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R3direct, 3D-printed Street Furniture from Recycled Materials

By R3direct

Industry: Prototyping Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling Material: PolyALu (polyethylene and aluminum) from recycled TetraPak® cartons Machine: WASP 3MT

R3direct, 3D-printed Street Furniture from Recycled Materials

Transforming Waste into Wonder: Sustainable 3D-printed Street Furniture.



"U.S.E." is a piece of urban furniture installed in Lucca, Italy, by the municipality in March 2022. This innovative project was conceived by Architect Giulia Del Grande and brought to life by R3direct, a company specializing in creating durable and customizable objects from post-consumer plastics. The furniture is crafted from a material derived from recycled Tetra Pak food boxes, transforming a traditional concrete New Jersey barrier into a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to the city. Weighing 210 kg and measuring 250 cm in length, this green installation seamlessly integrates into the daily life of Lucca, promoting the concept of recycling. The project utilizes advanced 3D and parametric technologies, showcasing the potential of sustainable design in urban environments. R3direct collaborated closely with Del Grande, supporting her master's degree research, which investigates the gap between perceived fear and actual risk in urban settings. This research inspired Del Grande to create a design rooted in a strong psychological foundation and suitable for urban contexts. Lucca's anti-terrorism New Jersey barriers provided the initial inspiration for her experimentation. Together with R3direct’s lead designer, Stefano Giovacchini, Del Grande developed the concept for the "U.S.E." furniture. The plastic used in the furniture comes from approximately 3,300 recycled TetraPak® cartons. Lucart, a leading producer of paper and tissue products, handled the recycling and processing at their plant in Lucca. The final material composition of "U.S.E." includes about 75% FiberPack®, commonly used in products like toilet paper, napkins, and kitchen towels. The remaining 25% consists of polyethylene and aluminum, secondary raw materials used to create the module. "U.S.E." not only serves a practical purpose but also embodies the innovative spirit of sustainable urban design, demonstrating how recycled materials can be repurposed into valuable and attractive public amenities.



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