Dec 15, 2017 | By Tess

As a small nation, the Netherlands is known for a lot of things including cheese, bicycles, tulips, and bridges. Now, as it turns out, the European country can also add 3D printed benches to that list.

That is, while most countries have zero 3D printed benches, the Netherlands now boasts two: one in Amsterdam, which was designed by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars and another in Haarlem, which was unveiled this past September.

The Haarlem 3D printed bench project—which also includes a 3D printed bicycle rack and a 3D printer planter—was realized through a collaboration between Dutch engineering company Dura Vermeer, architectural firm Inbo, and Dutch construction company CyBe, which specializes in 3D printed concrete structures.

Together, the three parties designed, 3D printed, and installed the bench and its accessories along the edge of the Spaarne river, which flows through Haarlem. The concrete 3D printed pieces were given to the city of Haarlem by Dura Vermeer to celebrate the successful renovation of two of the city’s “Buitenrustbruggen” (bridges).

Haarlem residents and visitors had the chance to see the bench, bike rack, and planter being 3D printed on site this past September, and can now freely use the modern concrete installation.

In addition to adding some technological flair to Haarlem’s river banks, the 3D printed bench is also meant to demonstrate the potentials of 3D printing, both for design and sustainable manufacturing.

In regards to the latter, Dura Vermeer worked with CyBe Construction and Inbo to construct the bench, rack, and planter from a durable and eco-friendly concrete material, which reportedly has a 32% smaller CO2 footprint than standard concrete.

Moreover, Dura Vermeer says it could one day—maybe ten years from now—reclaim the 3D printed structures, break them down, and reuse the materials for new projects.

Since the bench’s unveiling, CyBe Construction says it has additively manufactured five more city benches for Dura Vermeer at its R&D facility adding that each bench takes only about 35 minutes to 3D print. That means CyBe has 3D printed 5 concrete benches in less than 1 working day. Dura Vermeer plans to gift the new concrete benches to their focus clients.

In recent years, the Netherlands has gained a positive reputation within the nascent construction 3D printing industry. Earlier this year, for instance, BAM, the Technical University of Eindhoven, and Witteveen+Bos unveiled the country’s first 3D printed concrete bicycle bridge.

Robotic 3D printing company MX3D has also been working on a 3D printed pedestrian bridge made from steel for the past few years, which has an expected completion date of June 2018.

CyBe Construction, for its part, made headlines recently for having completed the on-site 3D printing of the R&Drone Laboratory, a research lab dedicated to drone technologies in Dubai.

In an ongoing initiative, Amsterdam-based architecture firm Dus Architects is aiming to build the world’s first 3D printed canal house. We’re still eager for updates on this particular project, which even piqued the interest of President Barack Obama in 2014.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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