Shapeways, The Community

3D Printed Structural Furniture Components

Those of you who made it to 100% Design in London may have had a chance to see the desk in our booth that was constructed from 3D printed connector pieces, aluminum square tube and a standard hollow core domestic door.

Sure ours was not the most expensive stand at 100% Design in London with some displays looking like they may have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their four days of exposure but Shapeways was definitely much busier….

The sixteen 3D printed components of our stand made it possible to design a unique, collapsible, modular stand that could be easily transported around the world, assembled by one person, strong enough to support the weight of the display along with the throngs of people leaning on the desk.

Each of the 16 unique connectors was 3D printed out of White Strong Flexible
with a 2mm wall thickness which was strong enough to support the
structure. There was a little bit of wobble in the assembled structure
that could have been dampened with some small gussets in the design. 
The connectors held together 28 pieces of 20x20x1.6mm hollow square
aluminum tube.  Originally I was hoping to purchase this in London so I
would only have to transport the 3D printed components with me from
Australia but in the end I precut all of the aluminum lengths, taped
them together and carried them on my flights (without getting charged
excess baggage!!). Now it was only up to 100% helper Noel Wilson to
find a domestic door from a nearby hardware supplier and bring it to
the venue on the Tube (subway)….

The furniture constructed with
3D printed parts worked perfectly, transported well, the entire stand
took 3 hours to set up and 10 minutes to pull down. It was a great way
to demonstrate the strength of WSF to people who have not had an
opportunity to see the range of possibilities within one material,
especially when many of the models on display were quite flexible and
even bouncy.

The 3D printed components are ready to be used again
after a quick clean in the dishwasher.  If any part is damaged and
cannot be repaired, we can easily 3D print another part. Perfect.

About me
Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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