestrianisation of some European cities, that become emotional since it affects entirely people’s daily affairs.
Black Friday - el día del Perjuicio Final
De los creadores del día de San Valentín y del día la marmota
Según los historiadores, el Kung-Fu surgió en China allá por el S.VI, pero no fue perfeccionado hasta mediados del S.XX cuando aparecieron las primeras campañas de rebajas en los centros comerciales. Aquello que en principio surgió como una solución para dar salida al stock acumulado durante el año o para obtener beneficios por venta masiva, ha marcado para muchos un estilo de vida. Incluso hay gente en las ciudades que ya no divide el año en estaciones, sino en periodos de rebajas, como se hace en las viñas con la vendimia o en la mar con la temporada del jurel. En este marco se sitúa el Black Friday, la fiesta anual del consumismo por excelencia.
Este fenómeno (como lo conocemos hoy) surgió en EEUU hace décadas como comienzo de la campaña comercial navideña tras la noche de Acción de Gracias.
How was life like before e-commerce? Thanks to it, goods and services are available worldwide with a single click. Also, it's a means to expand the market for many companies in a globalised world.
However, shipping items from one corner of the planet to another requires assuring these arrive in perfect conditions. For this, proper packaging is a must. But, does it mean these goods must be covered with layers and layers of protecting material? Here we share this real life example.
The image on the left shows one of the two cups bought by e-commerce. Each of these where packaged in a small cardboard box, enough to protect it during transportation (maybe also wrapped with some old crumpled newspapers to be on the safe side?).
Surprisingly, these boxes where likewise put into a much bigger cardboard box, with LDPE bubble plastic to fill the vast remaining empty space inside. So, in the picture on the right, you have the total amount of cardboard and plastic used to protect the two cups... isn't it crazy?
Okay: both cardboard and LDPE are recyclable materials. Yet, some important questions remain open:
The fact is that, to ship around 960cm3 of fragile items, they used a 18.816cm3 volume. In other words: the packaging is about 20 times larger than the volume of the items! If we also analyse the weight added by useless protection materials, the situation becomes even more outrageous.
Efficient use of transported volume is crucial for a sustainable transport system. Be that by ship, by plane, by train, by road, there is energy and fuel involved. A bad management of wrapping and packaging materials, leads to the release of emissions just to transport air in containers. In this case, 95% of the volume is air.
It's worth to say that this is not an exclusive feature of e-commerce. We can daily find overpackaged items anywhere (meat, fish, veggies, biscuits, cleaning products, clothing, tools and DIY materials... even wrappings and containers!)
Eco-tips to not contribute to this craziness:
Can you come up with something else? Would you like to share your experience with us? Feel free to comment!