Handheld plastic scanner

Stepping away a bit from the urban aspect of Fab Cities and more towards the maker side, here’s a small DIY project that most of us probably didn’t know was possible, a simple handheld device that can identify the five most common plastics.

Jerry de Vos based his thesis at TU Delft’s Industrial Design Engineering program on developing a small Open Source device to enabled various communities and work settings to quickly determine what kind of plastic makes up an object they want to recycle.

Discrete near-infrared spectroscopy makes it possible to identify over 75% of all plastic used in everyday life. Therefore, it became my mission to make this technology accessible to recyclers in low and middle-income countries.

This inspiring project starts with a breakout board (an electronics board like the ones in most electrical gadgets) that houses all components to identify the most common plastics, but also a kit to enabled people to assemble their own, a 3D printed case, and soon a modular design to assemble multiple scanners into a factory scanner.

Fantastic project and we’ll keep following Mr. de Vos and the evolution of this idea.