Interconnecting Zephyr Block Mould

Here we'll show you how to make our Zephyr Block, designed in Melbourne, Australia! Interlocking to create all sorts of structures while making use of heaps of plastic destined for landfill.

In the folder you will find:

  1. Steel sheet parts (.DXF)
  2. Mould core (.STP)
  3. Part identification guide

Attachments

How-to-Zephyr-Block.zip

Resources

3D Files

  • 3D Step File: /files/How_to_Zephyr_Block/ZephyrBros_ZephyrBlockMould_CORE.stp - Preview

Step 1 - Mould production

What you’ll need:

  • Approx. 800x500mm sheet of 10mm steel

  • 2 x machined steel/alloy core elements

  • Welder

  • Deburring tool

  • Bolts for fabrication:

M8 x 20mm (8)

M10 x 20mm (2)

M12 x 25mm (4)

  • Nuts, Bolts & Washers for manufacturing:

M10 x 110mm (10)

M10 Washers (20)

M10 Nuts or Wingnuts (10)

½″ BSP Nut (stainless steel)

Step 2 - Making the parts

Using the DXF file above, cut each of the 14 pieces from 10mm steel. Using the sheet for engraving, mark the insides of each plate, and on the edges of each tab to guide putting the mould together.

Step 3 - Connecting mould components

The circle and square pieces plus the two core components need to be permanently affixed to the following panels:

  • Connect the steel circles to the panels, as per the part identification guide using M10 x 20 bolts. The circles are movable but are key to ensuring that each brick fits over each other, check before filling the mould.

  • Affix the alloy cores to each top panel, as indicated in the identification guide using M12 x 25mm bolts.

  • Attach the smaller square plate to the part labeled 5/E (outer); and the larger square plate to the circle end of the 2/B/3/C core panel (outer), using the M8 x 20mm bolts.

  • Finally, weld the ½″ BSP nut (stainless steel) to the 1/A panel, to aid your connection to your extruder.

Step 4 - Prepare material

The mould requires about 1.5 kilograms of shredded HDPE, so have this ready to be fed into your hopper.

Step 5 - Prepare machine

Affixing your fitting to your extruder, turn on the machine to melt the plastic you are using.

When ready, feed into the hopper.

Step 6 - Prepare the mould + other required items

While waiting for the plastic to melt, assemble the mould by laying one of the base plates down, and putting each tabbed end into its corresponding hole. One side connects numbers (1-10) or letters (A-J). Tighten each corner with your M10 bolts, washer and nut/wingnut.

Step 7 - Attach the mould

Connect your mould to the extruder securely. The mould should be sitting up vertically (rather than laying flat).

Step 8 - Fill the mould

Running a machine at 180°C, at a speed of 35hz, the mould will fill in approximately 6 minutes. Watch the vent at the back of the mould for the first bubble of plastic to appear, and turn off the machine and remove the mould.

Step 9 - Opening the mould

Using heatproof gloves, open the mould by laying it on one of its plates and undoing each bolt/ nut.

Step 10 - Cool the product

Once removed from the mould, drop into a water bath to speed up the cooling process.

Step 11 - How we made it: Bricks for a community garden

A video overview of how we turned 91,500 discarded plastic bottle caps into recycled blocks for a community garden. Give it a watch :slight_smile:

Step 12 - Explore the possibilities

Build to your heart's content through the creation of a wide variety of structures - think office partitions, furniture, garden beds and more - whilst diverting large volumes of plastic from landfill.

Get inspired by how we used ours to build a community garden! Read the full Case Study here: https://www.plastic.org.au/pages/case-study-bedford-park

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