Nov 18, 2015 | By Alec

While the advantages of globalization are manifold, plenty of downsides can also be identified. Aside from pollution or economic abuse, one Dutch student draws our attention to a simpler problem that seems to affect most of us: we’ve forgotten how to manufacture things locally. Increasingly, all our possessions, from our Ikea furniture to our made-in-China smartphones, come from all over the world and with a huge ecological footprint. In an effort to counter this trend, Andrea de Chirico is proving to us that with the help of repurposed materials and 3D printing, we can still produce so much within just a few square miles.

SuperLocal is a fascinating design project located in Eindhoven, where Andrea is building gorgeous, ingenious and fascinating items – from chairs to lamps, hairdryers and furniture, within about a 2.8 mile stretch of road. As he explains on his website, it is all about updating our production methods to make them stable and sustainable again. ‘They cannot exist any longer just to maximize efficiency or profits; instead production must address social and environmental viability,’ Andrea writes. ‘We are a group of designers who believe that the future of production will be characterized by making things locally. We believe that there is a need for an alternative to the traditional, industrial way of producing goods. We believe in the raise of networks as the new and best generators of social and economic value. Finally, it's a fact that producing locally means less shipping and therefore less pollution.’

This fascinating concept has already resorted in quite a few gorgeous constructions, all designed within the confines of the city. [we are] finding and connecting resources, materials and labor all within a short bike ride, in order to make everyday objects: an hair dryer, a dressing table, a mirror, a lamp and a stool (production 1.0),’ he says. All of these will be shared open source through their website, hopefully setting off an evolutionary development process in which objects are made, shared and improved through local production.

And to make this type of production viable, Andrea and his team marry the old production methods to the new, including 3D printing. ‘In my opinion [future production] will be a combination between digital and traditional crafts,’ he says. ‘The challenge for us is to show to the people that is it possible to have beautiful products that are made in a sustainable way and even affordable. This kind of projects have to speak to the majority, and beauty is definitely a strong way to pull new people into the topic.’ It will also, hopefully, make people more conscious about what they’re consuming.

Now you might think this system only works for low-tech chairs and such, Andrea and his team have even realized a variety of electronic creations through this method. 3D printing obviously plays a big role in those processes, as is emphasized by the very cool hairdryer shown above. To stay true to their principles, a large portion of the hairdryer is made by local glassblower Kees Berende, while they also used some DAE wood and salvaged electric parts. Joining parts that bring the complete build together have been 3D printed at the Fab Lab Brainport Eindhoven. The same goes for the classy lantern, which has a 3D printed fixture.

Through this clever mix of recycled parts and 3D printing ingenuity, a lot of local production is possible. ‘I think that both are important, and it is actually the mix of them that makes a project SuperLocal,’ Andrea tells reporters.’ And while we occasionally see cool 3D printed pieces of furniture pop up out of fantastic art projects, this seems like a much more viable and sustainable way to integrate 3D printing into our homes.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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name wrote at 11/19/2015 12:19:17 AM:

Of course those "salvaged electrical parts" appear to be parts of a hair dry. In other words, they made a hair dryer from a hair dryer.

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