Dec 14, 2016 | By Julia

Australian fashion brand Alquema has collaborated with Sydney-based design studio Loopcollective to manufacture and install a custom-made steel clothing rack in their new flagship store. Created using 3D modelling software and 3D printers, the breathtaking radial steel rack constitutes the main design feature of the Aussie brand’s new 75 sqm space in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney.

Upon moving into their new location, Alquema turned to design studio Loopcollective for a unique retail environment that would reflect Founding Director Virginia Rouse’s love of minimal, elegant gallery-style spaces and Japanese design. Following his design studio’s philosophy of seeking out new materials and technologies, Loopcollective director Rod Faucheux conceptualized a sculptural steel rack which, initially, seemed like a structural impossibility.

“We had no fewer than five builders tell us that what we had designed could not be built,” Faucheux said. “[This] only encouraged us to push forward and find someone that could help us realise our unusual new design.”

Local company 3D Printing Studios proved to be up to the challenge. Beginning with the Autodesk 3DS Max program, Loopcollective created a design model and high quality 3D renders. Once approved by Alquema, the Loopcollective team sent the model to additive manufacturers 3D Printing Studios, who then printed out a nylon 3D model. According to Faucheux, this model was key in allowing the builder and client to understand his team’s vision.

Once provided with the 3DS Max model, Loopcreative was able to break the unique shape into 15 smaller elements, which could then be optimized for the subcontractor’s pipe bending machine. SG Shopfitting created a full size prototype on the factory floor, at which point production could begin, following minor adjustments.

the 3DS Max render

the prototype being assembled on the factory floor

After production was finally complete, the frame was delivered to the Queen Victoria Building in 4 pieces, where it was welded in-situ and secured to the floor using concealed base plates.

Both Alquema and Loopcreative are proud of the results. According to Faucheux, the end product is “exactly how we had envisioned it in those early design stages.” The Loopcreative director even had the builders construct a miniature, polished steel version as a memento.

the stainless steel desktop version in the Loopcreative studio

Though the Australian design studio has worked with 3D visualization frequently in the past, the astonishing clothing rack represents one of Loopcollective’s most daring ventures in the world of retail. For the fashion industry, the piece could be considered yet another step towards uniting functionality and design through 3D printing.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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I.AM.Magic wrote at 12/15/2016 8:04:23 AM:

Is it me or the title is miss leading? 3D printing was used to make a plastic model because the builders couldn't understand the client's needs... final structure not 3D printed.



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