In brief... A 'Re-Design' project - How to make your own fold-down, re-usable cup that collapses from 16cm high down to 2cm, can fit in a pocket or clip onto a belt, holds hot beverages without burning your hand and is made almost entirely from sustainable, used materials.
I'm a third year year industrial design/mech eng student studying in Australia (fun :-) ), and for a recent assignment, we familiarised ourselves with the movement known as redesign - a collaboration of product designers who endeavor to take used components/materials, and make new products from them in a sustainable way (http://www.redesigndesign.org/ is a main website if you're interested).
My personal project, therefore, was to prevent the purchase of plastic P.E.T water bottles by devising a cup that was convenient and portable to carry around and use every day (after all, in many places, the health standards are higher for tapwater than bottled). Moreover, it had to be long lasting, easy to clean, recyclable, and able to hold the hot uni-cafe coffee I inevitably need, after staying awake all night working on things like, well, this.
The result is a cup that can hold more than a can of soft-drink when full, yet is about 2cm thick when flattened, and fits easily in a pocket (it can also be looped securely onto a belt). The shape does not transmit heat to the hand easily, and best of all; it's made mostly from the polypropylene covers of used folders where the spine had broken. I write this instructable in the hopes that others may also manufacture one, and I intend, with time, to refine this project further.
Step 1: Materials
You will require:
- Polypropylene plastic sheet, approximately 0.5mm thick. If you wish to adhere to redesign principles, I got mine from a marbig folder that had split along a seam- you can use any brand or translucent colour that has a flat section larger than 23cm x 26cm.
NOTE: It's important that the plastic is PP as it has 'living hinge' fold characteristics that allow it to be continuously bent without eventually snapping. Check the recycling code - it should have a 5 in the middle of the recycle symbol, and PP underneath it. If you can't, try going to: http://www.modernplastics.com/how_to_identify_plastics.htm