Shape of things to comeWorld's first cardboard vacuum cleaner unveiled

Published 12 July 2011

A U.K. vacuum cleaner manufacturer will market a high performance vacuum cleaner constructed out of recycled and recyclable materials; the device was designed by an industrial design student; the corrugated cardboard panels that form the body of the machine are easily replaced if damaged and cost just a tenth of the price of an equivalent plastic panel

Vax's ev, world's first cardboard vacuum cleaner // Source: facenews.ua

Vax, a U.K. floor-care products maker, is championing young British design talent by producing the world’s first cardboard vacuum cleaner, designed by Loughborough University student, Jake Tyler.

The company says the Vax ev is a high performance vacuum cleaner constructed out of recycled and recyclable materials that reduce the burden on landfill. The corrugated cardboard panels that form the body of the Vax ev are easily replaced if damaged and cost just a tenth of the price of an equivalent plastic panel. A Vax release reports that these panels are multi-purpose too, beginning their life as part of the retail box the vacuum cleaner is sold in. Once the cardboard parts are separated from the box, they “pop” into place around the motor housing, without any need for glue. They have a flame retardant coating and are fully customizable — with just a few felt tip the vacuum cleaner can be turned into a unique work of art!

Components that cannot practically be made of cardboard have been produced from recyclable, pure nylon plastic using RP (rapid process) manufacturing, rather than injection molding. This means the Vax ev can be manufactured locally to order, without the need for costly tooling molds and assembly lines, while avoiding long distance distribution.

Industrial design student Jake Tyler developed the Vax ev for his final year degree project at Loughborough University. He was supported by the New Product Design team at Vax’s headquarters in Worcestershire, where he worked for a year under the company’s student placement scheme. The Vax ev’s revolutionary design has already won him a prize from the university and a place at the New Designers exhibition of the U.K.’s best graduate work, held at the Business Design Center in London from 6 to 9 July. Vax is now exploring a limited production run of the vacuum cleaner.

“With sustainability becoming an increasing concern for manufacturers, the Vax ev shows just what can be achieved when young designers are encouraged to think creatively and push the boundaries of product design,” said Paul Bagwell, Director of NPD at Vax. “It’s so important that manufacturers such as ourselves support young British designers like Jake, as they are they key to this country’s future success.”

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