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These custom, igloo-shaped workspaces are 3D-printed with recycled PET

ArchiTech Company in the Netherlands has designed a 3D-printed, modular pavilion using waste from the local port industry. Known as R-IGLO, the igloo-like workspaces represent a completely circular design made from recycled PET plastic that can be reused continuously.

The materials are sourced within the historic M4H harbor area in Rotterdam, a major port community known for its modern architecture. Actual construction of these 3D-printed pavilions takes place in M4H as well, supporting local businesses and making this project more sustainable.

The large company warehouses in the area often lack comfortable, separate workspaces; the project, which is a collaboration between ArchiTech Company in the Rotterdam Makers District, Royal3D and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, solves this problem. The modular construction uses linkable panels of different sizes so the entire pavilion is easily assembled, disassembled, moved and stored. Owners can include or remove additional elements to enlarge or reduce the size of the pavilion.

R-IGLO utilizes one of the world’s largest CFAM printers, which stands for “Continuous Fiber Additive Manufacturing.” At its full capacity, the machine prints 15 kilos per hour, meaning the entire 4 x 2 x 1.5-meter workspace can be completed in just 10 days. Thanks to Royal3D’s use of locally generated electricity and the dome’s circular materials, the production has a net-zero carbon footprint.

The printing process reinforces the PET elements with short glass fibers, making the material stronger and more resistant to impact while still maintaining 100% recyclability. Even if the printing processes were to fail for any reason, the material is still reusable for a new print. As for the shape, the igloo-like dome structure makes the pavilion strong and rigid on the outside and acoustic on the inside. The design includes sockets and is equipped with lighting, ventilation and heating for what the designers call “a modular turn-key solution.”


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