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The second life of mobile phones: from electronic waste to 3D jewellery

La seconda vita dei cellulari, da rifiuti elettronici a gioielli in 3D

Thanks to the Horizon 2020 FENIX project, Politecnico di Milano's students have worked on old mobile phones restoration to produce brand-new accessories.

Thanks to theHorizon 2020 FENIX project, Politecnico di Milano's students have worked on old mobile phones restoration to produce brand-new accessories.

They might look like "standard" jewellery; however, they used to be mobile phones, thanks to the Horizon 2020 FENIX project (Politecnico di Milano's partner). It took forty months for Politecnico di Milano's Industry 4.0 laboratory to focus on industrial strategies following circular economy strategies, to give a second life to obsolete waste.

Moreover, Politecnico di Milano students could disassemble electronic mobile phone cards through an automated station; collaborative robots, also known as cobots, have been used in such a process. Hot air flows dissolve smartphone components without altering their chemical characteristics. It is one of the most advanced automation solutions for robotic technology since it guarantees flexibility allowing interaction with the surrounding environment and with the operators with whom they share tasks.

Subsequently, Università dell'Aquila received the dismantled electronic cards from Politecnico di Milano and recovered pure materials such as gold, silver, platinum, copper and tin. Instead, the MBN Nanomaterialia Spa in Treviso transformed these materials into metal powders and fragments for 3D printing.

Furthermore, the project involved two Greek companies, I3DU and 3DHUB, to take care of jewellery creation and design, while the quality control was entrusted to the FUNDACIÒ CIM - a research centre based in Barcelona. Precious metals have instead been transformed into eco-friendly jewellery by Athens-based companies I3DU and 3DHUB. Each jewellery piece can be customized through a 3D scanning service.

Tags: Global sight