Aectual 3D Prints Planters From Recycled Plastic
In order to tackle the mounting issues concerning humanity’s ability to recycle plastic, many industries have turned to the additive manufacturing sector for solutions. For instance, a few weeks ago, we were talking to you about 3D printed beams made from recycled plastic, developed by researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, with the aim of replacing reinforced concrete. And Spanish scientists are not the only ones looking into the matter. In collaboration with architectural firm DUS Architects, Dutch sustainable architecture firm Aectual uses 100% recycled plastic to make plant pots dubbed ‘Mussel’ planters.
It was to respond to the invitation of the Belgian magazine Sabato that the two companies decided to develop this project. Each year, as part of the “Knokke” series, Sabato invites a team of designers to produce an item made from materials found in the Belgian coastal town. This year, DUS Architects and Aectual decided to use plastic. “We have to get rid of the negative idea that plastic is a disposable product,” says Hans Vermeulen, co-founder and CEO of Aectual. “It is also a raw material with which you can make beautiful things, with the new craft of 3D printing. We want to help make the highly-polluting construction world cleaner, and the world a little bit more beautiful. It all starts on a small scale with this planter.”
The characteristics of 3D printed planters
The design of the 3D printed planters is inspired by mussels because just like additive manufacturing, mussels create their shell layer by layer. To begin manufacturing these planters, Aectual used its four robotic-armed 3D printers — which are capable of printing over a 500 sq. ft area with a range of 360°. Made from plastics found on the beaches of Knokke, but also waste from Belgian households, the planters have been individually printed, which is why they each have unique details. Finally, the Dutch company revealed that the amount of plastic used for the manufacture of a single jar is equivalent to 120 bottles of shampoo.
Aectual specifies that the planters are designed to be placed both indoors or outdoors. The largest planter measures 98 x 40 x 29 cm, while the tallest planter measures 55 x 45 X 49 cm. If you would like to purchase these 3D printed jars, visit the Sabato magazine website, where they are on sale until September 30th. Currently, there are 500 planters are available on site.
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