Feb 27, 2016 | By Kira
“Imagine that the most vibrant city in the world is at your fingertips,” says New York City-based designer Troy Huang. Now, “make it a reality.” Though the idea may seem surreal for fantastical at first, his latest creation does exactly that. The New York City Desk is a handcrafted four-foot-long (1.24 m) table featuring a mesmerizing mini-replica of Manhattan made from precisely laser-cut and 3D printed buildings, and illuminated by colorful LED lights.
Every element of the desk was designed to capture the essence of New York City. The clear acrylic legs, explained the artist, mimic the fallen Twin Towers. As for the intricately detailed map of Manhattan, it includes precisely scaled-down 3D printed models of the hundreds of offices, residences, cafes, restaurants, historical and government buildings, and other landmarks that shape the city, from the World Trade Center all the way to Central Park.
This masterful piece of furniture is the result of hours of hands-on work and digital manufacturing. Before he could start any of that, however, Huang need to get to know the Empire State from the ground up. According to the artist, who has been living in NYC since he was a teenager, the only way to capture the essence of a city is to personally explore it, “otherwise, it is offensive to the city and to the process,” he wrote. “One must be in it to create it.”
Thus, each time he encountered a new building on the Manhattan map, he would personally learn about it and get to know its history. In this way, not only did his knowledge of the city increase, but the New York City Desk came to take on a life of it’s own.
As for the actual design process, outlined on his Imgur, he used 3DS Max, Rhino and Adobe software to create the 3D CAD models of each individual building. He then laser cut and 3D printed them in a glow-in-the-dark filament, before gluing each one individually to the plywood base. The area surrounding the city is made from abrasion-resistant clear acrylic, and represents the “lightness” of the Hudson and East River’s waters. To truly bring the Manhattan cityscape to life, Huang then installed multi-colored LED lights in each corner, as well as an LED strip light underneath the length of the city. The lights are all powered by a simple USB charger.
The result is as unique as the city it was modelled after. However, this handcrafted design does come at a price: Huang’s online shop is currently selling the New York City Desk for $25,000. He also offers customization options, perhaps for clients who would want to highlight a particular building within the burough.
Much like Stelios Mousarris’ Inception-like Wave City Coffee Table, or the 3D printed Microscape project, this handcrafted New York City Desk is a remarkable example of how 3D printing technology can bring larger-than-life concepts right into our homes, in unique and truly beautiful ways. In addition to a laser cut acrylic map of Chicago, Huang’s online shop promises to soon feature similar 3D printed cityscapes of such world-class cities as Hong Kong, Rome, Barcelona, Chicago and Venice, with prices starting at around $30,000.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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