Dec 15, 2016 | By Tess

While we’ve seen 3D knitting technology used to make apparel and footwear, perhaps most famously Nike’s Flyknit sneakers, we have yet to see it really take off beyond the garment industry, especially on a commercial level. Until now, that is. Swedish home goods retailer Ikea has just unveiled its latest chair design, which is made using—you guessed it—3D knitting technology.

The armchair, which is part of Ikea’s experimental PS Collection, features a minimalist, lightweight, and compact design that is meant to appeal to urban city-dwellers. The chair comes in two different colors (pink or grey) and consists of a 3D knitted material which is stretched over a powder-coated steel frame. Similar to a hammock, the 3D knitted chair offers the sitter a very comfy, almost personalized sitting experience.

Sarah Fager, one of Ikea’s in-house designers, was responsible for the PS 2017 armchair’s innovative design, and she credits 3D knitting technology as being an essential part of the chair’s comfort and appearance. As she explained in an interview: “At IKEA we have been curious about this 3D knitting technique for some time. We have all seen it being used in those colorful sneakers and it's a really smart way to produce things, since it's fully automized and this knitting machine can be placed at any supplier to combine it with other materials in a product."

In other words, 3D knitting has offered Ikea a new and efficient way of manufacturing innovative products that are specially geared to the modern consumer. As mentioned, the chair’s whole style has been made to appeal to those living in urban environments, where easily movable and compact furniture is usually requisite. Even the piece’s coloring, which is semi-transparent, promotes a sense of “openness and space.” So, if you live in cramped quarters, or in a small studio, the PS 3D knitted armchair could do wonders for the little space you have.

The technology behind the chair consists of automated knitting machines that are capable of transforming digital designs and files into intricately knitted and seamless shapes. One of the appeals of the technology is that fibers with any combination of properties can be used, allowing for strong, durable, and often very comfortable textiles to be created. Ikea’s 3D knitting machines can reportedly work with wool, linen, cotton, and polyester.

As Ikea is demonstrating, 3D knitting, which has grown increasingly popular within the garment and textile industries, could offer similar benefits to the furniture design industry. Among these benefits are material efficiency or reducing overall material waste, and cutting out bulky materials like foam altogether.

The PS 2017 armchair is retailing for $158 (£125).



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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I.AM.Magic wrote at 12/16/2016 8:03:19 AM:

OK, they are like the Nike's flyknit, but the link is wrong.

I.AM.Magic wrote at 12/16/2016 7:52:04 AM:

Does the author realizes this is not 3D printing? and it is not the same as the nike's shoes.

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