While in Europe I had the pleasure of visiting Vertico 3D and their founder Volker Ruitinga. Volker was my first podcast guest via zoom so it was particularly special to visit his facility and record a second podcast in person while visiting Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Those who listened to the first podcast episode remember Volker came from the automobile industry which helped him procure a robotic arm from his old company.
Vertico specializes in parametric design, you’ll see how many different textures they have explored with let me know in the comments if one sticks out as your favorite in particular, I’m sure Vertico would like the feedback as well. They have come a long way since then, currently using no parts from the original system. They’ve upgraded the robot, the pumps, mixing system and even added a silo. In the early days Vertico was hand mixing their concrete in buckets now they load in 1.2 ton concrete bags at a time!
At the Vertico facility they’ve kept many of their old and early prints which gives an excellent timeline of their progress featured in the video below. Volker was kind enough to openly discuss some of the early failures and issues they ran into providing some insight to the daily challenges of a tech startup.
While visiting, I also got the chance to play with some of the parametric design tools vertico has built in the Grasshopper plugin of Rhino. In about 10 minutes I was able to create a printable design and I filmed the process along with the print to be released on youtube later this week. (see below)
Not only did they print my design but also the inverted version of my design, a 2.5m tall column(with a way cooler design than mine) and then the same column but inverted. There was also a 5th print in the same row but that one is confidential, details will be released when the project is ready. The second print had some slight slump causing some inconsistency in the print but Volker was able to very carefully adjust the speed of the printer to compensate for the area which had suffered from the slump to recover the print in about 5 layers. The print was able to reach the last layer without a stoppage.
For those wondering why the lighting is so unique, Vertico shares a warehouse (protected by the historical society) with another startup growing produce/vegtables in tandem with fish in a hydroponic ecosystem.
If you like the designs by Vertico go on their website vertico.xyz and make an inquiry, they may even be willing to help bring your idea to reality. Keep in mind they are located in Europe, specifically Eindhoven, the Netherlands so shipping may be a significant expense if you aren’t located nearby.
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