Vives students develop circular wooden puzzle

  • Hanne V.
Upcycling inspiration

In December, the Vives Ecotechnology students gave their first presentations of the circular business cases they had prepared over the previous weeks. The starting point was to design a new product from an existing waste material. Through the Upcycle Your Waste project, companies from Ostend provided the necessary materials with which the students set to work. They presented their first prototypes to the jury. In the second semester, they will further develop these into feasible circular business models.

Business case 1: Processing wood chips into sustainable toys

Wood shavings are an exciting product used in several sectors, not only in construction but also for transporting products. One of the largest sectors where they have sawdust or wood residue as waste is the furniture industry. There are two main advantages of upcycling wood residues for businesses. The first big advantage for companies is that when they upcycle this waste stream, they logically have less waste to deal with. A second advantage is linked to the climate. By using the wood waste in a circular economy, one can contribute to the warming of the climate. Wood is recovered here that would otherwise probably have to be felled. A group of students started working with this waste stream. They came up with the idea of fixing these wood chips in osb sheets and then making sustainable toys from them. During several brainstorming sessions, students came up with the idea of designing a giant puzzle for children measuring 0.6 m x 1.2 m from this osb board. Because of its robust composition, it would be ideal to offer this puzzle in primary schools, toy boxes for play streets, playground work or as an outdoor toy for a child. Mickey Mouse was chosen as the drawing on the puzzle. This was fixed to the osb board using a laser cutter, after which the puzzle pieces were cut out using a wood saw. The end result was great and now you can start puzzling!

Do you have an idea and can you use the technical knowledge of the students and teachers of Vives? Then contact us via or stay up to date with the project via this link

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