Oct 17, 2015 | By Tess

Modularity is becoming an increasingly popular characteristic of home modelling and décor, with boards on Pinterest being dedicated to convertible footstools, shelving, storage spaces, and the like. Our home and workspaces are beginning to change and adjust just as we vary our uses for them. It is no wonder then that 3D printing, a technology associated with modularity and customization, would have a growing part to play in our contemporary home décor.

Recently, Italian start-up Playwood, have made their own contribution of 3D printed modular designs to the world of interior design, with their “innovative reconfigurable furniture system.” Playwood products consist of additively manufactured furniture connectors that can be easily assembled in various ways with wooden boards to make such things as desks, shelves, or stools. Not unlike Lego building blocks, furniture made with Playwood connectors can be easily taken apart and reassembled in many ways, allowing you to vary and customize your furniture with facility.

After much research and development, Playwood have released three variations of their hardware, made to fit boards together at three different angles: a 90-degree square module, and a 105-degree or 150-degree hexagonal module. Though they suggest using wooden boards to build with, the connectors can be used with any material, provided it has a thickness between 1.5cm to 2cm. To build specific items, measurements for board sizes can be found on their website. Additionally, with easy use in mind, Playwood products can be assembled using almost any tools.

In terms of their strength and durability, the Playwood connectors are 3D printed from polyamide, a strong and versatile thermoplastic, comparable to that of snowboard bindings. The developers at Playwood have also tested their own structures and have found the connectors to be very resistant. Playwood explain of their choice of material, “Because of its excellent balance of strength, ductility, and heat resistance, nylon is an outstanding candidate for metal replacement applications.”

Interesting as well, is the conceptual drive behind Playwood’s products. Their focus in designing the connectors and producing them by means of 3D printing has been on remaining as eco-friendly as possible. By designing products that can be manufactured in your own home rather than shipped across oceans, and that are modular and recyclable, Playwood are encouraging a sustainable lifestyle for their clients. Additionally, the company recommends buying or finding wooden boards that are locally sourced.

In order to introduce people to their products, Playwood have also released some of their designs, such as the Hub Table design for free on their website under a creative commons license.

As Playwood succinctly express about their new line of products, “Playwood products are innovative, easy to use and suitable to the evolution of your business. Most of working spaces were designed according to industrial models for business that have evolved into different directions. We believe in modularity and creative freedom.”

The makers at Playwood have been developing the connectors project for over two years, and recently, on September 10th, 2015, launched their online store. If you believe in their ideas of modularity, lessened environmental impact, and design, check it out.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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