Eco awesomeness: The cardboard vacuum cleaner

I used to like to make pretend things out of cardboard when I was child. But I never thought they’d really be making things out of cardboard when I was an adult.

Thanks to PhysOrg I found out that today that Jake Tyler, an industrial design student at Loughborough University, has come up with a way to make a functioning vacuum cleaner out of freaking cardboard. He developed his idea during his final degree project in cooperation with a design team from Vax, where he is now employed.


His creation has housing that is made of cardboard, and the internal motor works use recyclable pure nylon plastic made with rapid process manufacturing, instead of injection molding.


He calls it the Vax ev, and it’s made to be put together at home by the person using the cardboard from the box it is shipped in. The cardboard is treated to be fire retardant and the cardboard is sturdy enough to withstand the challenge of home vacuuming. However, it has not been made clear how long one could expect a cardboard vacuum to last for.


Those worries are quickly lessened once a potential buyer releases that the items whole housing can be cheaply replaced. Part of its design is that fact that customers can buy extra cardboard with their vacuum and then they can use the original panels as a tracing pattern of making their own cheap replacement panels.


So while the vacuum may not hold up forever, making repairs has been made simpler and easier because of its cardboard construction.


Vax, the company that will be producing the cardboard model, says that it will be a limited release because they don’t know how many people would be interested in buying it.


Since they are using rapid process manufactured plastics as components that make up the inside parts of the Vax ev, the parts can be made in far more places. This makes it easier to set up places where the vacuum can be made, small plants where there is a demand for the product can be set up closer to each of their customer bases.  


Injection molded plastics that make up most vacuum cleaners take far more resources to produce, and the place where they are made must be centralized, that means the parts have to be shipped more often and pollute that much more. Since this vacuum eliminates that problem, you can literally say that the vacuum makers think outside their own box.


You can even customize your cardboard vacuum because cardboard can be decorated very easily with a Sharpie or similar marker. It’s probably a safe bet that a lot of people who buy these will spend more time drawing on them than they will vacuuming with them. I know I will.


I’ll bust out some SpongeBob stickers on that bad boy.


I don’t know when these will go on sale in the U.S. but I do know that I want one. It may not be as practical as the Dyson that I already have, but sometimes you have to buy goofy things just to make yourself happy. That’s why so many people buy pointless Japanese toys.


This cardboard vacuum is my pointless Japanese toy. And I’m not even that big of an environmentalist. You can chalk that up to all of the times I built the Millennium Falcon out of cardboard boxes as a kid.