Hot PVC Innovation Posts

News: Build Your Own Van De Graaff Generator

I know, I know, I've already posted one of these. Sorry, but this one's cooler than the last, so I had to put it up. This also has a great in-depth tutorial that shows exactly what to do and why you do it. There are photos for every step of the process, so you can actually make this one without too much head scratching.

News: Billboard Earthbag Project

This project is intended to reuse PVC that makes up the images on billboards and make them into houses for disaster and poverty stricken people. While the images are definitely cg mockups, the concept is awesome. I've personally been working on disaster relief shelters, but my concepts all involve using fresh PVC pipe. These guys have taken it a step further by taking vinyl sign material that is headed for landfills and recycling it into homes.

News: PVCDESIGN.org

WOO! These people take beautiful design to ridiculous extremes, taking PVC pipe, sheet and cloth to previously unexplored heights. This is a must-see for people who are in the PVC and design worlds.

News: Robotic Unmanned Submarine

This is what happens when grad students start playing with PVC pipe. This stuff is really cool for prototype robotics applications. This article is a how-we-did-it as opposed to a how-to, but if you've got all of the crazy instrumentation and software that they do, you can start to play on levels that a lot of us (myself included) can't even imagine.

News: The Lost Art of Building With Your Hands

This is more of an op-ed piece that is only loosely tied to this world in the sense that what he built involved PVC. What I like about it is it sheds light on what I call the New Poverty. That is, the fact that the plastic and fully automatic world of developed nations impoverishes our creative spirit. It impoverishes the human spirit in a way that you find the New Wealth in places like drought starved Africa.

News: Eleven Super Cool Designs

Not all of these are PVC, but there is some serious design action going on here. This is not your average. A lot of the projects out there, mine included, have a childish, do it yourself-ish feel to them. These eleven designs are slick, beautiful and professional.

News: The Art of Making a Custom Predator Call

Strange as it may seem to super urban people, certain animals, like coyotes, have high reproduction rates and can be a true menace to ranching. Even in the county where I live, which is home to Colorado Springs, there is a $30 bounty on coyotes. All you have to do is bring in both ears to the game warden, and you will be paid.

News: HAM and CB Antenna

This is the first part in a pretty long series called 'My Quad Project' where this dude shows you in exacting detail how to make a very nice antenna. There are a lot of these out there, but this guy uses heavy pipe and he has a great understanding of how it all works. If you're an amateur radio junkie, this just may be for you.

News: Formufit Structural PVC

I'm new here, but wanted to add formufit to the list of links on your cork board. They are solely sellers of structural PVC items, used to build greenhouses and such. I am currently building some outdoor PVC furniture as the weather here in Missouri has destroyed our previous 'durable store bought' furniture. I saw some other resources on here, but I just bought a slew of products from formufit.com and I thought I would share. I will post some photos of the completed furniture soon.

News: Wikipedia - Bioplastic

I feel like it's time to raise awareness about bioplastics and let people know that oil is outdated. I feel like the more we demand this, the more we're gonna see it, and that can actually help us, as a species, head more in the direction we should be. There is nothing more important than the balance between organism and environment.

News: The Monster Tubulum

There's been a proliferation of pitched PVC xylophones in recent times, but a lot of them end up being somewhat cumbersome when it comes to actually get good sound quality. This guy has come up with the solution by making strange drum skins over the ends of the pipes. The result is a super cool sound coming out of a ridiculously cool-looking instrument.

News: Plant-Based Plastics to Replace Petroleum

I am anti-oil, anti-gas, and just anti-fossil fuel in general, which causes me some serious vaccilation of the mind when it comes to my enthusiasm for the do it yourself wonder material known as PVC. Even though I love this stuff for its properties, I really do not like the processes that go into making and disposing of it. That means I get happy when I see news like this.

News: Phthalate free plasticizers - New material development.

One of the things that has always bugged me while working with PVC is that it is, as it is presently produced, a poison. Well, OK, it's not, but it contains a lot of poisons. Phthalates are plasticizing agents that are super toxic, and these people are working to phase them out. PVC also, in its present form, contains lead. Certain chemists are learning how to use stabilized zinc and calcium instead. Also, chemists are learning how to synthesize the vinyl chloride monomer from HEMP! That mean...