With both an impressive knowledge base of how industrial plastic manufacturing machines work as well as his desire to repurpose plastic waste, Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has created an open source microfactory concept that he hopes will change the way we produce everyday plastic goods.

Precious Plastic explores how plastic waste can be shredded and reused into everyday functional objects including toys, lamps, and waste bins.

The wide-scope endeavor includes multiple machines for preparing the plastic and then processing it based on traditional plastic manufacturing techniques including extrusion, rotational, and injection molds.


Hakkens wants to make the blueprints for creating your own microfactory available for free online in hopes that there could be a global network of makers that share the same vision for repurposing waste into usable products:

“Our goal is to develop the ultimate plastic machinery together and share this open source online.
We want that people all over the world can download the designs, build these machines and start a local plastic recycle center. In these centers local plastic waste is collected, transformed into new products and therefore making it possible to turn plastic waste locally into new products.”

YouTube video


header_extrusion-1200x654Extruding lines, shapes or possible 3D printer filament. Shredder plastic is put in the bucket, the screw inside the tube presses the flakes forwards and the heating elements melt the plastic along the way. The outcome of this process is a line of molded plastic. The form depends on the shape of the nozzle. Blueprints


header_injection-1200x654Injection molding is the most commonly used technique in the plastic industry. Usually these machines are extremely quick. This one is much slower and more manual, but can still produce a product every couple of minutes. The inserted plastic warms up and is then pressed inside a mold. Blueprints


header_rotation-1200x654Rotational molding is a basic machine in the plastic industry. Often used to create large hollow objects. This machine is built of an old oven that heats the mold inside. The oven itself can turn 360° and so does the mold. This way the mold reaches any position. The mold is inserted in the oven and gets hot. Whilst turning around, plastic sticks to the mold and forms the mold/object. Blueprints


header_shredder-1200x654This machine is a small plastic shredder (Zerma) from the current plastic industry. Originally used to shred production waste and put this back into the production-line straight away. It can be quite tough to get your hands on one. The plan is to develop a machine like this as well -a low speed, powerful, efficient plastic shredder. Have a look at the forum and share your knowledge and expertise about this. We could use your help!

To check out more about Precious Plastic and to see more about Dave’s vision for the project, head over to Precious Plastic.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.