Our appetite for electronic goods, especially cell phones and computers, is so voracious, we are now threatening to deplete valuable resources and generate huge amounts of toxic materials at the same time. Recycling of electronic goods, when it happens, is difficult, potentially hazardous and immensely labour intensive.
Active Disassembly's alternative manufacturing technique uses shape memory and smart polymer components for connectors and fasteners so that individual components can be disassembled in seconds. These shape memory parts hold their shape until a set temperature is applied to pop them apart, releasing components without much handling.
Designing electronics for the environment makes sense if you use a modular approach so that the components can be easily built and just as easily disassembled for maintenance or recycling at the end of the product's life.