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Introducing Aectual Circular

Design → Print → Enjoy → Shred → Design → Print → Enjoy Again!

Aectual Circular is a novel circular design and digital production service that allows products made by Aectual to be easily shape-shifted from one material into new interior design solutions over time. The service is built upon innovative XL 3D printing technology in combination with plant-based plastics and offers unprecedented design freedom whilst being 100% circular: After use, Aectual takes back the building products and directly recycles and reprints them into new products.

‘Additive manufacturing, interior design, and circular use of materials, make a perfect threesome’ states Aectual CEO Hans Vermeulen with an eyewink. But he continues on a more serious tone: ‘Architectural additive manufacturing seamlessly fits the transition to circular manufacturing. It just makes sense: A product is digitally designed, and then 3D printed, and after use we recycle the material and can directly reprint a smarter designed version than it was before. Next to that, commercial interiors such as stores, hotels, event spaces and offices, have a life cycle of 3 to 5 years, or even less. That results in tremendous amounts of waste.’

This was the reason for Hans and his colleagues to develop Aectual Circular: a novel circular design and digital production service that allows products made by Aectual to be easily shape-shifted from one material into new interior design solutions up to seven times. It’s as simple yet special as it sounds: Aectual takes back their own product after use, monitors the shredding of the products and then re-uses the material for newly printed products. Clients get a material deposit for their products, or an even bigger discount when they order ‘freshly printed’ products. 

‘We want to stimulate circular thinking and make the design process more fun and design-driven' elaborates Hans ‘and that is why 3D printing is such a great development, since designers now can break free from standardization and truly create made-to-measure architectural product designs’.

Aectual Circular is based on 3D printing technology making use of plant-based plastics, developed in collaboration with material Mutlinational Henkel. The biopolymer is certified for interior use and is easy to maintain. The material has several advantages: it has a beautiful matte, ceramic like appearance, comes in all RAL and NCS colors, and last but not least; it is very easy to shred and reprint up to 7 times. 

The majority of Aectuals products are part of Aectual Circular, apart from the products made from plastic waste: ‘we also recycle that, but it’s a more complex process and varies per plastic type’ according to Hans. Single circular furniture pieces can be found in Aectuals Collection and bought directly, after which they are printed on-demand. Design professionals can create their own circular product designs via checking the products at the Architecture section. Aectual Circular is particularly high in demand for retail projects and is one of the reasons why clients such as Nike and Burberry work with Aectual. Bespoke large-size window displays can now transform with every collection, without any material going to waste. But also a growing number of real estate clients see the importance of circular design, which is beautifully shown by the Edge Olympia for instance, where 3D printed planters and screens can transform into new office solution when demand changes.

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