IKEA’s new line of 3D-printed décor is now available in Germany. The new FLAMTRÄD product line includes decorative items with a lattice design, including a human face and hands posed in different ways, such as thumbs up, pointing or making a heart.
Under project leader Olaf Szukałowicz, the new products use an industrial 3D printing process called selective laser sintering (SLS). The faces and hands come in black and white.
There’s still more to come from the FLAMTRÄD line. “Sales have not been fully launched and we expect that to happen in January,” said Szukałowicz, as reported by 3DPrint.com. “So, it is still a silent sales start and too early to judge.”
The FLAMTRÄD items cost between €29.99 and €49.99 — a bit high for IKEA, but lower than similar 3D printed products went for a few years ago. Some IKEA watchers are speculating that the company has managed to drop the price enough to mass-produce 3D printed items for average consumers.
Other European markets may sell the FLAMTRÄD line soon. “If those test markets are successful, we don’t want to stop there,” Szukałowicz told 3DPrint.com. “There are few AM initiatives taking part in different IKEA organizations. Some are aiming to improve internal operations and some are more customer-facing. They are all at the early stage, so [there is] nothing more to say.” Additive manufacturing is a type of 3D printing that builds products in layers of powder rather than starting from a solid block.
IKEA has also used 3D printing in partnership with nonprofits Access Israel and Milbat in a project called ThisAbles. The partners have developed models for 3D-printable items to make IKEA products more accessible. For example, drawer handles, mechanisms for stabilizing straws or supporting mouth-held computing devices. ThisAbles is perhaps the largest corporate initiative to aid disabled people via 3D printing.
Lead image via Pexels