Jan 10, 2018 | By Tess

Wang & Söderström, a Danish art and design studio, has turned to 3D printing for its latest collection of vases. The series, named “Excavation,” was realized in partnership with New York company Unique Board, a marketplace that specializes in 3D printing for the arts.

When you first look at Wang & Söderström’s Excavation vases, it is not immediately apparent that they are 3D printed, largely because they do not feature the ridged texture which has become so characteristic of 3D printed pottery, and because they are brightly patterned and colored.

Still, everything about the eye-grabbing vases has been made with 3D printing at some stage.

The series itself consists of three different vases, each of which comes with a contrasting base. The vases are notable for their rounded, almost bulbous forms, as well as their colourful, flecked surfaces.

The bases, for their part, can be described as lumpy, abstract forms, each of which has been designed to be paired with a specific vase. Along with their monochromatic and shiny color finishes, the bases contrast strikingly with the paler vases they hold.

Interestingly, Wang & Söderström initially created the pieces as art and did not intend them to have any practical function. When it became clear that the 3D printed sculptures could work well as vessels, the Danish design studio went with it.

In making the 3D printed vases, the designers digitally modeled three different forms and used an algorithm to generate the colorful pattern of each piece. When the vase designs were finalized, they were sent to a ColorJet 3D printer, which 3D printed the vases out of a plaster material and printed the colors directly into the piece.

For the bases, the designers took a slightly different manufacturing approach: they 3D printed the bases and used the prints to create casting molds. In order to get the desired weight and sleek finish to the bases, they were ultimately cast out of a polyurethane material and finished with glossy paint.

“Printing in full color allowed us to seamlessly transfer the digital data to physical form,” explained Anny Wang, co-founder of Wang & Söderström. “The bottom piece is casted in polyurethane in order to give the the sculpture a solid and heavier foundation.”

“The three sculptures are the result of an experimental approach on how to bring virtual objects to life. Created with the precision of digital software and 3D printing, which is hidden in a layer of an organic idiom,” continued the designer. “We wanted to use digital processes but keep a human imprint, to capture this significant time of ours, where the digital weaves more and more into our lives.”

Wang & Söderström, which has worked with 3D printing in the past to create abstract sculptures, combines its founders’ expertise in architecture and spatial design to explore the intersections between materiality and technology. As the studio says on its website, “Wang & Söderström combines, collects and explores physical elements in a digital environment.”

The limited edition Excavation series is available to buy through Unique Board’s marketplace. Each 3D printed sculptural vase is listed for the cost of $500. According to the design studio, the vases are not completely water proof, so they are intended to hold dry flowers, single flowers, or twigs.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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