The 3D-printing-obsessed Dutch firm DUS Architects is taking time off from their ambitious plan to 3D print an Amsterdam canal house in order to launch a flooring company—Aectual. The spin-off business uses sustainable 3D printing and recycled materials to make rad custom terrazzo floors that can accommodate any space and style.
The technique is ingenious: A giant robot arm on a giant conveyor belt 3D prints the frame for the design out of a strong bioplastic made from plant material. Then the frame is installed on site and its shapes are filled in with recycled granite or marble chips. The rock is sealed with a bio-based binding agent, left to set, and then polished. The floors are durable, beautiful, and made with zero waste.
Because of the frame’s robotic production technique, the floors can be made in any shape and feature any design pattern from sleek geometric lines to fish scales. The team’s first floor was installed last year at Tokyo’s Loft department store. Another is in the works for Amsterdam’s design-savvy Schiphol airport.