Although most of the world's furniture still isn't produced via 3D printing, there are some very interesting designs out there that give a green light for the future of the industry. Here is some of the coolest 3D printed furniture!
3D printing has spread across many different industries, and the furniture industry is not an exception. Yes, furniture is still mass produced using traditional manufacturing methods, but 3D printing has come in handy for designers who want to bring a new breath of innovation into the market.
3D printing still isn’t the most appropriate tool for mass producing furniture. For example, printing plastic stools can’t rival the normal mold-making process just yet. On the other hand, it’s a perfect tool for producing high-end furniture.
Such furniture, as you may know, is produced in rather limited quantities and often features complex geometries, which are easier to produce with 3D printing.
Apart from that, high-end furniture is developed by famous designers who always want to explore new shapes and ideas. This often results in extraordinary designs, which are hard or impossible to produce with molds.
3D printing enables more design freedom, being able to easily produce complex shapes. As such, the furniture described below belongs to the high-end market spectrum.
Let’s take a look at some of the coolest 3D printed furniture we’ve seen so far!
Nagami is a Spanish design brand that, as they say, explores the future of product design in a new technological era.
The brand’s first collection, Brave New World, consists of four 3D printed chairs designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Ross Lovegrove, and Daniel Widrig. All four chairs were created using FDM 3D printers.
The collection of 3D printed chairs was introduced to the world earlier this year, during the Milan Design Week.
The first two chairs out of the collection, Bow and Rise, were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and are inspired by sea life. Both chairs were 3D printed using PLA.
In the above image, Bow appears on the left and Rise to the right of it. The sea life design inspiration is especially visible in Rise, which is meant to represent a coral reef.
The stool next to the Rise chair was designed by Ross Lovegrove, a Welsh industrial designer and artist. It’s called Robotica TM and was made using a robotic arm, enabling a continuous rotational process. The stool features silicone inserts on top, which make it possible to use Robotica TM as a TV stand or as a small coffee table.
The final chair in the collection, the one on the far right, was designed by Daniel Widrig, a London-based designer. The chair consists of three parts, each of which were created on an FDM 3D printer. What’s special about this chair is that it creates an effect of parts peeling off of an invisible joint.
All of the chairs from Brave New World are available to pre-order or reserve.
The Ocke Series is a set of 3D printed furniture consisting of a chair and a sofa.
Both the chair and the sofa were designed by Beatrice Müller, who works as an industrial designer at BigRep. BigRep is a German company specializing in FDM 3D printers with large print volumes and precision.
The Ocke Series was created as a demonstration of what BigRep’s ONE 3D printer is capable of making. The ONE features a build volume of 1 m³.
As Müller herself said, 3D printing in the furniture industry gives designers more design freedom, creating new interesting concept ideas and end-use products.
While designing the Ocke Series, Müller wanted to achieve a design that would be able to speak for itself. In other words, people should recognize that the chair and the sofa were designed specifically for 3D printing.
Another interesting design feature Müller applied is the ability to print the furniture without using any support material. This was achieved by positioning the poles — the main structural elements of the pieces — at low angles.
If you take a closer look at the picture above, you’ll see multiple fabric inserts around the seating areas. What’s cool about them is that they can easily be repositioned or replaced to bring a new, fresh look to the furniture.
The furniture from the Ocke Series, as of now, is not for sale.
This amazing piece of furniture was created by Janne Kyttanen, who works as a 3D printing expert at 3DSystems.
The lounger you see in the picture above features an incredible complex mesh design, which resembles a metal-coated spider web.
The lounger is called Sofa So Good and was created using 3DSystem’s ProX 950, an industrial, large volume SLA 3D printer. Kyttanen’s design enables the lounger to be printed with as little material as possible while maintaining structural strength.
The single-print design used only 2.5 liters of resin, which translates to 6000 layers. It measures 1.5 meters in length and weighs only 2.5 kilograms. According to its designer, the lounger is able to support a maximum weight of a 100 kilograms.
The 3D printed lounger was made as a demonstration of what can be achieved using the ProX 950 3D printer. In other words, it’s unfortunately not available for purchase.
In 2014, Philips introduced their 3D printed luminaires. They’re powered by Philips Hue Wi-Fi, a smart LED lighting system that enables you to control light bulbs via your mobile device.
Philips Hue is all about creating the perfect atmosphere, whether that’s for watching movies or studying. Their complex design perfectly complements the smart LED bulbs, which are able to shine in 16 million different colors.
Philips created the luminaires in collaboration with WertelOberfell and Strand+Hvass design studios. The goal was to use the potential of additive manufacturing to create truly amazing light sculptures that would work with Philips Hue smart bulbs.
As members of the WertelOberfell and Strand+Hvass design studio stated, 3D printing brings a new design freedom and opens up the spectrum of ideas for the designs, as anything can be produced via 3D printing.
The inspiration for the designs was taken from nature and mathematics. Turning it into something real required an SLS 3D printer and some nylon.
The price for the pendant is $4,122, while the table lamp costs $3,500. While expensive, the price reflects the work and effort that was put into the design by famous design studios.
The luminaires are not available for purchase anymore through the official Philips Hue website because the product was launched four years ago and quickly sold out.
The Batoidea 3D printed chair, designed by Peter Donders, is a premium piece of furniture. It retails for $27,487 and is a limited edition collection.
The reason the Batoidea chair costs so much is the fact that it was painted using the same method Ferrari uses to paint the bodywork of its supercars.
Though the 3D printing technology behind the chair isn’t disclosed, it’s likely some sort of sintering, given that the piece of furniture is made of aluminum.
All the furniture described above is made by designers who wanted to explore the production capabilities of 3D printing. That’s why it all looks so “abnormal”.
As time goes by, 3D printing will eventually make its way into cheaper, mass-produced furniture. We wouldn’t be surprised if IKEA soon introduces a collection of mass-produced 3D printed furniture. That’s how quickly the technology is moving forward, causing the price of production to drop.
If you fancy reading more about 3D printing applications for furniture, check out one of the following links:
License: The text of "3D Printed Furniture – 5 Most Promising Projects of 2018" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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