This study presents a set of fabrication techniques for upcycling HDPE (High Density PolyEthylene) plastic bags. It enables not only recycling abandoned plastic bags but also creating 3D objects by folding and joining the newly fused plastic sheet. Our fabrication techniques include both additive processes (global heat fusion, local heat fusion) and subtractive processes (cutting, scoring) to design and produce a new plastic sheet. We present three applications (sling bag, flowerpot, and slippers) to demonstrate newly-enabled creative possibilities by the techniques and how these fabrication techniques can be applied to personal fabrication.
The Interactive Product Design Lab (IPDL) is a purpose-built lab designed to support both teaching and research by allowing students to investigate, explore, and experiment with an extensive array of new technologies. Central to this concept, the School of Industrial Design has placed a high priority on the need to foster and develop interdisciplinary, team-based collaboration with other educational and research units from across the campus, including the School of Interactive Computing, the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Graphics Visualization and Usability Lab (GVU), and the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA). The Interactive Product Design Lab was built in the summer of 2011 and opened in time for the 2011 fall semester.