Aectual Floors showcases 3D printing at the Milan Salone

Amsterdam-based tech company Aectual is currently exhibiting a sustainably produced, bespoke range of floors at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Aectual has developed technology to create 3D printed floors in a virtually limitless array of colours and patterns, which they achieve with the help of robotic 3D printers.

Entirely custom-made

According to company CEO Hans Vermeulen, the technology “gives designers complete design freedom”, and allows clients to create entirely personalized designs “for spectactular floors in, for instance, a hotel lobby, or for a striking retail brand”.

Aectual uses a robot with six degrees of freedom: it is able to move forwards and back, up and down, left and right, but also between these three axes (e.g. up to right; down to back).

The robotic printer used in creating the 3D printed floors. Photo via Aectual.

A sustainable approach

Beyond the flexibility of this approach, Aectual also prints with plant-based, recyclable bioplastic material that is wear-resistant. Once printing is completed, the mould is transported to the final location and filled with a terrazzo made of recycled granite and marble chips bound together with a bio-based agent. The end result is finally polished on site. Because of the environment-friendly materials used, Aectual aims to create little to no waste.

Bespoke architecture

So far this technology has been used to floor a Tokyo department store, and will feature in Amsterdam’s renovated Schipol airport. But the floors themselves are part of a broader architectural vision: Vermeulen, along with Aectual co-founders Martine de Wit and Heswig Heinsman, are also the partners of DUS Architects, an architecture firm currently working to create a 3D-printed canal house in Amsterdam.

Architects’ impression of the 3D printed canal house

The bespoke aspect of the Aectual floors, along with its hardwearing and eco-friendly properties, shows the potential to become popular beyond design shows–but it remains too early to speak of the future affordability of the product. Nonetheless, it comes as another representative of the innovative uses of 3D printing in architecture.

For the latest 3D printing news, subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Advance your career in 3D Printing, or post a vacancy. The 3D Printing Jobs board is live.

Vote in the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards.

Featured image shows one of the Aectual designs. Photo via Aectual.