When DUS Architects launched the Canal House project, where they utilized the gigantic KamerMaker 3D printer to build an entire house, it was clear which their real goal was – even beyond assembling the actual house – which of spreading awareness of the use of 3D printing technologies. They did so through a local museum which was visited by US President Obama himself. Even additional importantly, yet, they sought to obtain experience and knowledge of further possible applications.
Now, the initial actual fruits of which experience are shining through the new Europe Building which DUS created in the Marineterrein (Amsterdam’s Marine Area) for the period of the Netherlands’ European Presidency. The attractive structure will have sails reminiscent of the historical sailing ships which were created in these premises, but one of the most informative showcases may be the 3D printed external benches.
These EU-blue coloured, 3D-printed benches are located within the alcoves formed by the sails. Through the use of the KamerMaker technology – which can 3D print extra dimensionsable, real-dimensions elements up to 2 x 2 x 3.5 meters in dimensions with a plastic extrusion system – the printed patterns build up of dimensionsable to tiny and round to square, in order to depict the diverse community of the EU countries. At night, the sails are lit gradually with a pulsating light provided by Philips.
The 3D printed parts are created of a specially developed bio-plastic and the seating surfaces are filled with a light-coloured concrete. The bio-plastic can be shredded and reprinted after the presidency is over. This in addition marks the initial time in the world which these kinds of XXL 3D prints are being utilized for a public assembling.
The production of the 3D prints has been done by Actual, an Amsterdam-based start-up which develops online customizing software for assembling elements linked to XL 3D printing. The façade has been developed in a quite short time span through the close collaboration between DUS (design), and Actual (parametric development & 3D printing) with Neptunus (temporary structures), TenTech (engineering), Henkel (material development), Philips (light), and Heijmans (construction and assembly).
This is not the initial highly innovative, 3D printing project taking place in Amsterdam, with the 3D printed metal bridge by MX3D in addition under way. It certain is a excellent way to unite Europe, in the name and face – or in fact in the façade – of 3D printing and future technologies.