Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij(29) presented his industrial robot at the Graduation Show of the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2011. This robot was made out of a modified industrial machine, which was an old automotive assembly line. Because it has a similar production process as commercial 3D printers, Dirk Vander Kooij was able to reprogram the machine and transformed it to a real 3D printing robot. He installed a new extruding head and a material feed, and used recycled materials as feedstock. The recycled materials are bead-like bits from melding down old refrigerators. After the refrigerator were melded down into bits, a dye was added to create the color of the object. The 3D printing robot squeezed the material out of a tube, layer by layer built the object up. It can be programmed to print out objects in any shape, color and size.
Vander Kooij uses this robot to create furniture - children's chairs, rocking chairs, and bar stools, or even small dining-room tables. It has a capacity of producing 4,000 chairs a year, using recycled materials. Though the prints are at a low resolution, it is a large scale 3D printer, that means it can make customized products in a much less time than prototyping using traditional methods.
Look at above this cool green chair, totally customized, made of recycled material and is also possible to be recycled and made in other forms. However the cost of such furniture is not cheap: this low rocking chair from "Endless Pulse" series costs 940 euro or US$1250. However the concept of recycling the fridges and creating this smart engineered process is just brilliant.
Photos credit: Dirk Vander Kooij
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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