Aectual B.V.
Naritaweg 14, 1043 BZ, Amsterdam (NL)
3D printing materials for circular interior & architectural systems

Materials are finite, and we should use valuable resources smartly. Value chains can only last if they are based on reuse and circularity. Aectual is committed to taking the lead by only working with waste plastics and plant-based recyclable 3D printing materials.

Aectual produces with Fused Granular Fabrication (FGF) 3D printers that are optimized to work with recycled plastic flakes and pellets. The 3D printing materials we (re)use are thermoplastic polymers, which can be shredded and reprinted repeatedly. From 2012 onwards, we have worked with our material partners on over 30 compounds. Based on this ongoing research, Aectual selected three 3D printing materials to produce with, considering optimal performance and global availability, ensuring consistent quality:

Bio-PA (recycled)

  • Easy to recycle, primarily used in recycled stage
  • Easy to color, find our colors here.
  • Matte appearance
  • Fire Retardant variant available

Our bio-based Polyamide (PA) is developed together with Henkel. This material is based on renewable resources: vegetable oils instead of fossil fuels. Products in this material have a soft, matte appearance and stay slightly flexible, making them durable (hard to break). The material is easy to shred and reprint, at least seven times. We can expand the recycling level by adding a small percentage of virgin material.

Currently, we use around 50% recycled materials in our production of bio-PA products. The bio-PA is available in our 20 base colors or any PMS, NCS or RAL color. The Fire Retardant variant has a slightly more shiny appearance. This variant has no hazardous content and an even higher percentage of renewable raw materials.

Recycled drink cartons (PolyAl)

  • Only used in the recycled stage, easy to recycle again
  • Colorable in pastels, except for white and yellow, find our colors here
  • Matte appearance
  • Fire Retardant variant is not available yet, working on it

In an ecosystem with partners Recon Polymers (material recycling), Innolab Chemistry (compounding), and Tetra Pak (food packaging/solutions), we produce products from a high-quality 3D printing compound based on PolyAl. This material remains after the recycling of drink cartons. Roughly 75% of a drink carton is made from renewable materials (card board), derived from sustainably managed forests. The other 25%, mainly the cap and the foil to keep the packaging watertight, is made from polymers and aluminum. After the recycling of drink cartons, this remaining polymer-aluminum mix is called PolyAl.

PolyAl is recycled and compounded in the Netherlands, especially for Aectual’s 3D-printed high-quality products. Products from this material have a matte, slightly rough appearance, which some people compare to pottery. Available colors are in a pastel range except for white and yellow. Also, these products are easy to shred and reprint again.

Recycled PP

  • Only used in the recycled stage, easy to recycle again
  • Hard to color (only black available)
  • Shiny appearance
  • No Fire-Retardant variant is available

A well-known material in the 3D printing industry is a glass-filled RPP (Recycled PolyPropylene). This material is based on a mix of post-industrial & post-consumer waste, after which it is re-granulated. Products in this material have a more shiny but rough and sturdy look and feel. This material is harder to source in a still colorable stage but easy to find in black. No FR variant is available.

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