Did you know that we generate 40 million tons of electronic waste every year? Furthermore, that’s not all. Electronic waste constitutes about 70% of our toxic waste. A reason enough to using our gadgets sustainably. However, since this waste is rising exponentially each year, it is necessary that we discover ways to tackle it. Recycling your old smartphones, computers, televisions, and other electronic components are some options, but that’s not all. We need to also make something creative that not only shows our creativity but also helps us in making a green statement. Therefore, if you want to spread awareness about electronic waste, using discarded PCB to make eco-friendly jewelry might be your best option.
DIY eco-friendly jewelry using discarded PCB
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Fashionable geek jewelry, office decoration stuff, home decors, etc. made out of discarded PCB boards have been a practice since the 1980s. The Chicago’s Museum of Science hosts the display of such products in their “Smart Home 2009” exhibit. Different daily usable goods such as a pencil box, a pen stand, a circuit board clock, mousepads, etc. can be made easily out of the damaged circuit boards. In the following article, I will demonstrate how to make a bracelet out of a damaged computer motherboard.
The difficulty level to make eco-friendly jewelry form discarded PCB is moderately easy or medium varying upon complexity of the design of the jewelry.
It depends on the jewelry design and skill of the person on this work. But it shouldn’t take more than a day at any cost.
What are you going to need:
- A drill-machine along with the drill bits
- A hacksaw or a similar cutter
- A hand file (preferably a smooth one)
- Cutting pliers and nose pliers (pliers with a pointed nose)
- A sewer’s tape
- A pair of holding die
- A dust mask
- A computer motherboard
- Telephone wires and a thick copper wire
1. Measure small PCB portions:
First of all, measure your wrist so as to make an estimate of how many small PCB portions you’ll have to cut up to encircle your hand completely. In such case avoid the use of a metal tape as it fails to take the measurement of a round shape. Instead, make use of the sewer’s tape and note down the measurements.
2. Cut equally sized segments:
After you have taken the measurement, start cutting out segments from the PCB according to your own selected size. Make sure to cut equally sized segments in case of the bracelet. You should try to keep the shape of the segments similar to that of a square. You can choose a few similarly sized chips on the board and cut them out as they will look good on your hand. Don’t forget to wear the dust mask while cutting the PCB as the sawdust is very harmful for your lungs and even nauseating.
3. Do the file-work:
Once finished with the cutting part, clamp each segment with the help of the die and start smoothing the same with the help of a smooth hand file. Look for any sharp cut surfaces or any other things that can hurt your skin. Make sure to spare the upper surfaces of the chips or components because filing them too will blur their appearance and damage their glossy outlook. After finished with the file-work, dip the components into water to get rid of the deposited dust. Don’t hesitate to dip them in water because that will do no harm to your PCB components.
4. Drill holes:
Next, again hold them in the die and start drilling small holes near their corners (two on each side) to bind them together. Keep in mind that the holes should always be in a straight line, failing which the entire alignment of the bracelet will be damaged. Try to drill the holes towards the extreme corners of the component (not too far enough as that will force the component to break up at the corners). After you are done with the hole, wash them again with water to get rid of the drill-dust.
5. Bind the components:
Next comes the binding part in which you will have to bind these components with the help of some copper wires. If you have an elastic string, there is no issue regarding this. But in the absence of an elastic string, copper wires of telephone lines can also be used to bind the PCB components together. First of all, place all the segments in a line. Then cut small pieces of the copper wire and then use them to bind the components through the holes. You can choose different binding styles such as knots or hooks as per your convenience as the copper wire is very soft and ductile in nature.
There you are finished with the making of a beautiful, fashionable, ultramodern jewelry made out of discarded Printed Circuit Boards.
Things to keep in mind:
- Always use a sewer’s tape to take the measurement of the wrist.
- Make sure that the PCB is damaged and not a good one!
- Carefully smoothen the cut or drilled surfaces with a smooth hand file to prevent any skin injury.
Some more ways to recycle e-waste
An artist from America, Gabriel Dinshaw has created the sneakers using only electronic waste materials. He has followed a special approach by choosing two different colors for either side of the shoes. He has added a blue color pop for the ascents and swoosh.
An advertising billboard has been created and setup by Arnold Advertising using different types of waste materials like electronic components, computer monitors etc. The board has 3-dimensional and bears huge letters that are 8 foot long.
3. Chair with CD
Have a lot of CDs at home? Then here is an interesting way to use them all. Belen Hermosa has created a CD chair with the help of numerous waste CDs. Though you may not feel very comfortable to sit on it has done its part in helping the environment by preventing thousands of CDs from ending up in the landfills.
4. Giant Cellphone
A huge cellphone sculpture is the result of the eco-consciousness of an artist from Romania. His special sculpture is made of thousands of waste cellphone is situated at the Planet, Report Environmental & Film Festival.
5. Replica of Neyland stadium
Dace Mann, an artist has created a tiny replica of the Neyland stadium by using numerous electronic waste materials gathered by his friends. The model is 8 inches wide, 10 inches long and about 4 inches high. The stadium is made up of ICs (integrated circuits) painted white, stuck together with glue to form the seats and the skyboxes. The field is made is painted sandpaper and the Jumbtron from the display screen of a cellphone.
6. Cellphone installation
An eco-artist has created a huge installation with the help of a frame that is 24 feet wide and 18 feet long. Numerous waste cellphones are used for creating the spectacular design. This piece of art gives a message â âtoxic components from the cellphones and batteries are a serious problem to the environment.
7. Cyber animal
Ann Smith has used several types of waste appliances and electronic items to create real looking cyber animals. She has created various other sculptures that can be seen at the DeCordova Museum in Massachussets and Cog & Pearl boutique, Brooklyn.
8. Special couch
If you visit the Mac Store located at Maryland Heights in Missouri you will be greeted by a special Macintosh couch. It is made of waste Macintosh computers. Since these were designed for carrying heavy monitors, the couch is very strong to hold real people.