In April I visited ‘City Recovery’, a timber recycling company in south Boston. Entering the 200m long warehouse I was shocked by the scale of this production line, where eleven employees around the clock hand clean waste before it put into a grinder for a new life as OSB. Yet the closest OSB factory is in Canada; and so each daily trucks take timber chips from Boston to Ottowa where the timber is glued together. People say capitalism is efficient, but this system suggests otherwise - ‘city recovery’ pays the Canadian OSB factory to accept the wood chips it has spent manpower producing.
The contemporary city produces huge amounts of waste material each day that costs energy and money to dispose. I would like to develop computationally assisted software, electronic scanning eqipment, and methodologies that help Fab Labs to accept waste material, and make useful things with it. I think the Fab Lab is a good place to accept waste, as new digital tools could theoretically use their computational versitility to adapt to whatever material is presented. Rather than downgrading our waste, I would like to find ways that we can upcycle, helping people make things for lower costs, both environmentally and financially.
For the final project I am planning to make a variation on Will Langford's Handheld CNC arm. Using similar Capacitive Rotary Position Sensor, my arm will be able to position itself in XYZ space. Then I plan to make a lazer distance measuring device, which can feed data about the obect. Ideally, this scanner will be able to scan objects that are 1m x 1m x 1m. The faster that it can scan the better (the fabrication process I imagine is itterative and so any time savings will multiply).