Electronic devices are difficult to produce and to recycle. Most devices will not be used to their full potential during their life span. Instead they might end up in any drawer. One approach is to replace electronics with a smart material e.g. a monomaterial that is able to resemble its properties. Thereby the idea of a kitchen scale was developed which works through material stress – the monoscale.




university project at Burg Giebichenstein


winter 17|18

starting point

The briefing for this project was to develop products which keep the whole product life cycle and particularly the disposal in mind. The question arrises how to justify the expenditure of creating products in general. Apparently a lot of products remain unused collecting dust. A hand drill is estimated to be used for 45 hours during a time period of 15 years. Most people keep this or similar items in their drawers at home. The average consumer does not need a professional high-tech tool, but a rough orientation on how much flour to use for cake. People do not need a hand drill, but a whole in the wall. Sharing networks can increase utilisation rates of products and thereby reduce their amount. Still sharing networks might not work in every situation plus they require better organisation from every individual In fact there could be drastically reduced electronics which can in parts replace existing ones. As these products will be much cheaper than the actual object they might represent a considerable option for many consumers.

usual kitchen scale

Thanks to smart materials there is already a variety of existing examples to prove similar strategies. Though in case of the monoscale there is no need in new materials or technologies. The monoscale can be produced with injec-tion moulding in one production step. The shape emerged out of a simple sheet of paper – the more weight you put on, the more it will bend. As the final product was supposed to transfer the idea of simplicity there was a long phase of experimenting with shape and of course the right material. Spring steel would be overly sufficient in this circumstance though very energy-costing and expensive to produce. PETG seemed to fit the criteria. It is a cheap material which can be injec-tion moulded and after disposal recycled or energetically recovered. Compared to a usual kitchen scale it will be less extensive to recycle. If the monoscale breaks, consumers can easily dispose it into their recycables.


The final object looks like it is bended out of one plastic sheet. The object is easy to understand and thereby works intuitively. When load is placed on its upper plate the scale will bend down and show the actual weight.