Oct 12, 2015 | By Tess

It is important for restaurants these days to stand out, as it is not only the quality of food that determines a fine restaurant, but also the service and importantly the design and ambience of the space. For the owners of newly opened high-end restaurant in Beijing, Jasmine, this reality was clear, as they’ve decided to incorporate 3D printed designs into their restaurant’s décor, making for China’s first 3D printing themed restaurant.

Originally, Jasmine did not feature the 3D printed décor, which consists of an impressive 666 additively manufactured jasmine flower petals suspended from the ceiling above the atrium pool. Upon seeing the final product of the restaurant’s decoration without the petals, however, Jasmine’s designer felt that the space seemed lackluster, was “less vivid” than he had imagined. After searching for design inspiration from spaces around the globe, Jasmine’s designer found the solution for the restaurant design.

In order to design and create the petals, the Jasmine restaurant designer enlisted the help of Grace Qi, who took charge of the 3D printed design project. Because of strict time constraints, with the restaurant set to open in fifteen days, Grace Qi opted against traditional production technology, which consists of making molds, prototyping, and custom-making pieces, and decided to use 3D printing technology to manufacture the decorative flower petals.

“Designers from our two companies spent a day designing and 3D modeling…3 different shapes, with 6 different sizes, and two different interfaces for the petals…” says Grace Qi of the process. To give an idea of the scale of the petals, the largest flower made of assembled petals has a diameter of 50 cm.

To manufacture the petal designs, Grace Qi looked into several 3D printing services and finally opted to collaborate with Hunan Farsoon High-Tech in producing the petals. Farsoon High-Tech was founded in 2009 by Xu Xiao Shu, a veteran of additive manufacturing having worked in the industry for over 20 years. Today, Farsoon is China’s biggest manufacturer of selective laser sintering machines, and the third largest in the world. They have been in the news recently for their partnership with French 3D printer company Prodways.

Grace Qi chose Hunan Farsoon High-Tech for their professionalism and their ability to complete the task in such a short deadline. In the end, Farsoon 3D printed and colored 666 petals in only four days using nylon powder with laser sintering technology. In manufacturing the petals, Farsoon’s marketing manager Wu Yong explains that they used the company’s new 402 SLS 3D printer, which is currently Farsoon’s largest printer with a maximum build size of 400mm x 400 mm x 450mm.

An SLS printer was used because the technology does not require support, meaning it can be used to make a large quantity of products in a short amount of time. Wu Yong explains, “Desktop 3D printers can only print a few petals a day, while SLS technology can print large quantities at once, saving a lot of time. The SLS technology advantage is obvious in this project.”

The petal designs consisted of different layers in between, with 2mm of distance between each layer of petals, kind of resembling a stack of chips, as Wu Yong points out. Because of the thin nature of the petals, the Farsoon technicians initially worried that deformation could occur during the cooling process, but in the end, everything turned out well.

Despite the difficulties in executing such a big task in such a short amount of time, taking in to account the design of the petals, their production, and the delivery of them from Changsha City to Beijing, everything came together within 15 days just in time for Jasmine’s opening. In total the project cost 120,000 yuan (about 18,881 USD). "It could take at least two months to complete the project using traditional manufacuturing methods." says Grace Qi.

For Grace Qi, this was the first time she had used 3D printing technology for industry practice. She says, “It means a lot for me to use the cool 3D printing technology successfully in the business world. Because I’m a designer myself, I am also curious how 3D printing can present artistic effect.”

In the end, 3D printing effectively saved the day for Beijing’s new Jasmine restaurant, giving it a unique and beautiful atmosphere through the hundreds of additively manufactured flower petals suspended from the ceiling. There is no denying that the restaurant’s finished look is impressive. Grace Qi expressed her excitement at seeing the finished product saying, “The opening day is great, as a designer, the greatest sense of accomplishment is watching ideas become reality.” Here and elsewhere, 3D printing technology continues to turn ideas into reality.




Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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