Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Bottletop and Ai Build Use Sustainable Materials to 3D Print Store Interior


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Holiday shoppers near 84 Regent Street in London should be on the lookout for Bottletop, the world’s first store with a 3D printed interior created by KUKA robots using sustainable materials. In partnership with Ai Build and Krause Architects, the store will showcase how innovators are using 3D printing to re-imagine the future of zero waste design and construction.


Kuka iiwa robot in Bottletop’s front window

Bottletop was launched in 2002 and creates a wide range of bags and clutches from upcycled materials and strives for sustainable luxury, ethical design, technical innovation and cross-cultural collaboration. Their new flagship store features an interior with a repetitive 3D printed mesh spanning the entire ceiling. Using sustainable materials from Reflow, Ai Build created the 3D printed lattice structure to resemble the way Bottletop’s bags are assembled. With the mesh in place, they attached approximately 5,000 empty soft drink cans.


Rendering of Bottletop’s finished store

According to Oliver Wayman, Co-Founder of Bottletop, “For the first time, visitors to our store will be able to witness the sustainable use of this technology firsthand while shopping the Bottletop collection and learning about the mission of the brand. This is so exciting for us as our customers can watch the transformation of the store, from a clean exhibition space to an upcycled ecosystem. Overhead hangs our trademark metal canopy, with thousands of cans embedded into a 3D printed lattice structure suspended from the ceiling, which is a play on the concept of negative space, inspired by the British contemporary artist Rachel Whiteread.”

Contoured 3D printed panels will completely cover the walls and incorporate shark tooth style hooks for customizing merchandise displays. The interior design still has a couple months to go before completion, but the slow design process was planned as a way to draw attention from shoppers to the benefits of sustainable manufacturing processes. When the structure is completed, it will be made up of approximately 60,000 plastic bottles, while the floor is made from recycled rubber tires.

“It will morph over time and become a recycled paradise. Not many people know about 3D printing or robotics. If you can show the way that these technologies can be used to actually help reduce waste in construction and in fashion, then it’s a really compelling argument,” Wayman told Forbes’ Rachel Arthur.

KUKA’s latest LBR iiwa robot is fitted with a customized hotend and extrudes material in a similar way to FFF. However, since it’s a 6-axis arm and not confined to a traditional build box, parts can be printed in multiple directions and in large sizes up to 3.2 x 2.4 x 2.8 m. The arm is currently set up to print with Reflow, made from recycled PET plastic.


Kuka iiwa robot in Bottletop’s front window

“This project is a demonstration of how cutting-edge technology can be the solution for some of the most challenging problems of humanity like environmental pollution. We are very proud to be working with likeminded partners to turn plastic waste into a luxurious construction by using robotics and artificial intelligence,” Daghan Cam, Co-Founder and CEO of Ai Build, said in a press release about the partnership.

Bottletop continues to develop a luxury fashion line focused around using sustainable upcycled materials like metal and zero deforestation leather from the Amazon. Their bags are made from soft drink pull tabs and take between four hours and a couple days to complete at their studio in Salvador, Brazil.

Although the interior of the store presents shoppers with an exciting visual and technological environment, it’s only one part of the full experience.


Bottletop, 84 Regent St, London

“It was really about creating an environment that was unique – we wanted it to present a clear vision of the brand, so we wanted to also think about the two senses that we think are often overlooked: smell and sound,” Wayman told Forbes.

Wayman says the company commissioned famous perfumer Timothy Han to create a custom store scent and also had custom playlists created from record producer Mario C, who is known for working on recordings with the Beastie Boys and Bjork.

Bottletop Co-Founder Cameron Saul touches on the importance of education and how a rolling video on the wall informs shoppers about 3D printing and the role their brand is having on shaping the future of sustainable design and construction:

“It’s an all encompassing experience, which you just wouldn’t get online.”

Educating consumers about the role 3D printing is having on sustainable manufacturing is one of the most important objectives for increasing demand and adoption of the technology. Saul and Wayman are creating productive conversations by incorporating 3D printing with consumer-facing environments and applications like sustainable fashion. They believe the number of shoppers who engage with the store will only continue to increase as more individuals see the future potential of using advanced manufacturing with upcycled materials.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below.

[Source: Forbes /Images: AI Build and Bottletop]


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