Tuesday, June 17, 2014

EKOCYCLE Cube - Using Old to Make New!

It is no secret that I am a fan not only of the Cube 3D printers; but, of the entire vision of 3D Systems behind those innovative printers.  Good things keep popping up so unexpectedly from the Cubify Design Team that I always feel a little behind.  Today, I REALLY had to pedal hard to keep up with the latest events just announced on the Cubify site.

Not only did I have to quickly try to analyze a new product; but, the entire concept behind it.

3D Systems added a new version of the not-yet-released Cube 3.  It's called the EKOCYCLE Cube!


While 3D Systems previously announced that Cube users could return empty cartridges for recycling, this printer takes the recycling concept one step farther by actually using filament manufactured, at least in part, from recycled plastic from things like Coca-Cola bottles!

Here is a video that succinctly explains the EKOCYCLE Cube philosophy.

I can't imagine that schools can pass this printer up.  Its very presence in the classroom is a narrative with a powerful and compelling message.  

Look.  I'm 70.  So, I hope you can understand when I say that I remember being puzzled when it was announced that will.i.am was announced to be Chief Creative Officer.  Frankly. I had NO idea who will.i.am was.  Frankie Valli I'd know.   The Big Bopper I'd know.  Roy Orbison, I'd definitely know.  When it comes to pop culture I'm locked into a "Happy Days" time warp!

But, I've come to appreciate the reality that will.i.am is not only a true renaissance man; but, a forward thinking activist that not only sees future problems; but, solutions as well.

The EKOCYCLE Cube is a bold response to the fact that plastics technology inevitably produces  some waste; but, that waste can be reused.  What better way for us to recycle plastic than to use it to create new useful items of our own creation!  Coca-Cola is a partner in the 2D Systems EKOCYCLE project.  Each EKOCYCLE cartridge will contain filament comprised of a 25% mixture of recycled PET bottles.  So, each cartridge recycles an average of three PET bottles.

Now that I understand the value that will.i.am brings to the Cubify table, it might be time to update my record collection, too.  WAIT!!!  Did I REALLY just say that????  Does this mean I'm going to have to buy an iPod??? Or, is that yesterday's history, too?

I'll close with this.  Yes.  I have an old Edison wind-up 78rpm record player.  And, I still have an old 45rpm record player.  But, I no longer have an 8-track in my car.  So, it's not entirely hopeless for me to try to up my game when it comes to pop culture.  Thank you 3D Systems for bringing will.i.am on board and if the EKOCYCLE Cube is any barometer, it was an excellent move!

Everything old really CAN be new again.

And, Hey!  I may be old.  But, I know VERY COOL when I see it.  And, I see it here... and in classrooms and conscientious homes all over the world.   It's another winner!  :)

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