We are happy to share this article of an unbelievable project with rPET. IMd Consulting Engineers has given the go-ahead for the printing of the very first 3D-printed pavilion, made entirely from recycled PET bottles. After years of material research in collaboration with TU Delft, it is the first time that this polyester plastic is used constructively.
With some delay, due to the corona crisis, the pavilion will be presented in Rotterdam somewhere in 2021. It marks the start of an experiment.
The building is not a target itself, but part of an investigation into the material and its possibilities. How long will the structure keep its shape? Is there an architectural future for this material? When the structure loses its shape or strength over time, the material will simply be reused.
The idea for the pavilion was born in 2019 and was further developed. A search for the right concept and material led to the plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is printable and recyclable.
From the start of this ambitious plan, IMd has been working closely with Ector Hoogstad Architecten for the architecture of the building. TU Delft conducted research into material properties such as load-bearing capacity and acoustics. With the pavilion, IMd shows that PET can be easily reused and also has structural properties. The structure consists of various shell parts, each weighing about 300 kilos. The shape of the pavilion is a derivative of the material properties. The material is self-supporting and has a slender shell that is partly hollow to reduce weight. The complex, organic shape that it produces is easy to print, making the pavilion a combination of material properties and production technology and will soon be a model of innovation, sustainability and reuse.
The Spanish company Nagami started the printing process for the building in early 2020. A printing process of four consecutive months was required to realize the building. That process started in January 2020, but was delayed due to Covid-19. The printing process has now resumed.
We will keep you informed about the end-result.