AMS Spring 2023

The Netherlands’ Queen Máxima Flanked by 3D Printed Screens on U.S. Visit

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Recently on her trip to the USA, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands was accompanied by many things. Most of them were bodyguards, but a few companions were actually 3D printed. The Dutch Consulate commissioned Dutch 3D printing design firm Aectual, known for its sustainable manufacturing, to produce backdrops for her U.S. tour. With the perfect blend of subtlety and pop, the 3D printed room partitions actually tell the stories of the Dutch-U.S. relationship, innovation, and tech, and caught the eyes of onlookers everywhere.

The Netherlands have been among the most progressive countries when moving towards clean energy, and have already begun transitioning to a low-carbon energy system. The nation even has plans to become 100 percent electric by 2050, so it’s no surprise that the Dutch wanted to practice what they preach, right down to the partitions for Queen Máxima. 

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Queen Máxima speaking at an event in California in from of an Aectual screen. The screens are derived from recycled plant-based plastic. 

Aecutal ended up being the perfect match, as the company is not only from the Netherlands, but also prioritizes circular manufacturing. The company first began as a spin off from The 3D Print Canal House, 3D printing floors, walls and molds for concrete elements, and ultimately finding a niche printing interior decorating pieces. It has been featured in Milan Design Week with its Drink Carton Collection, and has steadily grown since that exposure. Now, Aectual is attracting some big names like fashion icon, Hermès, and Netherland’s Queen Máxima to bring sustainable manufacturing to the forefront. 

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An Aectual Backdrop behind Queen Máxima

For the Queen’s screens, Aectual used old plastic from a 2016 EU convention and its new Freeline system to construct the pieces. The elements were simple to make and directly converted the Queen’s pencil sketches into a 3D printed panel. There are a few limitations the Queen had to adhere to, but for the most part, she could design any composition she liked. Individual panels ranged in sizes but were combined to form the larger configurations. The tube’s hollow shape also saves on weight and material.

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An Aectual Panel Printed using Freeline Technology

Not wanting to let anything go to waste, Aectual already has plans to chop up these commissions and reuse the material to make more products in the future. This is a part of the firm’s effort to continue making its fully circular construction method faster and more affordable. We will surely continue see its products decorating the entrances of hotel lobbies and offices, or telling stories as a backdrop at a convention. 

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