2022 Hackaday Prize Enters Second Round: Reuse, Recycle, Revamp

Ding! That’s the bell for the second challenge round of the 2022 Hackaday Prize. If your project reuses or recycles what would otherwise be waste materials, or helps you to do the same for further projects, we want to see it.

Hackers are often frugal folk — we’ll recycle parts for projects because it’s easier on the pocketbook when prototyping. But in these strangest of times, when we’ve seen $1 microcontrollers in such shortage that they fetch $57 apiece (if you can get the parts at all), making use of what you’ve got on hand can be an outright necessity. If this is going to become the new normal, it’s going to make sense that we automate it. There’s gold, literally and metaphorically, in busted PCBs. How are you going to get the most value out of our broken electronic waste in our post-apocalyptic near future? Have you built an unpick-and-unplace machine? We’d like to see it.

But electronic parts are a small fraction of your recyclable materials, and plastics might play a larger role. If you’re a 3D printerer, you’ve doubtless thought about recycling plastic bottles into filament. Or maybe you’d like to take some of the existing plastics that are thrust upon you by this modern world and give them a second life? This factory churning out paving stones by remelting plastic with sand is doing it on an industrial scale, but could this be useful for the home gamer? Precious Plastic has a number of inspirational ideas. Or maybe you just need an HDPE hammer?

Have you built a fancy can crusher, or a plastics sorter, or a recycling robot? Head on over to Hackaday.io, write it up, and enter it into the Prize!

Basically any project that helps you recycle or reuse the material around you is fair game here. (But note that if you’ve got epic repair hacks, you’ll want to enter them in the upcoming Round Three: Hack it Back.) This round runs until June 12th and there are ten $500 awards up for grabs, so get hacking!

8 thoughts on “2022 Hackaday Prize Enters Second Round: Reuse, Recycle, Revamp

  1. Question to Hackaday staff: Is this challenge mainly about machines that recycle (like the examples would suggest), or are also projects that are made out of recycled parts included?

    1. Not a staff. Depending on what you mean by recycled parts, but the third contest (hack it back) might be more appropriate for projects made with recycled/upcycled parts. This contest might have more focus on the recycling for parts.

      1. The point is to facilitate recycyling or reuse, so either work: a project made of recycled materials or a project that aids recycling and reuse.

        We’d like to see more of the projects where the end goal is an aid to recycling, because we think that’s an underserved niche that the Hackaday community is particularly suited to filling, and maybe it has greater impact. But it’s also hard to deny that a widely copied / copyable project that is made of recycled material doesn’t itself facilitate recycling.

        Hack it Back is about keeping stuff running. Especially when heroic efforts are needed. More repair hacks than recycling.

        Does that help?

  2. The challenge should value the proposal’s afterlife, the ease with which one could reuse or repurpose the proposal. Also its impact on the system on which it is used. For example, “remelting plastic with sand” for “pavement stones” seems a bad idea since it is very difficult to separate them later. In the mean time it will probably fill its surrounds with microplastics.

  3. It used to be easy to recycle. When I was a kid, I would buy surplus NCR power supplies and equipment racks cheap at the local surplus store. I would clamp the boards in a vice and use a propane torch to remove all of the through-hole parts. I would then test them. I build hundreds of projects with the parts. Good times!

  4. While it would surely be easier to just heat up the entire PCB and tap it to get the SMD parts off, the “unpick and unplace” machine postulated in the article would be badass.

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