Based in Rotterdam, Print your City! is an ongoing research project to turn plastic waste into functional, tough, 3D printed urban furniture.
Residents in the grand old city of Amsterdam are reportedly producing around 23 kg of plastic waste per person per year. That’s a scary figure in this environmentally precarious age.
To tackle the problem, research and design studio The New Raw — based in Rotterdam — has launched a new initiative called Print Your City! The project leverages large-format 3D printing to transform plastic waste into urban furniture.
The first fruits of their labor is the XXX bench, a double-sided rocking chair which can seat between two to four people. The design of the bench is a statement about working together to close the cycle for plastic. For more than one person to sit on it, users have to find equilibrium together; alternatively, they can use their energy to rock each other.
Moreover, each bench can be easily customized in terms of shape or function, and can also integrate messages or logos. In the case of Amsterdam, the XXX stamp is the coat of arms of the Dutch capital.
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The New Raw says that annual plastic waste from every three residents should be enough to 3D print two big benches for deployment in public places throughout the city.
But such an ambitious project couldn’t be realized alone. The benches are made in collaboration with Aectual on a large scale pellet extrusion 3D printer. The production process utilizes recycled plastic pellets from municipal plastic waste. Another ingredient are flakes from grinded recycled products.
“Print your City! is a call for action, rallying citizens to recycle household plastic waste in order to transform it into raw material for public furniture.”
Each bench weighs 50 kg and measures 150 cm long and 80 cm wide. Because there’s a steady stream of plastic waste, Print your City! can produce as much or as little as the city requires. And of course, the urban furniture is 100% recyclable.
“As the name suggests, Print your City! is a call for action, rallying citizens to recycle household plastic waste in order to transform it into raw material for public furniture,” says the New Raw website.
Is it really possible? Can large scale 3D printing transform the plastic waste of our cities into useful applications for the built environment? Let’s start by taking a seat and having a good long think about meaningful change.
License: The text of "3D Printed Urban Furniture Made from Recycled Plastic" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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