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Amsterdam airport installs 3D printed floors

Architecture firm Aectual is fitting custom-made 3D printed floors at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport this month. A preview of the 3D printed floor tiles was shown at Dutch Design Week exhibition in October.

Aectual has developed its own software that works on an industrial XL printer. It uses a robotic arm with six axes to deposit layers of recycled plastic on floor tiles to create raised designs. The tiles are then coated with bio-binder terrazzo to form a waterproof and eco-friendly floor section. The company claims the printing robot can perform 24 hours a day without needing maintenance.

The software that operates the printing machine can use any custom-made design to make unique looking floors. A spokesman for Aectual said:

“Our in-house developed industrial digital production technologies and software tools enable designers and companies to create tailor-made floor designs on any scale, anywhere. Because we produce on demand, we can quickly make changes to the design, and directly respond to any changing wishes during your whole process.”

People who have missed Dutch Design Week will soon be able to see and walk on the 3D printed tiles at the airport itself, with the floor installation expected to be completed by mid-November 2017.

Interior designers installing solid flooring in Cheshire homes and workplaces have a large choice of floor covering materials and designs. If their clients require unique designs and textures, then 3D printing could, in the future, form a cost effective way of creating one-off bespoke designs.

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