Open-source Re:Mix blender works with household jars

German tech company Open Funk has developed a more sustainable version of a food processor, which is repairable, upgradable and compatible with glass jars that people already have in their homes.

Shortlisted in the sustainable design category of the 2022 Dezeen Awards, the Re:Mix blender works with standard canning jars of any shape or volume, such as those used to hold jams and pickles, as long as they have an 82-millimetre twist-off lid.

Open Funk's aim was to create a new approach to designing kitchen appliances by stripping back unnecessary components, open-sourcing the design and allowing people to utilise everyday items they already have in their cupboards.

Person using the Re:Mix blender with various fruits
The Re:Mix blender is designed to be compatible with common canning jars

Re:Mix is constructed from recycled and recyclable materials, with speckled panels of reclaimed waste plastic used to wrap the cuboid base, which holds the motor of the food processor.

Much like a Nutribullet, the gadget has a separate blade head designed to be screwed onto the jar containing the food. This is then slotted on top of the motor and controlled via an aluminium knob mounted on the front.

To extend its lifespan, the product was designed to be easily repaired and upgraded – either in Open Funk's Berlin workshop or at home with the help of open-source design plans.

Base of a blender on a kitchen bench surrounded by fruit
Its separate blade head is designed to be screwed onto the jars

The company also developed a closed-loop business model for the blender, which will involve buying back and refurbishing used Re:Mix models.

"The world's obsession with competition, globalisation and patents got us to the point where the way we make things is causing tremendous harm to our environment," said Open Funk. "We believe Re:Mix is proof that another way is possible."

The base of the food processor has a modular design and is held together without adhesives, allowing it to be disassembled with common tools. Its puzzle-like joints have a simplified design that is sturdy and durable, according to Open Funk.

Diagram of the parts in a blender
The design is open-source so that anyone can make their version of the product

The speckled panels surrounding the base of the food processor are made in France by melting and pressing waste plastics, before the resulting slabs are CNC milled in Berlin.

Open Funk says it chose to make Re:Mix compatible with 82-millimetre jars as these are widely available across Europe, as well as being large enough to accommodate the blades and to fit most people's hands for rinsing.

A QR code on the back of the blender's base leads to a repair guide, video tutorials and a product passport that helps users to repair and upgrade the product themselves.

Open Funk only ships to the European Union, which the company says was an intentional decision to guarantee repairability, lower the ecological footprint from shipping and bypass the work of having to engineer the product for international standards.

Instead, the company hopes to inspire designers around the world to adapt its product for their own markets.

"We hope to see other hackers, makers and entrepreneurs take the open-source blueprints of Re:Mix and build their own local versions in their own regions," Open Funk co-founder Paul Anca told Dezeen.

A person plays with the disassembled parts of a kitchen mixer at a table
It has a modular design that is easy to take apart for repairs and upgrades

"Not only would this create a platform for decentralised production with low emissions but the end products will be reflections of local customs, taste and materials," he continued.

"That's a much more creative expression than the current one-size-fits-all approach we see in the industry."

Re:Mix is shortlisted in the sustainable design category of the 2022 Dezeen Awards, where it is up again projects including the K-BriqTM – a brick made entirely of construction waste – and a bespoke furniture collection made from firehoses by Local Works Studio.

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