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"reuse-it", a scrap paper become Post-it

"reuse-it" is a device that makes Post-it with scrap papers.

What it does

"reuse-it" is a device that makes Post-it with scrap papers. ‘reuse-it’ not only solves paper wastage problems with a fun and easy way, but also provides users a new experience of reusing the scrap papers instead of just throwing them away.

Your inspiration

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. 45% of paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day. As using "reuse-it", each person can save 270,000 trees every year. We come up with an easy way to recycle and reuse scrap papers, one side used papers. We are inspired by the characteristics of the scrap papers, that only one side is used, and also inspired by the characteristics of the Post-it, that only one side can be used due to the adhesive part on the back of Post-it. With these two characteristics, "reuse-it" made the back of the scrap papers into the front of Post-it.

How it works

The process of "reuse-it" is divided into the cutting process and the gluing process. After inserting a scrap paper to the “reuse-it” by opening the “reuse-it”, a user presses a top button that activates cutting and gluing process sequentially. As the blade cuts the scrap paper into a square shape, it no longer goes down. But the button can be pressed further down to push the paper down and open the cover of the glue, which is located under the cut paper. Then, the cut paper touches the glue. The spring, that is connected to the glue cover, moves the paper to the location, where the user inserted the paper in the beginning of the process. Finally, the user opens the “reuse-it” and takes out the paper, which becomes Post-it.

Design process

To glue the back of the scrap paper, we need a supported plate that holds the scrap paper straight, but the plate should not interfere with the process of cutting the paper. Therefore, we made a time and space difference between the gluing process and the cutting process. To find a way of cutting the scrap paper into a square shape at once, we experimented by attaching a blade on one side of the structure. However, the paper didn’t cut smoothly. Then we applied principle of cutting process of the punching machine, which has blades on the top and bottom, like blades of a scissor. Based on this principle, we did 3D modeling and used a 3D printer to create the blades and structure that holds blades. Lastly, the smoothness and stickiness of the re-attachable glue is significant. However, finding a proper glue that has same adhesiveness as Post-it was challenging. As we experimented and tested with different kinds of portion and types of glues, we found the most suitable portion and glues for making Post-it.

How it is different

Currently existing Post-it making machines has a huge size that is only used for mass production. Also, it is only used with clean papers, which creates more paper wastes. Since “reuse-it” is portable, it can be used everywhere and by everyone. We not only focuses on designing a Post-it making machine that uses scrap papers, but also focused on providing a new experience of reusing wasted paper for each user. As using the “reuse-it”, it naturally increases the awareness of paper waste issue and changes the behavior of throwing the scrap papers away to the behavior of saving them. Since we emphasize a sustainability as a strength of “reuse-it”, we provide refillable glue cartridges that the users can refill the glue when they used them up.

Future plans

Our goal is developing our current prototype to the final production. Firstly, we will develop an exterior design of "reuse-it" based on the affordance of user, such as a gesture of pressing to top of the "reuse-it" to cut the inserted paper. Secondly, we will change current blades of "reuse-it", which is 3D printed, into iron blades so that we can cut the scrap paper more clearly. Thirdly, although we did a lot of testing with existing glues to find a proper percentage for glue for "reuse-it", we still need more testing to find a better glue that is strong enough to attach and easily re-attach.


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