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11 May 2021
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In the Grofsmederij on the RDM site in Rotterdam, the first 3D-printed workspace has been put into use. The workspace is printed with PET waste from the (harbour) industry in De Werkplaats on M4H. The so-called R-IGLO was commissioned by Royal3D and designed by the ArchiTech Company. Together with local entrepreneurs, the Port of Rotterdam Authority is looking for sustainable developments. The R-IGLO is a good example of this.

For rent: R-IGLO

The R-IGLO was started as a pilot project, and has since been incorporated into the Real Estate Department's portfolio to provide tenants with a sheltered, warm and comfortable workplace.

And the name? The pavilion obviously owes its name to the dome shape, with the letter R for Reusable, Recycled, Rotterdam and Royal3D.

From PET waste to 3D printed workspace


An innovative real estate solution and collaboration with the Rotterdam Makers District.

A warehouse offers lots of space, but there is sometimes a lack of a comfortable place to work. Looking for a smart, flexible and sustainable solution to that problem, entrepreneurs in the Rotterdam Makers District developed the R-IGLO on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Modular, circular and locally produced; exactly what the Makers District stands for.

The R-IGLO is a pavilion that can be built within a large space. The construction consists of larger and smaller flexible elements. The modular character ensures that the separate parts are easy to build, but can also be easily dismantled, moved or stored. The pavilion was designed by The ArchiTech Company on behalf of Royal 3D and will be produced with a large 3D printer in De Werkplaats on the Merwehaven in M4H.

Circular design, circular production

Not just any 3D-printer will be used, but a CFAM-printer built for Royal 3D by CEAD in Delft. CFAM stands for Continuous Fibre Additive Manufacturing, which means that a (glass) fibre is continuously added to the printing material. This results in a stronger, stiffer and therefore more durable end result. The CFAM printer of Royal 3D can produce on an industrial scale, with a build volume of 4 x 2 x 1.5 metres and a printing capacity of 15 kilograms per hour.

The material that forms the basis for the R-IGLO is plastic PET waste from the (port) industry. This material is completely reusable, even if a print fails, for example. The advanced and 100% circular design ensures that the material is not only used very efficiently but also provides the users with pleasant acoustics and sufficient incidence of daylight.

Photo: Emile Nossin / Visuel Approach - The ArchiTech Company.

Active innovation

The real estate department of the Port of Rotterdam Authority is actively involved in the redevelopment of outdated port areas, with a view to creating an attractive business climate for a new generation of (maritime) manufacturing companies. An example is the company VertiDrive. This leading innovative company for magnetic robot crawlers is the tenant of one of the largest buildings on the former Rotterdam Droogdok Maatschappij: the Grofsmederij. This is where the need for well air-conditioned assembly workstations arose, which prompted the development of the R-IGLO. It was a logical choice to work together with the local entrepreneurs in the Rotterdam Makers District for the implementation. The production of the R-IGLO takes place in De Werkplaats, a former fruit depot in M4H.

Rotterdam Makers District

RDM forms, together with M4H, the Rotterdam Makers District. The added value of the Makers District lies not only in the physical space but especially in a business climate that stimulates and strengthens cooperation and entrepreneurship. The goal is to create a community of successful and innovative entrepreneurs, integrated into the broader regional innovation ecosystem of companies, knowledge institutions and funding sources.