Feb.5, 2015 | By Simon

While 3D printing has been revolutionizing industries focused on future-forward technologies ranging from the medical sector to aerospace and product manufacturing to even food, it’s always interesting to see how the addition of digital fabrication into centuries-old workflows can help speed up the process and make traditional craftsman more efficient in their craft.  Among other crafts that digital fabrication has been helping make more efficient is in traditional furniture design.  

Sharebot, the young and innovative Italian startup whose goal is to produce new and ready-to-use 3D printers, recently worked with Italian furniture designers Nespoli and Partners to help develop 3D printing solutions that could aid in the design and manufacturing process using the Sharebot XXL 3D printer.  The 3D printer uses FFF technology and features a build area of 700mm x 250 mm x 200 mm and has proved to be an indispensible 3D printer for architects and engineers who demand high resolution models printed at longer dimensions.   

The project, which was focused on creating a 3D printed model of a boiserie (an interior design decoration that could be applied on furniture and walls), was completed by Sharebot in part to make a statement about how digital fabrication isn’t just about creating new and modern products but also those that have been made for centuries using more traditional techniques.  According to Claudio Bonfiglioli of Sharebot, the project was “a great test for us to be able to realize a model that could be used as a matrix for an artistic decoration.”

Nespoli and Partners tasked the startup with printing a model starting from a real decorative element that the company had created a model of using a 3D laser scanner.  Because the 3D model was able to be scaled to any size, Nespoli opted to start with a smaller model for the scan with the intention of making it larger during the 3D modeling process.  

Once Sharebot received the file, they chose to print the much-larger replication with their large-scale Sharebot XXL 3D printer in order to duplicate the dimensions required for the intended applications in one seamless print.  

Once the final print was completed, the prototype was used by Nespoli and Partners to create a mold.  They then used a rough-hew machine to design friezes and forms on the wood.

“It was fundamental the choice to realize it with the XXL 3D printer: thanks to its printing area size (700x250x200mm) we could print the boiserie in one piece without having to break it into different parts and assemble it all in a second moment,” added Sharebot.  

In all, the unique approach to an otherwise age-old design process allowed Nespoli and Partners to study the model entirely using digital tools.  This ultimately allowed them to eliminate any problems having to do with fitting the final pieces rather than finding out near the end of an installation that their pieces don’t fit as intended.  

Sharebot is hoping that this project will help others see the potential of using 3D printing in the furniture and interior design industry to help optimize existing workflows and save money.  

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

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