Students at the UK’s Bartlett School of Architecture have crafted a series of intricate 3D-printed chairs that, at first glance, look much more like scrambled ink blots than furniture. The Spatial Curves project was inspired by the curved shape of Verner Panton's eponymous chair. Up close, it’s easy to see what sets these furniture pieces apart from other 3D-printed products. They are composed of narrow plastic filament, resulting in a more unique end product than layered 3D printing techniques, but the real secret behind the chairs is something you can't see. Take a look at the video after the jump to watch how they are made.
We can’t begin to speculate on the comfort level of this seating arrangement, but when you learn more about how the Spatial Curves chairs were built, the whole project becomes more exciting. You see, the team got a little help from robots, which are responsible for extruding plastic into the air to harden into the lacey shapes you see in the finished 3D-printed product. Team CurVoxels consists of design students Hyunchul Kwon, Amreen Kaleel, and Xiaolin Li, and the aim of the trio’s project was to develop a new method for employing robots in large-scale 3D printing. They succeeded.
“The industrial robot drags plastic from the extruder in the air where it is cooled down,” said the team in a statement. “This method allows us to print faster, use less material, and achieve filigree-like structures with a high degree of detail.” The team presented their chairs at the Bartlett’s B-Pro Show 2015 graduation exhibition in London and the Synthetic 2015 Exhibition in Le Mans, France.
Images via Team CurVoxels