3D printed ornaments
During the Second World War, Rotterdam was heavily damaged from bombing and the damage has left scars on the city that can still be seen today. Over the years, a lot of the architecture has become worn and weathered and often they have had to be disregarded as irreparable. Despite this, the historical buildings and their architecture still require maintaining on a regular basis so that they remain safe and continue to look appealing. This is where Woonstad Rotterdam, an innovative housing cooperation, takes it upon themselves to carry out restoration work that really brings these building back to life.
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As part of the project involved renovating two 19th Century building on the famous ‘Oude Binnenweg’ in Rotterdam, they stumbled upon a problem. The restoration project involved the preservation of the original character of the building and attempt to bring it back to how it once looked. This was not straight forward, as they had renovate the nine drains that helped to support the gutter. Next to the characteristic element of the drains, they stood at an impressive 10 meters in height and where made of massive stone.
The company took it upon themselves to carry out a high level of research and in speaking with experts from a wide range of industries, they attempted to find a solution that helped them to identify the materials that would work best to replicate the large ornaments that once stood in place. Their research took them to laboratories and meetings with specialists in many different areas, as they required a material that was resistant to weathering and would not corrode like other material. They found this was often a difficult task and that the cost were exceptionally high. However, they then discovered the possibilities of 3D printing in construction and the building industry. 3D printing the large structures could help them bring the building back to its former glory at a cost that was right with materials that simply worked.
Any restoration work requires Woonstad Rotterdam to meticulously plan the project systematically, taking into account the time it takes. However, 3D printing is quick and inexpensive which makes planning timeframes and budgets so much easier.
3D printing the large constructions also saved them a significant amount of money on the cost of supplies. This is because the technology is becoming mainstream and the materials are becoming more and more readily available, meaning that the price is becoming lower.