Eco Guide

Doc last version: 5. 2. 2019

Eco friendly filaments

Strict use of enviromental friendly filaments belongs to the ethic we´re here in Beobachtung strongly sticked to. We´re kindly ask you to do so as well. 

To this date there are two main eco friendly filaments - PLA and PETG. While PETG is commonly recyclable plastic PLA is more than that - its (under specific conditions) biodegradable. Please consider PLA as you first choice material for printing our platform.

Coating of PLA

Downside of PLA lays in its non-watertightness. Solution is coating. But. When you impregnate PLA with some agent, it could lose its degradation characteristic and could be turn in to much tougher object to degrade. So always when you change old coated PLA modules for new ones, please recycle them as you do with ordinary plastic or PET.

Prototyping custom parts

When we start prototyping new or customising current Amethyst modules, we do a lot of prototyping prints. Again, its great to use biodegradable filaments to do so. And we´re using them. While there are special ones, you could use a PLA which is as we already know biodegradable and more - is cheap.

Its good practice to store all inapplicable prints and printer waste in to one bag or box. Then dispose it using containers for plastics if your city or town has ones. If your city or town does not operate eco friendly container system, please do a research and find out how you can dispose your filament waste in eco friendly way regarding your situation.

Non-toxic epoxys, glues, colors

Its critical to always use epoxys, glues, coaters, colours or oils non harmful to marine life. Best practice is to use marine industry oriented, easy degradable products. Double check all products you want to buy and don´t make compromises when you accidentaly buy not safe product - just don´t use it in anny circumstances! When it comes to epoxys, as we know all epoxys are harmful for marine life while not cured and safe when become cured. Do not dispose not cured epoxy even to sink or toilet. Empty tubes/packages with remainds of resin or color should be disposed as dangerous waste. 

As its known to me, some of colored PET filaments are somehow transparent. If you do not want your AUV to be transparent you could use some synthetic color to paint it. Please use only colors, safe to marine life and as easy degradable as it can be. Do conscientious research before any purchase and application.

Tips to avoid accidents which can turn your craft in to plastic garbage on the bottom of sea

1. Finish and fit your craft to has a sligly positive boyancy. If battery or any electronic go wrong, craft will not drown to deep forever but slowly afloat to be picked up and fixed for new dive. Play with additional weights to reach that goal.

2. Test your craft extensively to minimize accidents. Test it in shallow water, in areas where you can reach it on the bottom in case of accident. You could use safety wire as well. With safety wire you can allways pull the died AUV from the deeps.

3. Consider to develop a emergency mode in your software and circuit. Good practice is to measure voltage of batteries and force AUV to surface or even come back when voltage drops close to critical level.

4. If your AUV sink deep despite evrithing, maximise your efort to salvage it from water. Bring friends who are divers. Call local dive club, diving guys allways care about waters they dive to. Moreover, search and rescue kind of mission could be even practical and intresting reason to dive for them.

Don´t step down, do your best! Our planet will be gratefull.

Further reading