When I was researching trends that will be big in 2018, I came across this amazing new Dutch company that 3D prints terrazzo floor tiles.
Aectual was founded with a mission to bring design freedom, massive cost reduction, perfect consumer quality and zero waste to market.
Aectual is using huge robots to make cool, completely customizable, large scale frames which it infills with terrazzo on-site.
As a result of this unique printing technology, the floor frames can be customized to fit spaces of any shape and size, and can be created in all kinds of designs – from traditional patterns to custom motifs.
The pattern is printed using a robot with six degrees of freedom – meaning it can move forwards and backwards, up and down, and left and right, as well as freely between these X, Y and Z axes through rotation.
The frame is printed using is a bioplastic made from plants, which is fully recyclable. It is just a few centimeters in height but the overall frame can be as large as 2x2x4 meters, 8x2x2m or 2x2x2m.
Once they’re finished, this 3D-printed outline gets moved to the construction site. There, the company fills the empty spaces with terrazzo–recycled chips of granite or marble mixed with a binding substance. Finally, everything is polished to obtain a smooth, seamless surface.
This is a large boon for designers; they can also choose from a selection of special patterns customized entirely to their building project. Additionally, unique details can easily be added to emphasize special areas, branding and routing.