Don’t wash your dishes…recycle them!

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DishMaker prototype

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September 13, 2007 This household appliance concept from the ever-ingenious researchers at MIT would inevitably put a stop to a lot of after dinner arguments were it ever to make it to market. The DishMaker concept would enable users to create dishes on demand and then recycle them after use. No washing, no storage.

The DishMaker is the brainchild of grad student Leonardo Bonanni and was developed by MIT Media Lab's Counter Intelligence Group. It was developed under the idea that personal fabrication could one day produce everything we need locally, replacing the transportation of atoms with the digital transfer of designs. Rather than purchase items we would use rapid prototyping techniques to create objects (such as dishes) on demand using computer control.

Not only addressing key environmental issues and pioneering new methods of recycling, the DishMaker was also created to save on clutter. By storing dishes in their raw material, awaiting production for the next meal, you don’t need that extra plate rack or sideboard.

The team from the Counter Intelligence Group have been successful so far in getting the prototype to form a number of acrylic dish shapes including a plate, bowl and cup. They are now testing the appliance further to improve it and find a way to replace dirty dishes altogether with new ones.

The DishMaker is another example of the progressive and often left of centre thinking from MIT in Massachusetts, US which has been responsible for a range of forward thinking ideas in recent times including giant wind turbines for use at sea, trying to harness the power of collective intelligence and US$100 laptops for child education in the developing world.

For further information, a PDF paper outlining Leonardo Bonanni's project is available here.

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