Imagine, if you will, a world where objects designed on paper and in software programs can be printed into the real world. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into … reality?
This is no episode of The Twilight Zone we’re living in. 3D printing technology is taking the world by storm, and the design possibilities are endless. Although some caution that it’s too early to tell if 3D printing will be akin to another Industrial Revolution, it’s safe to say that as the technology improves and becomes more affordable its impacts on manufacturing will be far-reaching.
Earlier this year we pointed out the handheld phenomenon called the 3Doodler, which melts colored plastic into just about any shape imaginable. But 3D printing is also debuting in furniture design as well. Netherlands-based designer Dirk Vander Kooij has successfully reprogrammed an old industrial robot into a 3D printer that extrudes recycled refrigerator interiors into chairs or any other type of furniture. His Flow Coffee Table (shown above) and other designs offer a glimpse into the future of furniture design through printing technology.
Similarly, the Gaudi Stool from Dutch designer Bram Geenen is a stunning illustration of the power of this new technology to create durable, lightweight furniture with 3D printing.
Maybe we are “stepping into the Twilight Zone,” but from the looks of things, science fiction isn’t so fictional after all.