By Jason Brick | PFSK
Multifaceted, multi-material 3D printing is happening today, as unveiled at the ACADIA conference
This past weekend’s ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) conference in Los Angeles saw a bright move forward in making 3D printing not only efficient and functional, but beautiful.
Stratasys 3D printing technology engaged five renowned designers to showcase the capabilities of the Objet500 Connex3 color, multimaterial 3D printer. The results had the look of hand-made furniture and object of art, rather than the monochromatic and unfinished prototypes commonly associated with 3D print manufacturing.
Zaha Hadid Archtects build a two-toned, flowing chair to demonstrate density and flexibility of materials using the new technology. Jewelry designer Jenny Wu printed her lacy Tangens necklace. Francis Bitoni’s Molecule shoe collection that takes advantage of the method’s increased ability to work with strong and precise materials. Jose Sanchez used the opportunity to build Polymino, an interactive game that allows players to build 3D objects. Alvin Huang built Durotaxis: a futuristic chair made of densely-packed wire mesh.
All five projects took advantage of the increasing flexibility for size, material, color and durability made available by the latest 3D printing machines.
In the opening keynote address, Zaha Hadid predicted that 3D printing for rapid manufacturing is becoming more cost effective with each season, and predicted its position as the preferred mode of manufacturing was imminent. He also declared that the process would be the preferred method for the art and design community, due to its flexibility, speed and capacity for cost-effective production of protoypes and bespoke pieces.
ACADIA’s annual conference has celebrated computer-assisted drafting and design for three decades, but has become increasingly in the limelight with the advent of consumer-priced 3D printing. The exclusive Stratasys project is one offering among hundreds of student installations, publications and architectural showcases that are part of this year’s event.
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