Selfridges installs robot to 3D print designer items from ocean plastic

28th April 2022
Paige West

One of London’s most iconic department stores is showcasing an ABB robot in its window display where shoppers can see it 3D printing a range of designer items using upcycled Parley Ocean Plastic.

Developed in partnership with environmental organisation and global network, Parley for the Oceans, and design brand, Nagami, the demonstration will use ABB’s simulation software, RobotStudio and an IRB 6700 robot to create a variety of printed furniture, homeware, and other objects made from Parley Ocean Plastic.

Parley Founder and CEO Cyrill Gutsch said: “Parley Ocean Plastic was invented to catalyse change in response to marine plastic pollution and the destruction of our oceans. Working with two industry leaders, ABB and Nagami, we can now print on demand anywhere in the world to turn a problem into a solution. Beyond the huge potential for reducing waste by printing directly inside retail locations like Selfridges, we want to use this technology to empower local communities across the globe – giving them the tools to turn local plastic pollution into business opportunities and useful objects. For the oceans, climate, and life.”

Customers can select the object they want printed via a screen and it is made to order on the premises.

This demonstration is part of Selfridges’ SUPERMARKET concept, which challenges consumers to think about how the goods they purchase are produced and the impact of this production on the environment.

Marc Segura, ABB’s Robotics Division President, said: “While expanded choice is great for consumers, it also comes at a cost to the environment, with products and packaging often being discarded with little thought about where they end up or whether they get recycled. By re-using plastic from the world’s oceans to print designer objects, we help to highlight the important contribution of robots in creating the sustainable manufacturing processes central to a circular economy.”

This isn’t the first time that Selfridges has displayed innovative technology. The store showcased its first robot back in 2018 where ABB’s YuMi dual-arm collaborative robot served customers freshly made coffee. The store has also played host to the Bleriot XI airplane (the first to cross the English Channel) and the first public demonstration of a TV set in 1925. 

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