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Published on March 21st, 2017 | by Geetika Bhasin

Vanderlande collaborates with Materialise to create 3D printed replica of Albert Heijn warehouse

Vanderlande has made use of a 3D printing technology to demonstrate the warehouse for Albert Heijn, the multinational supermarket. It is the largest supermarket chain in Netherlands and managing its warehouse in Zaandam, is no easy task. Vanderlande is a logistics company that took the help of 3D printing experts Materialise, in providing a detailed 3D printed scaling of the warehouse.

Vanderlande uses automated processes to run the warehouse at Zaandam smoothly. The warehouse serves as a store area for thousands of outlets and keeping track of distribution and storage of various levels at the warehouse involves complex logistics.

Vanderlande has made use of the 3D printed replica of the building floor and all levels to reflect the minute details regarding the functioning of the warehouse. The 3D printing model has high standards of detailing and a seasoned industry 3D player like Materialise was the best choice to come up with this model. Vandelande’s team prepared the design which included all modifications and upgrades required in the warehouse. The Materialise team used this CAD file with numerous layers and intricate parts to start the 3D printing process.

Materialise has advanced software that sliced the file and prepared it for the initial stage of 3D printing. Various 3D printing methods were used for creating the replica. Stereolithography was employed for creating most of the parts and laser sintering was used for the final touch-ups. Transparent Plexiglas surfaces were used to separate the floors; which makes the whole 3D printed model visible at-a-glance.

This scale model is currently being presented at the Albert Heijn Distribution Center is a great training tool. The staff at Vanderlande can use this replica to understand the functioning of the warehouse center. Visitors look can view the model to appreciate the meticulous details involved in creating the 3D printed model.

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