The idea is to create unique designs by using 3D printing, a production method in which forms can move in and out of each other and which today is used in everything from creating bone structures to making spare parts for space shuttles.
3D printing is usually referred to as rapid prototyping, but when the objects are printed as final products, it is called direct manufacturing. This production method is often associated with small objects at a high cost. The challenge has been to make large objects at a low cost.
The design method
The lamp is intentionally designed so that it can only be manufactured by 3D printing. To make the production as cheap as possible, a stacking method was developed, which reduces the price by two thirds.
The design method consists of applying script-generated patterns to basic volumes. By varying the rhythm, scale and depth of these patterns, the possibility of creating an endless number of individual designs emerges.
The design process can be described as a tree structure, in which each basic volume is represented by its own branch which develops through different patterns and variations. The design is generated from hundreds of experiments with different volumes and ways of creating depth and light.
The stacking method dictates that the lamp shade should be thin to optimise production. The aim was to create a lamp with a greater depth than just an outer shell; therefore the shape implodes, creating an extra layer in the lamp.
The final design can be divided into four parts which can be stacked; in this way it is possible to print three times as many lamps as would be possible in a traditional production.
About 3D printing
3D printing creates a link from the virtual to the physical world. It is an additive process, where the product is built up layer by layer. The process saves a lot of time in comparison with traditional manual production and generates very exact forms.
The basis of the technology is very simple. From the digital file you can create cross-sections which are printed layer by layer. The layers are fused by laser or by glue. It is possible to print in materials like plaster, rubber, metal and plastic.