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RPSD: Recycled Plastic Skateboard Deck

Tackling plastic waste, democratizing access to skateboarding and proving to people what products made from waste can really do.

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We have developed a manufacturing system to produce skateboard decks from recycled plastic.

The most innovative, unique part is the mould, as this has previously not existed. We proudly say these are the first, and only, traditional popsicle skateboard decks in the world to be made from 100% recycled plastic.

All the information you need to build the system yourself is available in our free open-source dowload kit which, as well as all the technical information, include a one-hour detailed video explaining how to build and how to operate the mould.

The system has been designed to be built with easily accessible tools (drill, grinder, hand tools) and CAM Services (CNC, Laser cut) to make it possible for as many people to replicate it. The overall startup investment and infrastructure requirements have been minimised to make it possible for entry-level producers to begin without struggle, e.g, you need 25,000 dollars and a garage to start your own factory or studio.

Welcome!


Quick Links

Full Project Description

Website

Press Kit

Social Media

Download Kit

Build Video

Project Legacy


The Problem

You all know that plastic waste is bad so I'm going to summarize the scale of the problem simply with 5 numbers.

Every year we produce over 350 million tons of new plastic.

Since its invention, over 9 billion tons of new plastic has been produced.

More than 90% is recyclable...

...but less than 10% actually gets recycled.

This means that there is over 6 billion tons of plastic waste in the world right now, ready to be collected and recycled.

So even if we completely stopped producing plastic right now there is still a little bit we need to tidy up.

If left uncollected it remains in the food, water and air that we humans and almost every other living thing, in our ecosystem, are at risk of consuming and being polluted by it.


The Challenge: Reuse, Recycle, Revamp

We are working to dissolve the economic, technical and social barriers that prevent people from getting recycled plastic products into the world.

Our project is all about increasing accessibility to recycling equipment and hence enabling more people to recycle. 

Why?

Recycling provides a solution to both:

1. Extracting raw plastic pollution from the environment by capturing and storing it in large pieces that are kept out of the ecosystem by human utilisation and are easy to manage at the end of their product life to ensure that they do not end up back in the ecosystem.

2. Providing an alternative to dependency on raw materials. Humans are always going to make things, by using recycled materials we reduce the extraction of raw material, such as wood, and its inherent burden on the environment.

Our solution, a recycled plastic skateboard deck (RPSD), is to provide the means to produce a fun, healthy and directly tangible reward for recycling that demonstrates both the aesthetic beauty and the mechanical strength of the material to its users and observers, with the aim of incentivising and catalysing plastic recycling.

A skateboard was also chosen because of its ease of manufacture. We want it to be as easy as possible for people to recycle, so we chose a simple product with no, ribs, undercuts or complex geometry and just one single solid body. This is our way of trying to dissolve any technical barriers, potential manufacturing defects and complications that would stand as obstacles in the production process.

Ease of access is why all of our research is, and always will be, open source. To reduce the barriers that IP restrictions, copyrights and patents place in front of designers and recyclers who want to start recycling. We want anyone, anywhere to be able to pick up our project with as little resistance as possible and start recycling plastic. 

The process to build the mould itself has been designed to be as easy to replicate as possible without any specialist tooling, just things found in a standard metalworking workshop, a grinder, a pillar drill and a welding machine. This is to prevent economic, infrastructure and skill-level barriers from standing in the way if people building our system.

The Mould

The most technically innovative and unique part of project RPSD is our open-source mould, which is used to form the skateboard decks.

Previously it did not exist, which means we can proudly say this is the first in the world of its kind to be released.

The mould consists of three CNC cut aluminium pieces that form the shape of the deck.

The mould is electronically heated, with cartridge heaters similar to those found in 3D printers, whilst molten plastic is injected into the mould using an extrusion machine.

It also features an adjustable height table, a quick-release handle and suspension for easy operation.


The Decks

The deck has 8.25” width, 32” length, and a 14.25” wheelbase, with a medium concave...

Read more »

License.pdf

This is a human-readable summary of the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) lisence.

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Welcome.pdf

Welcome (Read me)

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Credits.pdf

Credits to supporting parties

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Download kit Google Drive URL.txt

Download kit Google Drive URL (Mirror of files uploaded to hackaday.io)

plain - 118.00 bytes - 05/30/2022 at 14:05

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Dowload Kit.z01

Download Kit Overflow Zip Folder. Opens automatically via the main file, cannot be opened individually. All three files must be in the same folder.

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  • Mould Technical Data

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 14:07 0 comments

    Mould Technical Data


    General

    Model: RPSDMV3

    Version: 3.0

    Type: Extrusion

    Year: 2021

    Dimensions (l x w x h): 1100 x 700 x 500 min 1300 max

    Mass: 285 kg 

    Heating

    Power supply: Three-phase electric - 380V

    Heating element type: Cartridge Heater

    Number of heating elements: 64

    Heating power: 10600 W

    Operating temperature: 0 to 250 °C


    User Process

    Materials processed: Soft plastic, Hard plastic

    Filling Method: Extrusion


    Construction

    Construction materials: Steel Frame, Aluminum Body

    Material Cost (EU): 7500 Euro

    Manufacturing time : ± 5 Days

    Workforce: 1 Person

    Difficulty ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


    Connections

    Electrical: Three phase plug socket 16 A

    Pneumatic: Compressed air for cleaning 

  • Deck Pattern Variations 1

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 14:01 0 comments

  • Pictures of final Mould

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:42 0 comments

  • Final Build

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:39 0 comments

    The final build is summarised in our "How-to" Build video.


  • Build Plan

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:35 0 comments

    Before building the mould, a building plan, in the format of a video script was written, to thoroughly think through and plan each step before going ahead.


    Dialogue

    Shot Type

    📁
    1. Intro

    Hey everyone! 

    White Wall

    Mould, skateboards and extruder out in front of me

    1

    In this video I am going to show you how to build a mould which you can use to make skateboard decks from 100% recycled plastic! 

    The mould is open source, which means you can download all of the CAD files, Bill of materials, electronics diagrams + everything else you need to make it yourself for free.

    They are made using an extrusion machine, like this one which is also open source!

    So you can also build one or buy one yourself!

    Check out the links in the description!

    1. Breakdown

    So the entire mould can be broken down into three parts, the mould itself, the table and the electronics box. 

    White Wall

    Mould out in front of me.

    2

    1. Mould

    The mould itself is made up of four main parts, 

    • A top and a bottom plate
    • An edge structure
    • A two part a support structure
    • And a set of fasteners hold it all together

    White Wall Mould sections on table in front of me

    3.1

    Top and Bottom Plates

    First you're going to make the top and bottom plates.

    White Wall Mould sections on table in front of me

    Point at top and bottom.

    3.2

    You are going to need:

    ○    CNC Cut Aluminum Blocks Which form the top and bottom faces of the decks  

    ○         0.5mm Stainless Steel Washer Plates

    ○         10mm Laser Cut Steel Sheets

    ○         M5 x 10mm Dowel Pins x8

    ○         M10 x 16mm Countersunk Bolts x10

    ○         M10 x 30mm Countersunk Bolts x10

    ○         M20 Thin Nuts x 8

    ○         Heat Resistant Paint x2

    ○         Safety Stickers x8

    Jump between wide and Close up pointing at separate parts

    3.2

    First take the laser cut steel back plates. You will need to countersink all the M10 holes so that the head of the bolt lays below the surface.

    Pillar drill perspective shots

    3.2

    On the same side you can also use the countersink to put a slight chamfer on the M20 holes to guide the bolts into place when using the mould for production. On the top plate the chamfer is on the same side as the M10 holes and on the bottom plate it is on the opposite side. 

    Pillar drill perspective shots

    3.2

    Insert the flat nuts into the hexagon cutouts, weld them in place then grind them flat.

    Welding perspective shots

    Grinding perspective shots

    3.2

    Clean the metal with degreaser and apply a layer of heat proof paint to the plates.

    Painting perspective shots

    3.2

    Use a countersink to remove the paint in the countersunk part of the M10 holes. This is for electrical grounding and ensures that the top and bottom plates are connected to the aluminium. 

    Close up

    3.2

    Next you need to bolt the aluminium surfaces to the back plates, note that they have an orientation (The nose and the tail are different heights) so make sure to measure them carefully and align them with the arrows. 

    Bench

    Measure with calipers

    Check drawing

    3.2

    The top plate has a layer of stainless steel washer plates between the aluminium surface and the steel plate. This allows you to adjust the thickness of the deck by adding and removing them. They are stainless steel because you can't paint them to keep the thickness even, and they would rust if they were normal steel. 

    Bench

    Show washers fanned out

    3.2

    You may need to change the bolt size if you want to adjust the thickness of the deck but by default it is 30mm on the top and 16mm on the bottom.

    Bench

    Show bolts

    3.2

    Next you can insert the dowel pins into the holes in the base plate. These are to mark where you need to drill the truck holes. 

    Bolting in place montage

    3.2

    Finally stick the safety stickers between the handles.

    Close-up

    3.2

    Next you're going to make the edge of the mould.

    White Wall

    Finished part on...

    Read more »

  • Design Desisions: V3 Prototype 1

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:28 0 comments

    RPSDM V3 Design Decisions

    PRE BUILD CAD WALKTHROUGH VIDEO. (Video does not represent the final version as some changes were made.)

    Design Decisions

    • Colour Code Fasteners
      • Passive
      • Interactive (neon)
    • NATO green paint (Available everywhere in world)
    • Deck Stength
      • Thicker nose and tail
      • Thicker in the middle (T Beam)
      • Steep concave (Pipe)
      • Thick patch on nose and tail curve up (Prevents wearring)
    • Springs to allow nozzles to move slightly when coupling with the nozzle plate
    • Hold thermocouple 
      • Nut welded in beam
    • Differentiate nose/tail
      • Arrow on horizontal plate
    • Change Deck Thickness 
      • ‘Washer” Plates 
    • Attach to Extruder
      • Quick Release: Big Laser cut handle welded to nut
      • Find right plumbing head: Swivel connector
    • Open Mould 
      • Nuts on top and bottom plate for “Release Bolts”
      • Enough gap between side frame and horizontal plate to fit in crowbar
    • Heat Mould 
      • Cartridge heaters (380, 16A) in holes down side of “Deck Edge”
    • Fit aluminium sections in
      • Fillet inside gradual
      • 0.2mm contour between deck top/bottom face and deck edge (Check V4 file) 
    • Slow to bolt mould together
      • Drill with long socket
      • Countersink holes on steel plate
    • Mark Holes For Trucks
      • 5mm Dowel inserts in mould
    • Stop Mould Bend
      • C beams (Out)
      • 80x40 frame on top (C Beams top also??) Then all C Beams

    Part Numbers Template 

    before the dot is only for assemblies, assemblies always end in .00

    X000.00 - in this case X is for upper level assemblies

    0X00.00 - in this case X is for sub assemblies

    00X0.00 - in this case X is for sub sub assemblies and so on

    0000.xx After the dot is the part number

    EXTPRO-V1 0000.00

    EXTPRO-

    V1

    0

    0

    0

    0

    .

    0

    0

    Machine Name

    V#

    Part

    Assembly

    Sub Assembly

    Part

    RPSDM-

    V3

    -Deck -Mould -Electronics Enclosure 

    -Table

    -Mould Top

    -Mould 

    Bottom

    -Mold Top 

    Support Frame 

    Bolt

    Beam

  • Phase 3 Overview

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:25 0 comments

    In phase three we set out to design and build a new prototype based on the conclusions of phases one and 2, this version out focus was to create a "Download Kit" which included a detailed build video of the mould, create an online presence to distribute the media on and register the project as a brand and legal entity.

  • Legacy Research

    Jason Knight05/29/2022 at 13:13 0 comments

    Before the development, two phases of preliminary research were run between 2015-2018 and 2018-2020.

    A summary of the two phases can be found here:

    Research Question:

    Can we set up economically sustainable workspaces that semi-mass produce skateboard decks, that are of an acceptable riding standard and lower price than wooden decks, with an extruder of 20,000 euro?

    Description


    Problems:

    The problems this question aims to address can be divided into two categories: Social: 

    • Skateboarding remains out of reach due to its expensive equipment cost.
    • There is a lack of engaging activities and communities for young people to engage in which results in anti-social habits forming (Substance abuse, crime etc.) 
    • Recycling is seen as an added complexity/burden in many people's lives as it has no direct tangible rewards. 

    Environmental:

    • There are not enough local plastic collection schemes happening globally to effectively process the quantity of plastic waste being produced. (>6 Billion tonnes existing, >9 million tonnes added each year, >90% recyclable, <10% actually recycled)
    • Traditional skateboard decks are made from canadian maple plywood and are the largest contributor to their deforestation.
    • The majority of skateboards are centrally produced in either China or Mexico, and shipped globally, which has a large carbon footprint. Localised production of skateboards is almost non-existent.

    Solution:

    We want to set up workspaces capable of transforming plastic waste into skateboard decks by providing open source plans, or the option to buy the machines and mould needed to produce skateboard decks, along with all additional information needed. As the design for the machines already exists, the focus of the research is on the mould, as this has not been developed. The mould is being designed to work with an extruder with the same or less power and barrel volume as the Precious Plastic Version 4 extruder so that existing Precious Plastic workspaces can adapt their workspace to produce decks. The next steps after completion of the mould design is to act as a consultant to help people set up their own workspaces, and to further iterate the mould design once this version has been tested for some time. 

    Previous Research:

    The project has been under development since 2017, with two significant phases of preliminary research leading up to this point.

    Phase 1: Development of a press and mould to produce deck. Phase 2: Modification of mould to extrude decks.

    Challenges:

    Making decks that are satisfactory enough to ride Finding start-up capital 

    Finding a team who are both passionate, skilled, and at the right point in their life to be involved long term.

    Phase 1:

    1. Title: Research Phase 1: Recycled Plastic Skateboard Deck Press
    2. Description: 

    Full Documentation Abstract: The aim of the current phase of the project is to design a press that allows communities to locally produce skateboard decks made from recycled plastic. Through primary research I discovered that an average skater goes through one deck every two months and are made from plywood, predominantly taken from Canadian maple trees. Skateboarding is the biggest contributor to their deforestation. A press would enable independent skate shops or other small community organizations to set up local recycling schemes where they either charge people to use the machine, buy waste plastic and produce their own decks to sell or simply allow people to use the machine for free. The aim is to challenge the stigmas attached to used plastic, from seeing it as waste to viewing it as a valuable resource, as well as change the current attitude towards recycling as being an inconvenience to an activity which is fun and constructive, which can be done as groups of friends and something that has direct tangible rewards.

    Materials testing was conducted to identify what combination of recycled plastics shared most similarity with Canadian Maple, in...

    Read more »

View all 8 project logs

  • 1
    Download the Download Kit

    You can find our download kit here. it contains all the CAD files, 2D drawings, CAM packages, electronics, a BOM and the supporting notes you need to build the system.

  • 2
    Source the parts

    Go through the BOM, order the parts you need and decide for each of the metal parts if you will make them yourself, or get some external help. E.g. if the aluminium pieces are too big to fit on your CNC, you might need to order them.

  • 3
    Follow the "How To Build" video​

    Follow the "How To Build" video step by step and pause and rewind to each step if necessary. In reality, it takes much more than one hour, more like one week!

View all 5 instructions

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skivvie wrote 06/22/2022 at 16:20 point

1. This is AMAZING. Thank you for the insane documentation and commitment to both skating and recycling. 2. What is the turn around time PER DECK. I'm considering doing this but the ROI seems high. Thanks again!

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