slippyfish wrote:The shock absorption, tight fit, color matching, and low cost for volume manufacturing are the attractive parts of the Santoprene elastomer overmolding. Even if you broke out the grip parts into a smaller assembly (thus being able to recycle the larger components) you'd still be wrestling with more screws/bosses/cost... and does the customer really care anyway?
No, the customer doesn't care--I do! (And so does Mother Nature.) I see what you're saying, though. Ultimately those workarounds add complexity and reduce overall product performance.
JEriksson wrote:You have polyurethane plastics that can span from the elastomer area to the plastic area of shore hardness.
So a core of hard polyurethane overmolded with soft polyurethane would make it recycled as one piece of polyurethane.
Very interesting, I never thought about that. This could be a good option if it's feasible. I'm going to dive deeper into this.
studiomkllc wrote:Yeah lets be honest this is the dirty secret about ID. A lot of the materials we use have such varied an amazing qualities: grip, texture, detail, color, economics, but atleast from my experience they are all toxic and less than ideal for the environment. I actually did work in school on injection molding bio resins. Given that was 7 years ago things may have changed. What i found was some good resins but most were either too expensive, couldnt retain pigment, had major mold flow issues or just ended up looking terrible.
New material technologies are always going to be more expensive at first, though... I'm willing to at least investigate the cost for the sake of comparison. As for the other issues, those are certainly a deterrent. Biotech has made huge strides in the last 7 years though, so let's hope things have changed!
Cyberdemon wrote:The short answer is no, and most of these tools don't end up in a recycling-friendly supply chain at the end of their life anyways. Even if you designed something that could be disassembled, end users won't disassemble it, most areas don't have e-waste recycling programs, and the manufacturers (at least to my knowledge) don't offer any type of take back or recycling incentives. The price of shipping a drill back to a manufacturer would likely be higher than the material gained back in recycling.
But that's just our planet and the moral conundrum of being a person who makes things.
None of those problems are insurmountable, though, are they? And the solutions need to start somewhere. Lawmakers need to do their part to improve recycling programs, and designers need to do their part to design for recycling and educate users. It feels like sort of a cop-out to blame the existing systems and users; we're all guilty of doing it.