Nov 8, 2017 | By Julia

The city of Amsterdam has unveiled two 3D printed sofas, each made up of 3,000 plastic bags, as part of its new ‘Circulaire Expositie’ (or in English, ‘Recycling Exhibition’). On display at the Stadhuis (townhall) last month, this one of a kind exhibition serves to showcase Amsterdam’s ongoing commitment towards building a more sustainable city, as well as highlighting the important role 3D printing plays in that effort.

Those following recent developments in 3D printing plastic filament will know that recycled household waste, such as plastic bags and cartons, has made a huge breakthrough as a popular material in the additive manufacturing industry. Yet while recycled filament startups such as Filabot push a greener approach through small-scale use in home and office spaces, the new Stadhuis exhibition goes one step further, showing that state-of-the-art design doesn’t have to remain separate from sustainability.

In fact, Amsterdam officials say, that type of ‘linear thinking’ is precisely what prevents true innovation. “Our current economy is linear, that is, organized as a finite straight line: we collect raw materials and materials, use them in the production process and throw them away as waste or final product. That’s waste,” write city representatives on the project website. As raw materials continue to skyrocket in cost, the environment gets hit harder and harder, they add. “In a circular economy we get it much smarter.”

Playing off the Dutch word ‘circulaire’, meaning both ‘circular’ and ‘recycling,’ the new exhibition shows Amsterdam’s keen interest in investing in an economic model driven by cycles of sustainability. That means “production and consumption are organized to reuse materials, and reuse those materials repeatedly.” For the city, sustainable energy means renewable energy. “In a circular economy, no waste is wasted and we minimize the environmental impact,” explain Stadhuis representatives.

In addition to the 3D printed sofas, the Circulaire Expositie features garments made from recycled King’s Day waste – a nod to the millions of plastic items discarded by Dutch partiers and tourists alike on the national holiday – as well as a smart ‘circular application’ of Amsterdam Arena’s old Ajax seats. The two winning inventions from the local Designathon School Challenge can also be seen, as the result from a waste separating match between several Dutch schools.

Of all the exhibited pieces, however, the Stadhuis sofas arguably have the most impact from a green perspective. Accompanying the 3D printed furniture, a sign reads: “Did you know that 650,000 of these benches could be made from the plastic waste of all the Amsterdammers?”



Posted in 3D Printing Application



Maybe you also like:


Just being realistic wrote at 11/9/2017 12:11:00 AM:

And just how much water was used to clean the plastic bags? And how much electricity was used to pump that water and to shred the bags and reprocess it back into pallets or filament and then 3d print it? A for effort, D for practicality

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive