Trend Alert: How 3D printing turns interior design dreams into reality

3D printing also known as additive manufacturing is a method of creating structures that can be intricate like a spider web, hard like a stone or delicious like chocolate. It is an umbrella term for many manufacturing methods, making use of different materials that subsequently turn into parts of cars, aircrafts, shoes, drones, prostheses and, what interests us the most, 3D printed interior design. As VISIONAPARTMENTS likes to stay ahead of the pack and is always on the lookout for innovative solutions, we decided to take a closer look at the method that will soon be the bread and butter of any creation process.

3D printing for beginners

Just like any creative process, 3D printing begins in the mind of a designer. He or she creates a digital 3D model and sends it to the printer, which then turns the designer’s vision into a solid object by adding material layer by layer, hence the name of the process:  additive manufacturing. Obviously, the printing process will vary by technology. In case of large industrial parts made of metal, the printer will use laser to melt metal and create the desired shapes.When 3D printing first emerged in the 1980s, the machines could only produce objects made of plastic. Currently, different 3D printers can work with precious metals, porcelain, rubber, sandstone or even… chocolate. There are more than six-hundred 3D printing materials available today and new ones appear on the market every year.

Bloom Lamps from .MGX by Materialise shop

Bloom Lamps from .MGX by Materialise shop

3D printed interior design for your home

3D printing allows designers to create more complex shapes and parts, many of which couldn’t be produced by conventional manufacturing methods. Take a look at the following chair by Korean designer Jungsub Shim. The piece made with a 3D printing pen is a work of art that took 2 months to create. It shows another advantage of the new technology – unlike most chairs that have to be assembled out of parts and you can clearly notice the junction, a 3D printed piece is created as a whole or constructed from individually printed parts that you can’t tell apart.

3D printed interior design - Chair printed with a 3D pen

Chair created with a 3D printing pen

What’s interesting, smaller decorative furnishings can be created fast, with no extra waste resulting from the process and no human labor involved. The challenge that lies ahead of many 3D printing start-ups is to convince the wider public about the benefits of this method, among other things its reasonable price. The pop-up store of Print the Future company in New York, open until March 31st, will give the customers the possibility to pick from a catalog of ready-to-print designs and have their own piece manufactured on-site within 24 hours from 100% recyclable materials. The prices range from $500 to $1500.Forget the trips to overcrowded furniture shops to search for the perfect piece of furniture or endless scrolling through online shops. You can purchase a highly customized 3D printed piece. How is it possible? In order to change the features of the object, the designer needs to simply implement changes to the computer 3D model. This means that no expensive physical changes in the real object are needed. Consequently, 3D printed items can be highly customized without any additional manufacturing costs.

A wider perspective – 3D printed buildings and urban areas

3D printing can also be a cost-effective solution for producing the whole homes – especially in the underdeveloped countries. A San Francisco startup Apis Cor has already proved that it’s possible to 3D print a whole house. The 37m2 house has been built in just 24 hours. The mobile 3D printer printed the concrete walls, but obviously the windows, wiring and plumbing had to be installed by humans. Still, the additive manufacturing considerably decreases the costs.Forward-thinking designers are convinced that 3D printing is the future turned reality of architecture. VISIONAPARTMENTS in-house Interior Designer admits that the potential time, labor and transportation savings are huge. As a consequence, in the future everything will be 3D printed – buildings, roads, furnishings and… food. What scientists are working on right now is developing the most durable and cheapest materials. Soon we will also see new professions on the job market such as 3D programmer for real estate or 3D designer/programmer  for lightning.

3D printed chocolates

3D printed chocolates

Get a 3D printed object yourself

Are you already encouraged to join the next industrial revolution? That’s great because getting your own 3D printed item is easier than you think. Whether you dream about an intricate chandelier, a vase or a coffee table, first, you’ll need a 3D printable model. Such projects are created using computer-aided design (CAD) tools, so you will probably need a specialist to get it created. Another option is browsing online for free 3D printable designs. The next step is finding a 3D printing company near you and materializing your idea. Featured image from Joris Laarman Lab

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