What is cupcycle
Cupcycle was developed by Mandy Rosengren, Katie Mielsky and Chris Colcord for the Senior Design Project in Fall 2019 at Tufts University. Cupcycle transforms a paper coffee cup into coasters and mosaics. Currently, few paper coffee cups can be recycled due to the thin layers of plastic or wax that prevent water from seeping through the cup. However, in Cupcycle this liner acts as a glue to keep the shape of the coasters.
During the design process, the team went through multiple iterations. The sketches drawn by Mandy Rosengren below show the four iterations and the eventual design chosen.
Shown below are some of the initial prototypes developed when following Design 2. The materials developed in the prototypes include wood, PLA, TPU, nails, hot glue, springs, blades and tape.
In our final design, the user places the cup in place and clamps the forceps onto the edge of the cup. They then slide the crank assembly on a set of rails, which drags the cup through the blade and cuts it into a thin strip. The crank assembly locks in place at the end of the rails, allowing the user to turn the crank to continue cutting the cup. As the crank turns, the strip coils around itself and presses against a spring-loaded soldering iron. The iron seals the strip to prevent uncoiling. Once the cup is completely cut, the user releases the forceps and slides the coiled coaster off of the crank mechanism.