Setup a mix Workspace
This Precious Plastic Space is the place to learn and get into plastic recycling and create beautiful products from plastic waste.
Ok, you want to set up an Mix workspace. Super. We're going to walk you through how to learn about plastic, build the machines and set up the space to create wonderful objects from plastic waste 🤙
Setting up a Mix workspace can be broken down into three main steps:
- Search: what to think about when choosing your space
- Plan: how to plan your space effectively to fit all the machines
- Build: transforming an empty room into a Mix workspace
Each of these steps is explained in more detail below.
- 00:00 Introduction
- 01:10 Machines
- 01:22 Sourcing Plastic
- 02:05 Shredding Time
- 03:01 Working With Machines
- 04:17 Logistics
The first step of setting up a Mix workspace is to find a space (duh). While searching, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Size: It’s important to be sure that you have enough space to move around freely with your machines and tools. The Mix space we designed is roughly 5 x 8 meters – you can go larger, but if you include all the v2 machines (like ours) we wouldn’t recommend going much smaller.
Electricity: The Injection and Extrusion machine can run on single-phase, but the shredder sometimes runs on three-phase, so be sure to check the specs of the motor you plan to use when choosing your space.
Budget: While making sure your space meets your functional needs, it’s also important to keep in mind how it will fit into your budget.
Pro-tip: sometimes, cities offer discounted rent to entrepreneurs with purposeful missions, so it’s worth getting in touch with accelerators and representatives of your municipality to see if there are opportunities like this in your area.
You’ve found your space. Nice one. Now you can begin to plan how you will arrange the elements of your workspace according to your unique floorplan.
Every space is different, so this is a chance for you to customize your layout to make it work for you.
To help you begin, we’ve included some starter floor plans, CAD models, and a custom floor planner in the download kit, which you can use to explore different layouts before diving into the real thing.
Once you’ve made a floor plan that seems promising, test it out in real life by blocking it out on the floor of your space with chalk. Continue to iterate until you arrive at a floor plan that feels right.
Now that your floor plan is blocked out, it’s time to transform your empty room into a Mix workspace.
Begin with basics
Start with your most essential items - machines, workbench, basic tools – then build out from there as you start to see what suits your workflow best.
When possible, look for secondhand options to reduce the amount of new materials and resources being used to start your space. If what you need isn’t available secondhand, buy new or build. And always strive for good quality rather than cheap.
Some essential items to get you started:
- Machines - of course. You can get them all or start with a combination that fits your workspace's goals.
- Pre-shredded plastic storage containers - bags work well, might depend on how you collect your plastic.
- Shredded plastic storage containers – Can be almost anything. What’s most important is to make sure that they’re sturdy to prevent accidental spills. If you have your own shredder, it’s nice to use storage containers that you can shred into then store, so that you don’t have to pour shredded plastic from one container to another – helps keep types and colours pure. Clear containers are nice, but not required.
- Simple moulds – could be beam, bowl, or any other item – depends on which machines you use. Best to start with something simple to familiarise yourself with the process, then build from there. Check out the how-tos for inspiration.
- Basic tools - wrenches, scoop, hammer, chisel, channel lock pliers, screwdriver, safety glasses and heat resistant gloves.
- Ventilation – filter mask, ventilation caddy, check out the safety video to learn more.
- Off-cuts container.
Once you’ve got your basic workspace set up, start working with your machines to develop your workflow and see what else might help you work more efficiently and comfortably.
And don’t be afraid to spice the place up with your own unique charm :) Plants, posters, the right lighting, and a boombox will make your workspace more enjoyable to be in for yourself and anyone who stops by.
Inside a shipping container
Optionally we've also created a series of 4 videos where you can see how we build an entire Mix Workspace inside a 40 feet shipping container. It might give you some tips or inspiration on how to arrange your space :)
- Get a container https://youtu.be/IhYHzKHH0CQ
- Build the interior: https://youtu.be/KQgzhtyaiHs
- Paint it: https://youtu.be/noQWukX7lTI
- How to run it: https://youtu.be/ME-eiYvbgCg
Your role in the universe
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A Precious Plastic Workspace is a place where plastic gets transformed from waste into valuable materials or products. There are five different workspaces: Shredder, Extrusion, Sheetpress, Injection and Mix.
You’ve built your Mix Workspace. Nice! We’re all learning together, so be sure to share back any hacks or developments that have helped you improve your space along the way. Enjoy the journey 🙂
Want to share feedback, chat about the Mix Workspace or learn more from the community? Head to the #Spaces channel on Discord. Here we answer questions and give tips on setting up your workspace and how to run it.