Although 3D printing isn’t the newest trend, it’s starting to become more common in widespread markets. In particular, 3D printing is making its way into the design world, used by designers who are creating large-scale, functional furniture and fixtures.
The process to create furniture or other items using a 3D printer is pretty simple. It breaks down something like this: a virtual design is created through 3D modeling programs or scanned by a 3D scanner. The scanner then creates layers that fuse together to create the 3-dimensional object. After that, the printer fuses layers of plastics and metals to create the object giving it a unique shape and feel. Designers and architects are taking advantage of this feature and are creating 3D furniture and specific textures.
The virtual models that are printed are lightweight and durable. With the 3D modeling program, artists are able to create patterns and complex structures for these furniture pieces. An Italian design team was able to take natural textures from the environment, mold and fill them to create a table, chairs, and overhead lighting (pictured above). Similar to the Italian design team, American Standard has used 3D printing to create sink faucets that imitate the natural flow of water (pictured below).
A designer, Janne Kyttanen, has taken advantage of the lightweight aspect of 3-dimensional printing and has been able to create a sofa that weighs 5 ½ pounds. The sofa is made out of copper and chrome, with a lattice design. Kyttanen, among other designers, are looking into using 3-dimensional printing more because of the endless possibilities in weight, texture, and design that is possible through the virtual modeling program.