The mission

The cube

Mission recycled

The mission with the CUBE was to build a modular, smart and super sustainable product that could take full advantage of 3D printing, NFC tags, recycled 3D filaments from PET bottles and still be manufactured on a low cost FDM printer to enable scale and low cost.
Less than 5% of the worlds consumption of plastic bottles used are actually recycled. The rest is ending up in our oceans and trash piles. We can change that, we need to! By building functional products that work just great made out of recycled 3D printing material we can create demand, demand is the driver! So follow us on the journey from concept, testing, prototypes and the final product below.
Updates is done in chronological order with the latest news first.

Updates and special version

The Pink Satin - Polar White CUBE for Christmas

So, time for Christmas and we got a special wish from a 7 year old girl visiting the lab.

We now integrated loads of new 3D filaments in PLA (biodegradable) to Fusion 360 so we can now quickly build new variations of the CUBE. This time around the geometry updates were in the section of the NFC tags that are now 2 mm deeper into the material. Gone is the embossed logos for RFID/NFC and we added slots for laser engraved plates instead, will improve the overall look a lot.

This version will be named Pink satin - Polar white edition and delivered to Christmas as desk lamp, bed lamp for montage on the  wall and a pendant Cube for the bed window. Once we have the future 3D web configurator running we intend to make it in millions of options and variations. The lighting fixtures will be coded to run in the whatt.io platform.

integrating smartness

The CUBE

Updates today is the built in NFC tags (Near Field Communication) these are built in and designed in the construction and added during the printing process.

This will enable the CUBE to be connected to the life cycle of passive internet of things, whatt.io "Blip" it with any mobile phone and information will pop up with recycle, material, owner and other information. This is also the system that allows for parts ordering and 3D parts download.

There are more NFC tags added in the base that can be modified and used by the owner. Use it to control home automation, play your favorite good night song. Download NFC Tools on your phone to write and read data to the CUBE or simply use Apples Shortcuts to create cool and useful actions that can control your lights, music etc in your home.

Prototype ready for test

The CUBE

Now the parts are coming together and the lighting fixture works as a pendant, as a desk lamp and also to bolt on the wall, all with the same parts. With our laser we build the soft feet and some additional visible elements on the arms, these will be optional and part of the customization process.

Now will follow a long number of small improvements in quality and also add additional features to the fixture. The 3D printing optimization will increase the finish and quality of the prints and potentially speed up the printing time.

Design optimiZation

The CUBE

Multiple prototypes and variations was 3D printed as prototypes and with Fusion 360 our 3D CAD tool we could quickly evolve the design and optimize the manufacturing process. Refining the design this way is an amazing way to create products and work through an evolution from a thought to a fully working product,.

At this time we started to build prototypes also in PLA as this material is biodegradable. We will look for recycled PLA to use also in the future but the fact that the LED technology in the light bulbs are so low of power makes them very well suited to work with PLA as the LED will create very little heat...

The heat inserted threads in the dials worked really well and the prototype was now ready for test print in more materials and variations.

the cube

Functionality

As a modular design we wanted to build it in a way that it would easy to update or "pimp" it in a later stage. Spare parts should be made available to the public through the whatt.io platform and enable the owner to either order or build their own parts at home in their own printer.
The first prototype is manufactured with simple geometries and tests are done in phases to check build speed and quality as well as basic functionality. The Cube should initially be able to provide three different functional light setups.
Pendant

The most simple version, hang one or multiple CUBE from the ceiling in the electrical wire. Combine colors and various lengths of the cable or simply build a swarm of winter white cubical lights in a straight line.

Desk

The desk lamp is the one with most parts and it can be adjusted with the dials by loosening, changing and then tighten them again. The base would be rigid with soft rubber feet's and heat inserted threads in the dials secure quality.

Wall

The wall hung version is the perfect bed lamp or wall installation. Screw in the wall and enable adjustment of the angles at the wall base or at the cubical lamp holder with the arms and dials.

THE CUBE

The conceptual design

With inspiration from the PIXAR lamp and Imperial walkers from Star Wars we had some initial concepts in our mind. We knew that it has to fit low budget FFF machines, limited in certain modelling criteria as well as in both size and shape. Building a functional model in 3D CAD for 3D printing is a challenge and to get every part to print without support (this will eliminate waste and printing time as well as quality of the print) 

The material

Recycled PETG from REFLOW

We tested a huge amount of different materials and we fell in love with the company from Amsterdam Reflow.  The beauty is the different colors and being able to source it from within EU was a real benefit. It is recycled locally from PET bottles and prints well. It has many options on both solid colors and transparent, that would fit nicely in our lighting fixture project.

The circle of life

The CUBE

With the CUBE we wanted create a circle of life, really nailing a sustainable life cycle where recycled material in the shape of used water bottles could be filaments for the 3D printers. The 3D printer farm would run from energy from solar and the CUBE would be inserted a NFC chip for traceability and many other features. The CUBE would be recyclable and the circle is closed.