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Modular building blocks (feedback needed)

This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Fabrizio Forte 1 year ago.

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Bert Van Kerkhoven bertvankerkhoven

Modular building blocks (feedback needed)

12/12/2017 at 14:10

Hi everyone!

Together with 2 of my peers at Vlerick Business School, we took on the challenge to start a cleantech start-up. Our idea is inspired by Everblock, a NY based company that makes large lego-like building blocks that can be used to create a wall, chair, desk,… in just a couple of minutes. We really believe in their concept but we are convinced that we can be more ambitious and try to make a similar product from recycled plastic in order to reduce plastic waste. We also are unsure about the best size and type of plastic to use. We found another New Zealand-based company, Byfusion, that mixes all types of plastic in its building blocks and claims that the noise and temperature insulation is better than brick. A downside is that these building blocks are not very good looking. Is there a way to combine the product of Everblock and Byfusion. What do you guys think about the idea of making modular building blocks in general? Do you think it is feasible to make it from recycled plastic? What are in your opinion the best properties of the building blocks and what would you use it for?

All feedback is hugely appreciated.

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warrior
12/12/2017 at 14:22
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@bertvankerkhoven Hi!
Interesting idea! Especially as the reusing idea of LEGO parts is expanded from toys to household items!
However I don’t really like the solution of throwing all kinds of plastics together and fusing them to a brick, as this produces a non-recyclable End-material that has to be burned eventually too :/

starter
12/12/2017 at 15:28
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@flo-2 Thank you for your feedback. Could you please elaborate on why this would create a non-recyclable end product? I would think that by just pressing different kinds of plastics together it would be easy to shred and sort it again no? Do you think there are other eco-friendly possibilities that would increase the insulation? Am I right to assume that the best material for the blocks would be polypropylene?

starter
12/12/2017 at 16:32
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To tackle the look of the thing why not make the blocks paintable? That way the designs are customizable?

starter
12/12/2017 at 16:43
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@bertvankerkhoven Hi there! At EverBlock Systems all of our blocks are fully recyclable and are made from high impact polypropylene plastic with color additives and UV inhibitors to protect the color if used outdoors for up to 8+ years.

We have attempted to make the blocks out of recycled plastics, but they do not have the same strength and durability, and the color can not be added. With recycled plastic comes all types of colors that can not be bleached and varying plastics.

The EverBlock System was designed to be used over and over and over again, there is never a need to throw it away!

That is why we designed the system to be modular… One day it’s a wall, the next a desk with chair, the next a fort for your kids, the next a flower garden bed… The blocks are fully recyclable and we encourage our clients and block enthusiasts to repurpose the blocks as many times as possible – making EverBlock a unique green building tool: http://www.everblocksystems.com/green-building/

Happy to answer any questions!
Regards,
EverBlock

helper
13/12/2017 at 12:35
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@bertvankerkhoven if you mix different types of plastic together, for instance HDPE and Polypropylene, it would be unfeasible to ever separate them again, thusly making a non recyclable product

starter
28/12/2017 at 23:13
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bertvankerkhoven, excellent idea congratulations, good greetings from Mexico, now my idea is this for housing construction, but do not be plastic, do you have any suggestions for me? My idea is to start doing tests with pet, just pet, process the bottles until you can do the blokes by injection. Will this be possible? regards

starter
03/01/2018 at 16:03
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you might be interested in this as well.

dedicated
03/01/2018 at 16:44
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@bertvankerkhoven very cool idea, thanks for sharing with us those 2 companies, they are very cool!

Indeed if you mix different plastics you’re making it much harder or impossible to recycle them in the future, better to keep them separated. That’s what worries me about ‘Byfusion’. You can mix colours though, of the same material.

Also be careful if you want to do something very similar, you need to change the design a bit so that @everblocksystems or even LEGO doesn’t sue you

In terms of the aspect you just need an artistic eye or someone who has. Check out https://smile-plastics.com/ they make beautiful surfaces and it’s just a matter of doing it nicely and market it well. See how they mix colors, it’s not hard to do..

@everblocksystems interested in partnering with you, where can I contact you?

@liammurphy3 check this out see if it inspires you and we can do something together?

Cheers

starter
03/01/2018 at 16:56
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@javierrivera I’ve heard of Smile, I actually contacted them today about a personal project, they have some amazing materials.

As for the blocks (@bertvankerkhoven), I love them! I’m sure there would be patent/copyright rules against using that shape, I’ll explore the idea of modular blocks, maybe using our own shape @javierrivera

warrior
03/01/2018 at 22:54
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@javierrivera
as far as I know, the LEGO patent ran out a few years ago, which is the reason why companies like @everblocksystems are allowed to produce that shape. But yeah, better to inform yourself before starting 😉

starter
04/01/2018 at 19:12
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Please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will happily follow up!

starter
06/01/2018 at 10:33
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@checo Very interesting! This was actually the idea we started from but it’s very difficult to do that in Belgium because of the strict regulations in the construction industry. As we don’t have engineers in our team, it’s very difficult to answer your question. I suggest you try to find an expert on that matter, they will definitely be able to help you out!

@javierrivera Instead of melting them together, we would just press them together. Would this solve the issue of the unrecyclableness of our end product? We would use this to fill up the bricks, so the outside is still made of “virgin” plastic. We did this to avoid issues with the food approval, which every furniture manufacturer in Belgium has to comply with and also to improve the look and feel of our building blocks. What do you think?

dedicated
24/01/2018 at 00:39
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Hi, I am in contact with speedy brick, it’s possible to make a brick like Lego r a different brick with just flat plastic board, they have a patented lock to build anti earthquake house, I have the exclusive for Perú but I will comeback in Italy in March, just let me know if could be interesting. There is another company, a. Mix between byfusion a day the shelter of precious plastic,but they use concrete debris, is. Holland based, they are actually working in Haiti,. The name is the mobile. Factory. Like you I look for all this project and hope one day be part of one of. This. Bye

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