Print your city: project turns plastic waste into urban furniture

A new international initiative has launched that uses large-scale 3D printing to transform the plastic waste of cities into a number of useful applications for urban environments, including bespoke outdoor furniture.

The project uses plastic waste to create practical pieces for urban spaces.The project uses plastic waste to create practical pieces for urban spaces. Image by Print Your City

Called Print Your City, the project was created by The New Raw, a research and design studio based in Rotterdam run by the architects Foteini Setaki and Panos Sakkas. “As the name suggests, the project is a call to action, rallying citizens to recycle household plastic waste in order to transform it into raw material for public furniture,” the design firm said.

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Proposed as a country-spanning project, the first outcome of the Print Your City project is the XXX bench, a bespoke piece designed for the municipality of Amsterdam. The process used reprocessed plastic pellets from municipal waste to create a bench that weighs 50 kilograms and measures 150 centimetres and is 100% recyclable. Produced in collaboration with Aectual on a large scale pellet extrusion 3D printer, the bench was created in a short material circle, which could constantly be fed with additional material. According to the project, in Amsterdam alone residents generate an average of 23 kilograms of plastic waste per person annually, roughly enough to 3D print one bench for every two people per year.

The process used reprocessed plastic pellets from municipal plastic waste to create the bench.The process used reprocessed plastic pellets from municipal plastic waste to create the bench. Image by Print Your City

The XXX bench seats two to four people and takes the form of a double-sided rocking chair, designed to act as a statement on working together. Visitors sitting on the bench are able to use their equilibrium and energy to rock each other, and it can easily be customised in shape or function to integrate messages or logos. Following on from XXX, the project will focus on the development of a broader range of urban furniture and public space applications such as bus stops, recycling bins and playgrounds.

More information on the Print Your City project is available at the official website.

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