Home Applications & Case Studies 3D-printed Eiffel Tower made from plastic waste from the sea

3D-printed Eiffel Tower made from plastic waste from the sea

A Czech company is 3D printing a giant Eiffel Tower model for a local Olympic Games, using recycled marine waste as the base material.

The 14-metre-high model will be erected in the north of the Czech Republic, where visitors will be able to try out various Olympic sports during the Olympic Games in Paris in July and August.

Jan Hrebabecky, the owner of the 3DDen printing farm, said: “The material for the Eiffel Tower comes from the shores of Thailand. It has excellent mechanic and chemical qualities, great UV resistance, and it is practically immortal.”

Thai fishermen collect the plastic waste, which is then sorted, cleaned, desalinated and dried. A Swiss company turns the waste into granulate, which is then processed into 3D printing filaments in the Czech Republic. “There are huge deposits of this priceless material, and anybody can come and take it,” said Hrebabecky.

The company had to develop a new printer to handle the material.

“It can crystallize in the printer and destroy it immediately,” says Hrebabecky. Despite this challenge, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, including the lower price compared to traditional filaments.

The Eiffel Tower model will be assembled from 1,600 3D-printed parts and reinforced with steel rods so that it is stable enough to theoretically support a helicopter. It will be erected next to Most Lake in the north of the Czech Republic, where the Olympic Festival will take place.

“It’s very important for us. Oceans are a place where people do sports like sailing and windsurfing,” Nada Cerna, a Czech Olympic Committee manager in charge of the event, said. “So if we can highlight the problem in this way and maybe help a bit, we’re really happy.”

For Hrebabecky, the Eiffel Tower is a step towards a bigger dream: a printed house. “If you build a house using this material, it is almost certain that it will never return to the ocean again,” he said.

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