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The New Raw: Crafting plastic waste with robots

The New Raw is a research and design studio based in Rotterdam (Netherlands) founded in 2015 by architects Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki with the ambition to give new life to discarded materials through design, robots and craftsmanship.

They develop their own (digital) craftsmanship techniques through a formal and technical language highlighting the texture and the layer-by-layer character of their in-house robotic manufacturing process.

The exploration of the possibilities that the robotic techniques provide transforms plastic waste into beautiful and meaningful products that are 100% circular.


Which steps are involved in the material processing?


Step 1)

The process of recycling starts by sorting plastic by type and colour.


Step 2)

The number in the triangle at the base of plastic products indicates the type of plastic.


Step 3)

The final steps are washing and shredding. Usually, the size of the plastic flake is 4-7mm.


Step 4)

The flakes are then fed directly into the studio’s advanced 3D printer, which melts the material to create a recycled plastic filament that is then applied layer by layer.




The New Raw showcases throughout their collections how digital design and fabrication technologies can be deployed to help tackle the mighty issue we are all combating to reduce how much waste is discarded. Read on to learn more about some of The New Raw’s latest creations.


Pots Plus

The Pots Plus collection explores the possibility of using the city’s plastic waste to build bespoke furniture with robotic 3D printing. The 3D-printed street furniture has integrated planters that promote the city’s healthy and environment-friendly lifestyle. What’s more, the geometries are based on ergonomic curvatures that accommodate a relaxed body posture, a clever design that combines tree pots, benches and street furniture.




The monolithic seat of the Ermis chair follows simple and ergonomic lines and is robotically crafted with a single spiral plastic thread that follows the geometry.
The layer orientation constantly follows the geometry of the chair via a slight rotation. As a result, the chair is strong with minimal material usage. At the same time, this approach creates a graphic texture on its surface.



Second Nature Furniture 

Blue Cycle

Second Nature re-imagines an ecosystem where marine plastic is the raw material for a new economy that uses technological and cultural innovation to bring about social change. This new logic’s potential is explored by developing a collection of digitally crafted seashells and objects made from locally sourced ghost nets and produced with digital design and fabrication technologies.


Images courtesy of The New Raw

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