Nov 21, 2016 | By Nick

A Dutch hotel is closing in on the funds it needs to produce a high-tech 3D printed conference center that can recreate the ambience of New York’s Central Park and other iconic locations. If everything goes to plan, it will be the first 3D printed, zero-footprint building in Europe.

De Slaapfabriek Teuge is a boutique hotel with just 12 rooms. Despite its modest size, however, the hotel has become a favorite amongst business leaders in the Netherlands. Now, the hotel wants to capitalize on its burgeoning reputation with a 90-square-meter conference center that will be 3D printed from the ground up.

Thanks to Dutch crowdfunding platform NLInversteert, which differs from the likes of Kickstarter in that investors provide loans and expect a return on their investment, hotel owners Arvid and Marjo Prigge have already raised more than $108,000 (€100,000) of the total $398,000 (€375,000) they need. This cutting-edge conference center is close to coming off the drawing board and into the real world.

“We are going to make an enormous experience, that will make a difference to your meetings,” said Arvid Prigge. “We have all-day meetings in standard rooms and it really doesn’t make you happy. We are going to do it differently.”

When the conference center is complete, it will come with an integrated projection system that can turn the walls into a park in New York or a tropical beach, complete with piped-in sounds. The screens also offer a totally custom look and feel, which means the conference center could be ideal for product launches, as well as company training sessions and major meetings.

“Remarkable moments will really stick with you,” said Arvid. “It’s all about experience, sensations, and feeling. Can we transform today’s bland office space into a truly inspiring environment?”

According to the Prigges, there were several reasons for choosing 3D printing construction techniques, but the main draw was the prospect of producing at least 40% less carbon emissions than they would have otherwise. The project could even end up being totally energy neutral.

The Netherlands is a world leader when it comes to the environment, and this new conference center will be a shining light for the environmental advantages of additive manufacturing. As well as reduced carbon emissions, 3D printing reduces the materials waste by at least 75%. This all contributes to reduced transport costs that also have a real effect on the building’s overall environmental impact.

The 3D printing approach also gave the Prigge family almost complete freedom when it came to the building's design, and they have settled on a unique aesthetic that simply wouldn't have been economically viable with traditional techniques. To develop the building, they brought in both The Form Foundation and architect Pim Wylick, who took inspiration from the swirling trails left by the planes taking off from the nearby airport, developing the concept at the Dutch Construction Hackathon at Startup Fest Europe.

Cybe Construction, based in Oss, will print the building in just 10 days after working with TU Eindhoven and Revelating to perfect its role in the long construction process. This building has thrown up a vast amount of technical and aesthetic challenges, with the team having had to think on its feet to come up with the most effective printing methods for this complex, curvaceous design.

There are other 3D printed buildings in the world, but only a select few have been printed on site. However, other printed buildings, such as the 3D printed Beijing villa, simply do not have the quality of finish or the complexity that this Dutch effort is looking for. In some ways then, this new building is a step into the unknown.

With printers that can produce basic shelter from soil and slash the cost and time it takes to build a house, the construction industry is starting to embrace 3D printing. This unique conference center is a groundbreaking project, but we’re sure that many more will follow.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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