Solidarity and protection of the environment. This is the binomial that has merged Carlos Sosa, student of Mechanical Engineering of the ULPGC, by manufacturing swimming shovels with recycled plastic plugswhose profits are destined to fight against Cancer.
The influence of his mother, who works in the radiotherapy service Hospital Negrín, and having friends who suffer from this disease led Sosa to embark on this exciting project in favor of the Spanish Association Against Cancer. "I've realized that in the end, the least, are the shovels themselves, and I think the most important thing is the solidarity of all the people who contribute their little grain of sand so that #EmpapateXElCancer go ahead, from the purchase of the product, the collection of plastics, share it on social networks and the support of the media. "
This project, which has the support of the company Eyser Hidráulica and the Technological Science Park Foundation of La University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has exceeded the most optimistic forecasts. In fact, this student of only 21 years old already receives requests from all corners of Spain, half of Europe and Central America. "The demand for blades far exceeds what can currently be produced, mainly, because you can not get as much polypropylene as shovels ask, "Sosa admits with astonishment.
In the first instance, this entrepreneur had the idea of make a swimming shovels using 3D printing, but as the idea matures, and "being more aware of the current situation of plastics, not only in the Canary Islands, but all over the world, I have just made the decision to make them recycled and include the symbol against cancer. "
The first prototype, in 3D printing, before making a definitive mold, was made in December 2018. Then it was to test the model and see the modifications that could be made to improve the blade making it more ergonomic, more resistant, in one size than It could be adapted to as many types of hands as possible. The process starts with the collection of plastics, specifically polypropylene, because its properties are ideal for handling it.
With the help of family and friends, they go to different points to collect as much as possible and take it to the factory. Then, each certain quantity collected of each color, are taken to the crusher. Then when there are several boxes full of crushed plastic, the blades are manufactured by the injection method, which is the most used in the manufacture of plastic parts.
This can be done without any problem with recycled plastic, you just have to free it of impurities. For this process it has been necessary to manufacture an aluminum mold, which is what will shape the shape of the blade. The cost of the pair of shovels is 13 euros and to make a pair of shovelsThey need 140 grams of polypropylene, which amounts to about 38 medium size plugs.