November 10, 2020

Leiden University prints a micro-sized Star Trek starship

Filed under: Film,Science,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:59 am

According to CNN and BoingBoing on Twitter, while developing methods to 3D print synthetic micro-swimmers, microscopic devices that can propel themselves by interacting with the chemicals in their surrounding environment, researchers at Leiden University printed a model of Star Trek’s USS Voyager that’s just 15 micrometers long. As a comparison, a human hair is around 75 micrometers in diameter.

By studying synthetic micro-swimmers, we would like to understand biological micro-swimmers,” Samia Ouhajji, one of the study’s authors, told CNN. This understanding could aid in developing new drug delivery vehicles; for example, microrobots that swim autonomously and deliver drugs at the desired location in the human body.

Why did they go for Star Trek and why one of the franchise’s later starships? Jonas Hoecht, one of the study’s co-authors, claims to be a big Star Trek fan and was told he could print anything he wanted. Of course, I still want to know why he opted for Voyager and not a version of the Enterprise, but it’s still extremely cool.

(Link, image

Tags: , , , ,

May 30, 2018

Eindhoven to boast world’s first 3D printed homes

Filed under: Architecture,Dutch first,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:32 pm

Next year, the city of Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant will apparently have the world’s first 3D-printed concrete homes. Six parties are involved in the project: the municipality of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology, Van Wijnen from Rosmalen, Vesteda from Amsterdam, Saint Gobain-Weber Beamix, and Witteveen+Bos from Deventer.

The project called ‘Milestone’ will have five houses erected in the neighbourhood of Meerhoven, designed by Houben/Van Mierlo architects. The homes will look a bit like henges or even statues in a green garden and have a bit of a Flintstones house feel to them, according to Houben/Van Mierlo and the image above.

(Link and photo:

Tags: ,

April 18, 2018

3D-printed bridge for Amsterdam takes shape

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 5:53 pm


Back in 2015 we told you about Amsterdam getting a 3D-printed steel bridge, and apparently printing the structure is now finished. The 12-metre-long bridge will eventually cross a canal on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s Red Light district and you bet we’ll check it out once it’s installed.

MX3D aims to have finished the printing, placing the deck and coating the bridge by October 2018 in time for Dutch Design Week. In the mean time, you could sneak a peak at their workshop in Amsterdam North at the NDSM wharf if you’re in the neighbourhood.

(Link and photo:

Tags: , , ,

October 31, 2017

Schiphol Airport to get 3D printed floors

Filed under: Aviation,Design by Orangemaster @ 9:53 am


In November, Dutch company Aectual will unveil a 3D printed floor for at Schiphol Airport, which they call an ‘on demand floor’. The technology behind this 3D printing was developed in-house by Aectual and will be used to 3D print a design by Amsterdam firm DUS Architects.

3D printing is used to create the initial frame of the design, then a secondary process fills the gaps with a material called terrazzo, a composite material made from chips of marble, quartz, granite and glass. Once mixed with a binder and cured, the terrazzo can be polished to give a smooth surface.

“We make it possible to create your own design for spectacular floors in, for example, a hotel lobby, or for a striking retail brand, giving designers complete design freedom” explains Hans Vermeulen, CEO of Aectual.

I’m getting a 1960 Italian feel and that works for me.

(Link and image:

Tags: ,

October 26, 2017

Amsterdam third best architecture start-up city

Filed under: Architecture by Orangemaster @ 8:32 pm


I got to talking with an American tourist on the tram in Amsterdam the other day, which actually goes by the buildings in this old picture, and he asked me if we had a lot of startup companies. I enthusiastically said yes, we’re well know for startups in IT, but I couldn’t really say any more than that.

According to, after London and Berlin, Amsterdam is one of the largest startup hubs in Europe. Its diverse population and business-friendly environment, along with a host of opportunities for startups to find mentoring make it a great environment for people working in architecture. And as I would have wanted to say to the nice tourist, the startups are in software development, smart energy and 3D printing, the latter we tend to write about more regularly.

Companies such as Startupbootcamp, founded in 2010, the recently launched Sharing City that connects startups with the corporate world and MX3D who were 3D printing a bicycle bridge for Amsterdam, are a few examples of the architecture scene earning Amsterdam a third place ahead of Lisbon, Dublin and Prague.

(Link:, Photo of Dam Square, Amsterdam by Unknown, some rights reserved)

Tags: , ,

October 20, 2017

Dutch boast world’s first printed bike bridge

Filed under: Architecture,Bicycles,Dutch first,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 2:49 pm


In June we told you about Amsterdam getting a 3D printed steel bridge, but the town of Gemert Noord-Om, Noord-Brabant has recently had a 3D steel printed bridge for cyclists installed, making it a world first.

The bridge was printed in June at the Eindhoven University of Technology and installed by construction company Royal Bam Group. It is made of pre-stressed and reinforced concrete, which is a feat of sustainability. “With 3D printing, you have more flexibility regarding the shape of the product. As well, 3D printing a bridge is also incredibly efficient: you need less concrete, but there is also no need for shuttering where the concrete is normally poured in. You just use exactly what you need, and there is no CO2 emissions”, explains BAM Director Marinus Schimmel.

And yes it’s a corporate film in Dutch, but you get to see how they made it.

(Links and image:,

Tags: , , ,

September 14, 2017

Delft blue houses made with 3D printers

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 6:25 pm


While KLM has been well-known for their house-shaped bottles of genever for decades, Amsterdam company Local Makers, which sells 3D printers, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to create customised miniature houses. The campaign is more than half way there, but in a few days either these cute houses will be made or not at all.

Local Makers can create a digital 3D model of any home following using photographs and mapping software such as Google Streetview. After creating a precise 3D model of the home, they print it using Ultimaker 3D printers and bioplastic material. The houses are then sanded and prepared to be painted by hand, Delft blue style, a process that takes two days.

(Link and photo:

Tags: , , ,

July 5, 2017

Making 3D dishes and food for the elderly

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 2:44 pm

Chef Jan Smink of top Dutch restaurant De Librije in Zwolle, Overijssel talks about the possibilities of making 3D printed dishes in the video below, where he shows us a creation made from celeriac and hazelnut paste with mushrooms, fermented garlic and more celeriac.

Smink segues into explaining that in Dutch retirement homes where 8% of the elderly have problems swallowing food, 3D printing could be useful for making their lives easier. It means they wouldn’t have to have their food blended to be eaten through a straw, which takes away from the social aspect of eating. Imagine making things like white asparagus puree, printing it out and eating with everyone else. That can be done since a 3D printer can make one-off orders, something a factory cannot easily do.

Of course, with a restaurant like Michelin-starred De Librije, not everything should be printed out, but it’s nice to hear from a chef that even people who don’t frequent his establishment could benefit from 3D printing.

Last year we told you about a 3D printer for pancakes at a restaurant in Ruurlo, Gelderland.


Tags: , ,

May 7, 2017

3D-printed clay vases inspired by fashion

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 8:17 pm


A graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2015, Dutch designer Olivier van Herpt is producing 3D-printed clay vases for fashion brand COS.

Seen from a distance, the surface of the clay appears smooth, but a closer look reveals tiny ridges created by the 3D-printing process.

Van Herpt has been exploring functional 3D-printed ceramics since 2012, and started developing his own 3D printers in 2014 after becoming frustrated with the limitations of existing desktop printers. After two years of experimenting and researching, he created an extruder that could process hard clay.

The vases will be shown in COS’s store in London this May with images of van Herpt’s process. COS also plans to give away the vases by way of a social media competition, inviting followers on instagram to share images of their favourite ceramics.

(Link:, Photo: Other 3D vases by Olivier van Herpt)

Tags: , ,

August 8, 2016

Restaurant invests in 3D printers for pancakes

Filed under: Food & Drink,Technology by Orangemaster @ 11:05 am

In the town of Ruurlo, Gelderland, pancake restaurant De Heijkamp is going to let a specialised 3D printer ‘make’ pancakes, albeit not every day. Owner Bert van Zijtvelt will be using the Pancake Bot, a successful Kickstarter project that became the world’s first 3D pancake printer that can make all kinds of cool pancakes (see video below).

Inventor Miguel Valenzuela, a Mexican-American expat living in Norway, credits one of his two daughters for the idea. He was reading an article about a guy who made a pancake stamping machine out of LEGO, when his daughter turned to her sister and yelled, “Papa’s going to build a pancake machine out of LEGO!” The prototype was actually made using LEGO, how cool is that.

Van Zijtvelt has bought two 3D printers, each costing USD 500 (450 euro). According to chef Rob Weijers, the biggest problem is getting the pancake batter just right, with not too much sugar in it, so it doesn’t jam things up.

De Heijkamp only plans on using the printers for special occasions like company events and children’s parties.

If you can get past a glaring spelling mistake and corporate dubstep with motor sounds, you can enjoy what the printer can do.


Tags: , , ,