Wednesday, 29 January 2020
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Measuring The Influence The 3D Printer Has Had On Interior Design

Written by Posted On Monday, 04 March 2019 01:23
House House Pexels

It's a great shame that the avant-garde genius of Wendell Castle didn't have more time to work with 3D modelling. The man who was capable of imagining the most unlikely forms for furniture took to the new technology quickly, along with the vast new possibilities it created, in the years leading to his death in January 2018.

The man who conceived the 'Molar Chair' spent a career spanning 60 years exploring new forms and their practicality, so it's frustrating that 3D only gave Castle the freedom to bring his wildest visions to life as a final chapter for one of the design industry's brightest minds.

3D scanning and modelling aided Castle to create wild seating areas coupled with tabletops, and even entire living spaces that wouldn't have looked out of place in the background of a Dali canvas.

Thankfully Castle had enough time to help show coming generations of designers the possibilities that 3D modelling and printing brings to the industry.

The beauty of 3D design is that there are far fewer structural constraints on the process of creating objects and furniture, and despite being in existence since the 1980s, it has only been within the last decade that we've really begun to realise the potential the 3D printer has in interior design.

The process works by interpreting a 3D model and producing it, layer-by-layer, from the bottom up. Since its usage has become more widespread, so has the range of materials that are compatible with 3D print. Where in the early days it was only possible to produce plastic constructs, we can now manipulate porcelain and all sorts of precious metals. For example, London-based 3D printing design company, Eragatory, have created a wholly unique 18-carat gold cutlery set that was conceived through this process.

Eragatory isn't the only business eager to tap into the power of 3D design. Dutch studio, DUS Architects have been busy challenging pre-existing perspectives on design.

“3D printing is an ideal technique to tailor-produce to a space or a brand,” explained DUS head-designer, Inara Nevskaya in an interview with Archipreneur. This means that the approach is great for problem-solving as well as striking design.

DUS certainly utilised this mindset in their 2016 creation of a fully 3D printed micro-home that was constructed in Amsterdam. The eight square-metre space was built out of sustainable bio-plastic and was designed to illustrate the role that swift 3D printing can play in bringing shelter to victims of natural disasters or those in dire need of affordable accommodation. DUS was so pleased with their finished article that they invited members of the public to stay in the home overnight.

The pioneering work that DUS has been undertaking in the name of 3D design doesn't stop at sustainable micro-homes. There are plenty of multi-purpose, adaptable furniture designs that wouldn't have been conceivable before the 21st Century. Namely the studio's Landscape Table - a translucent surface that utilises an epoxy resin to rise into a 3D landscape that's ideal for placing reading material and important documentation.

Another excellent example of 3D print can be found in the DUS 'juice bar' that's located in LOFT's flagship store in Tokyo. The structure has an airy hollowed out honeycomb-like appearance that's said to have been inspired by Japanese screens.

There are very few avenues in interior design that haven't been explored by 3D printers, and perhaps few more than when it comes to lighting. is a great online store for exploring the very best in 3D designed homeware and jewellery, and with a selection of lights that range from £14 to £1861 in value, there's plenty to take in.

What's great about 3D printed shades is its ability to manipulate light. Complex and well-engineered designs are able to throw patterns across the room to astounding effect. One design company even created a personalised fingerprint lampshade, for the most unlikely of added personal touches.

We're only just beginning to see the influence of 3D print on the interior design industry. Considering that 3D design has already shown us a world where sustainable housing can be created with sheer ease, and 18-carat gold melting cutlery and chairs are able to be downloaded from CAD and produced at will, it will be an exciting time when the true potential of 3D is fully realised.

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Dmytro Spilka

Dmytro is a Digital Manager at SBID (Society of British & International Design). His work has been featured in Huff Post, Entrepreneur, BuzzFeed and TNW.
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