Architectural Printing Innovations and Porcelain Tiles

Digital plans for new house

In this digital age, print technologies continue to progress alongside the evolution of building materials such as tiles. And, regardless of the world’s first 3D printed homes and 3D printed “planter” tiles, Porcel-Thin tiles continue to be at the cutting-edge with their masterpiece mimics of real stone and wood crafted using the latest digital printing.

3D printed properties

This summer, it was announced that the first homes created using 3D-printing technology will come to fruition in the Netherlands by 2023. Project Milestone by Einhoven University of Technology will see five concrete houses, the first single-floor structure to be built next year with multi-storey dwellings to follow, designed by a crack team of architects and then printed.

Of this building and design innovation, the university said: “The design of the houses is based on erratic blocks in a green landscape. The irregular shape of the buildings can be realised thanks to one of the key features of 3D printing: the ability to construct almost any shape. The design aims at a high level of quality and sustainability. For example, the houses will not have a natural gas connection, which is quite rare in the Netherlands”.

3D printed tiles

This 3D printed property revelation was hot on the tracks of the Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities internet sensation. Small plants such as succulents can be seen sprouting from around 4500 tiles that clad an oversized shed (11 square metres) in California. The innovative tiling project, by a studio called Emerging Objects, was a response to the Bay Area’s housing shortage and lack of green space.

The tiles used comprise six different 3D graphic patterns and a mix of materials including cement. Some of the Planter Tiles have the ability to hold plants that thrive in California’s warm climate and the overall effect of the façade has been compared to “a box of exquisite chocolates”. Inside, back-lit translucent tiles made from eco-friendly bioplastic have been installed to make the walls glow at night.

Emerging Objects commented: “The Cabin of 3D Printed Curiosities demonstrates that 3D printing can be beautiful, meaningful and well-crafted – not crude, fast and cheap… the backyard building space might become a platform where new ways of living are tested, new technologies can be invented and tested, and new materials can be discovered”.

Digitally-printed porcelain tiles

Rosewood digitally printed porcelain tile with ant-bacterial properties by Porcel-Thin

Porcel-Thin is no stranger to state-of-the-art printing technologies. We use the very latest in 3D digital printing to create mind-blowingly realistic reproductions of a wide range of natural woods such as teak and rosewood and natural stones including marble, onyx and sandstone. Advancements in digital printing mean that Porcel-Thin can produce porcelain tiles in any colour or pattern and the details, from marble veining and wood knots to shades and tones, can be refined until they’re authentic and to the highest quality.

Bianco white book matched marble effect porcelain tiles used to create a feature lounge wall

Our Book Match Porcelain Tile Collection, which includes marvellous mimics of Calacatta Marble and Bianco Marble, are an example of 3D digitally printed tiles at their finest. Not only is the digital imaging effect spot-on, to the point you would wonder why you ever contemplated natural marble, but these large-format tiles are “book matched” beauties. This means that each large-format tile mirrors the next so, when laid side-by-side, they give the impression of an open book and create the most extraordinary continuous patterning you will experience from a porcelain tile.  Discover the full range of our digitally-printed porcelain tiles here.