KIT 3D Project

This project is about the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam is an independent centre of knowledge and expertise in the areas of international and intercultural cooperation, operating at the interface between theory and practice and between policy and implementation. The Institute contributes to sustainable development, poverty alleviation and cultural preservation and exchange.


KIT was founded in 1910 as the ‘Colonial Institute’ to study the tropics and to promote trade and industry in the (at that time) colonial territories of the Netherlands. It was founded on the initiative of a number of large companies, with government support, making it an early example of a public-private partnership.


Since 1926, KIT has been housed in a historic building at the edge of the Oosterpark specially designed by the architect J.J. van Nieukerken and his sons. The building is richly adorned with decorative features and symbols referring to different cultures of the world and the colonial history of the Netherlands.


1864 – Colonial Museum in Haarlem

The history of the Institute dates back to 1864 with the foundation in Haarlem of the Colonial Museum. This museum had both scientific and eductional objectives. Its collection consisted of anthropological and cultural artefacts and products from the Indian archipel.


From 1871 the museum also performed research aimed at enhancing the production and processing of tropical products such as coffee beans, rotan and paraffin.


Because of attention being paid to ethnology and ‘ethnic politics’ at the time, interest grew in the way of life of people overseas. This in turn led to attention being paid to promoting the welfare of Indonesians.


Around the turn of the century the size of the collection, the research coupled to it and the growth in visitor numbers demanded more space. To accommodate this demand the museum teamed up with an Association (‘Vereeniging Koloniaal Instituut’) that aimed at establishing a Colonial Institute in Amsterdam.


1910 – Colonial Institute


In 1910 the Association formally establishment Colonial Institute with which the Colonial Museum merged. Its members – individuals, companies and state institutions – contributed funds for a new building to be located on the former Eastern Cemetery of Amsterdam.


Three designs were tendered of which the building commission chose that of J.J. van Nieukerken. Following his death, his sons M.A. and J. Van Nieukerken took over the project. Construction began in 1915. Materials were hard to find and expensive due to the outbreak of the First World War, and this caused long delays. Strikes, storm damage and harsh winters also led to delays. In total the construction lasted 11 years.


Finally, on the 9th of October 1926, Queen Wilhelmina opened the complex.


The Building

All departments had their own separate construction, yet they formed a coherent whole. The complex was built in the neo-renaissance style using one colour for the bricks and one type of natural stone for the finish. The main building, housing the main entrance, the main hall and library, and professional departments, is located on the Mauritskade side. The museum and theater have their own entrance on the Linnaeusstraat. A low building with the shape of a semicircle connects the two buildings. At the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Mauritskade is a large bell tower. Imposing features of are the octagonal Marble Hall, the large Auditorium, and the museum’s Light Hall.


The building is richly adorned with decorative features and symbols referring to different cultures of the world and the colonial history of the Netherlands. For the decoration on and inside the building a special ‘Commission for Symbolism’ was established. An abundance of sculptures, reliefs, woodcarving and wrought ironwork depict trade, industry, overseas relations, founders of the Institute and the work it conducts. More than ten sculptors were commissioned to do this.


In the Second World War parts of the building were used by the German police (Grune Polizei). Right after the end of the war the Institute was used for housing Canadian troops.


Project Scope


1. Digitize (Scan) engineering drawings.



2. Transform the scanned drawing to Vector (AutoCad).


3. Transform the Vector data to 3D images.



4. Produce 3D model.


We create 3D model (Design) in CAD Software and the same file is sent to an application that recognizes the file format (STL). Application connects to the 3D Printer, 3D File will be sliced into thousands of layers and printers prints one layer at a time, the process continues until all the layers are printed. At the end of the process, you can remove physical scaled model from the printer. The thickness of each layer is between 0,0035 and 0,004 Inches.


3D Prints are not ready immediately after it is removed from the printer, it has go through certain post processing steps that are


Oven Drying


Powder is base material that is used to print a model. Color Binders are jetted over the powder layer to form an impression of the data.