Optimization of Digital Craftmanship in 3D Printing    

Background

TNR (The New Raw) is a dutch furniture manufacturer that is working towards pushing the boundaries of sustainable design in terms of material use, design & production methodology. The company employs large scale robotic 3D printing in order to process plastic waste and produce in a mass customization approach. Hence, it is possible to keep the industrial standards in quality combined with digital craftsmanship techniques, which make TNR products outstanding and unique.

The use of non standard and challenging types of plastic waste makes the 3D printing process risky. TNR succeeds in doing this through taylor-made hardware and an in-house slicing process, and manages to recycle its production waste in house and use it as filler for future productions or as material for new products.

The management and re-processing of production waste or prototyping tests adds additional costs to the operations. Moreover, the unpredictability of the prototyping of new custom and innovative shapes and objects, increases the leading time of the final production and obstructs a 24/7 operation of the facilities, thus limiting the possibilities to withstand the competition. 

Challenges

ODC 3D aims at demonstrating how craftsmanship and artificial intelligence can work together to improve the energy efficiency and optimise the fabrication of custom products made with large-scale 3D printing and recycled plastic. The project challenges are described in the figure below. 

Expected impact

In terms of business impact, the improvement of the existing technologies in TNR is expected to:

  • significantly increase the capacity of the company’s facilities up to 400% and produce furniture of 24 tonnes and €480K per month.
  • lower the production costs per 20-30%, and making circular furniture more affordable 
  • reduce up to 35% of the production waste of the fabrication

Definitely, more products made out of recycled plastic waste, through more energy efficient production and resulting in less production waste will be followed by a significant environmental impact that will be seen in the reduction of plastic waste in the coastal areas and the urban centers.