2016 VMODERN Furniture Design Competition
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF FURNITURE DESIGN?
-Impact of digital manufacturing technologies-Additive manufacturing giving rise to innovation
-Direct connection between digital and physical/material
– Mass production to mass customisation
-Labour cost effective detailing
-Re-linking design thinking and making
– Impossible to possible-bespoke, complex designs that could not be produced at the human scale
-Efficient, rapid and precise production
-Shift in production, accessibility and distribution
-Minimal waste by product- more possibility for use of recycled materials
In a modern world that has been thriving on mass production and the assembly line of the 20th century, the introduction of digital additive manufacturing technologies in the last 100 years has given rise to a disruption in the way traditional designers and mass-manufacturers think, make and distribute. Additive manufacturing has thus, fashioned a union between the skilled craftsmanship of traditional designers, and the efficiency of mass-production in order to meet customized demands.
The Claw demonstrates how additive processes have allowed for a direct connection between the digital and material world. No longer exists the disciplinary concerns of authorship, agency and the age old challenges of information translation between design and making.
What this offers in regards to furniture design is that the introduction of parametric form-finding, allows for quick design changes to be made digitally in order to customize products or objects, allowing for a more efficient work flow. Thus, the designer has more control and agency over the project’s design and construction stage, where the translation of digital inputs are directly communicated and read by the 3d printer, ultimately producing a physical output. Hence, what The Claw exhibits is that the future of furniture design will shift away from mass standardized products and push towards mass customisation without the hefty price tag attached.
The Claw is made entirely from PLA (polylactic acid), an organic and recyclable material, 3-dimensionally extruded to mimic the materials recyclability, melting and reforming into a customised form. It was designed explicitly and ergonomically from three, 2-dimensional curves in order to accommodate the human reclining body.
It glows in the dark to intensify its permeability, slimness and minimalistic design, but is in fact, structurally self-supportive. The material’s cellular distribution varies in porosity and density where areas that require structural support are designed to have a denser cell agglomeration, allowing for more material to bear the stress load such as the:
1. Back Rest (BR)
2. Seat (S)
3. Chair Spine (CS)
4. Edges (E)
By familiarizing additive technologies with furniture design, 3d printing opens up new ways of manufacturing as well as new business models, where regular people are able to access tools of design and production. It allows for the opportunity for furniture design files to be shared online, downloaded and customized in order to meet individual preferences.
When perceived at an industrial scale, the potentials of additive manufacturing offer greater opportunities and outcomes. With the introduction of robotic arm fabrication, programmed with 3D material extrusion as a successor of the 3d printer, the print space expands larger than the printer itself and is no longer bound to the limited scale of workspace. This means that larger furniture could be printed as one object rather than in pieces.
With only one material and minimal waste, The Claw displays that the simplistic process of making will surely supersede existing fabrication processes, paving the way for further sustainability and cost-effective bespoke forms. Furniture making will see that the implementation of digital additive manufacturing will in fact, become a desired necessity.