It’s always been the artists who are among the first to appreciate the opportunities of true technological innovation. This is certainly true in 3D printing where architects, fashion designers, sculptors and other hyper creative individuals are showing us just how far practical design can evolve.
At the recent ACADIA Conference at USC in California, four renowned designers collaborated with Stratasys to encapsulate their visions for the future of design.
A unique exhibition space at the event included stunning work from keynote speaker Zaha Hadid, Alvin Huang, Jose Sanchez and Jenny Wu. The Stratasys 3D Printing showcase featured intricate 3D printed designs from furniture, fashion and interactive games, and explored the relationships between form and performance, and the design nuances made possible with multi-material, color 3D printing.
“We are delighted to host an exclusive curated project from Stratasys this year, as the pieces display a variety of intricacies that set the premise for the future of custom manufacturing and design culture,” said Dr. David Jason Gerber, assistant professor of architecture and engineering and the event’s co-organizer.
‘Changing the process of design’
Award-winning architect and keynote speaker at the event Zaha Hadid has collaborated with Stratasys to create an on-demand 3D printed chair exploring the possibilities of large scale multi-material 3D printing.
“3D printing enables exceptional high-resolution physical and digital representations that are changing the process of design and physical production,” Hadid said. “My starting point was to design a relatively lightweight chair that made use of its geometry, detailing and manufacture to highlight and improve its performance.
“I chose 3D printing due to its ability to express minute details and complex surfaces allowing structural optimization. The result is a pattern that deploys density and depth relating to the structural performance of each area of the chair, which is highlighted through the ability of the Objet500 Connex3 to 3D print in a variety of colors and opacities, simultaneously.”
“We are honored to work with the world renowned office Zaha Hadid Architects and this extraordinary group of architectural and computational designers,” Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design for Stratasys, said. “The translation of finite element analysis to create a spectacular finished form in the ZHA 3D printed chair, truly depicts the intrinsic aesthetics of digital manufacturing with Stratasys multi-material 3D printing technology.”
‘An optimal relationship between form and performance’
Also creating furniture for this project is internationally recognized Alvin Huang, an assistant professor at the USC School of Architecture and the founder and principal of Synthesis Design and Architecture. His “Durotaxis Chair” refers to the movement of cells guided by the rigidity of a gradient. It is an ovoid rocking chair which has two positions, an upright rocker and a horizontal lounge. It is defined by a densely packed 3D printed wire mesh that utilizes multi-material 3D printing capabilities unique to Stratasys, due to its ability to 3D print in gradients of size, scale, density, color, and rigidity.
“3D printing has great potential to revolutionize the design industry. In the past, the focus has predominantly been on rapid prototyping, but the shift towards rapid manufacturing is imminent,” Huang said. “In some parts my chair is thicker and more rigid, but thinner and softer where it needs to be; this makes for an optimal relationship between form and performance. Without multi-material 3D printing, the gradient distribution of material properties and performance would be impossible.”
Direct manufacturing for art and fashion
Inspired by molecules and geometry, Jose Sanchez explores connectivity, patterns and games with “The Polyomino.” This piece was developed as single units that can then be organized in multiple ways, dependent on the creator, connecting gameplay and personal creation.
Jose Sanchez explains, “Inspired by games such as Minecraft, where players can build incredible creations within a game environment, 3D printed assembly means that it is possible to combine hundreds of independent units into one. This removes the constraints of traditional manufacturing and what kind of connections the unit could have, allowing a richer space of possibilities and the ability to work with strong, flexible and precise materials.”
Taking inspiration from 15 years’ experience as an architect, Jenny Wu has created the “LACE” collection, which explores the robust complexities and direct manufacturing enabled by Stratasys FDM-based 3D printing technology. “LACE” comprises a commercially available line of 3D printed wearable designs including necklaces and rings, inspired by line-based geometry and intricate, organic movement, standing out as a bold statement on the body.
“I enjoy the possibilities that FDM 3D printing technology offers, as the strength of the materials enable me to directly manufacture jewelry pieces as opposed to just prototype,” Wu said.
“We are excited about the exploration of economical and playful use of smart geometries in these five unique designs,” Kaempfer added.
This post is also available in: German