A Dutch company is using giant robotic 3D printers to create hugely customisable and sustainable flooring and we love it.
Aectual Floors load up the robo-printers, which have an arm with six degrees of freedom, with plant-based bio-plastics and recycled materials to produce a custom floor framework, a few centimetres in height. This is then taken to the building, infilled with terrazzo of recycled granite or marble chips and polished.
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The bespoke, large scale prints have already caught the attention of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport - which will be getting the Aectual treatment - as well as museums and shops in Japan and Europe.
Aectual, a spin-off from architecture studio DUS Architects, is also experimenting with prototypes for staircases and matching floor patterns in office buildings and private homes. Its software tools allow designers to transform sketches into 'digital production drawings' to be 3D printed with a wide variety of patterns and colours - as long as you're down with the terrazzo vibe.
Looking at the scale of the robotic printers and what they can produce, we're a way off finding these customising the floors of everyday homes. Still, we can dream of intricate, personalised patterns under foot.