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Realization of a learning environment to promote sustainable value creation in areas with insufficient infrastructure

Muschard, Bernd; Seliger, Günther

To increase the rationally demanded sustainability with its ecologic, environmental and social dimensions, innovative technology shall be exploited. For example waste can be used by means of closed loop material cycles for the production of new products. The understanding of such material cycles can help to deal responsibly with resources. Considering the limited awareness of more than seven billion humans on globe about the sustainability challenge, the teaching and learning productivity has to be boosted to hitherto not achieved levels. Complex interdependencies have to be scaled down to daily life experiences, so that people of different skill levels or even laypersons can draw a practical benefit and become capable of self-sustainable value creation. How locally available plastic waste can be used for the production of new products in areas with insufficient technical and social infrastructure is explained in detail on the example of the mobile learning environment CubeFactory. This mini-factory was designed to support knowledge transfer for sustainable manufacturing competencies, independently from the need of any infrastructure. In this context, the term “infrastructure” contains all technical as well as social necessities needed for production. These may be the access to a durable energy and material supplies, as well as the access to machine tools or knowledge. Sustainability utilizes all elements to its advantage to serve as a beneficial tool for the society, the local economy and the environment. The CubeFactory represents an example of how to produce on local level what is immediately needed. It integrates a 3D printer as a manufacturing tool, a recycler for the filament production, a solar-powered energy supply and the knowledge for the application of this resource-saving technology.
Published in: Procedia CIRP, 10.1016/j.procir.2015.04.095, Elsevier