3D printing creates unique floor coverings

A Dutch company is pioneering the use of 3D printers to create unique floor designs.

When choosing commercial flooring for your Chester business, there are plenty of designs to choose from. Dutch firm Aectual is developing a 3D printing process for floors, walls and mouldings. Aectual’s co-founder Hedwig Heinsman said:

“The first product we launched is Aectual Floors, a sustainably produced 3D-printed floor with terrazzo infill. We chose flooring because it allows us to share the opportunities of this technology in an accessible manner with a large audience. With our smart technology, we make it possible to custom 3D print any design on large surfaces, where each square meter is unique.”

The company's first floor was a 600 square meter 3D printed floor at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which was installed in 2017. The terrazzo elements of the floor were made from recycled granite and marble chips. As well as using recycled materials, the process produces no waste. Aectual Floors claims that their printed floors are more environmentally friendly than other floor coverings and this reduces their carbon footprint.

The advantage of 3D printed floor designs is that they can be made on demand. The process is quick, from design to the first prototype is done in a few days.

One issue that Aectual Floors has is that currently the company only has four 3D printers. This restricts how many floor coverings they can print at any one time, so 3D printed floors are a niche small-scale product.