- February 15th, 2016
- Categories: 3D Printing, News
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New 3D Printing Technique Using Robots Builds Intricate Voxelized Chairs
Some of the most amazing 3D printed objects fabricated by students are inspired by famous works from the past. This is quite natural as the illustrious past still cast a massive shadow over the creative ambitions of everyone, particularly those in school. The most amazing thing is how cutting edge technology can make past creations even more stunning. In a very unique way 3D printing technology merges the inspirations of the past with the ingenuity of the present generation like no other technology can pull off.
This impressive merger of the past and present is best exemplified by Team Curvoxels, a collection of talented individuals studying at the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College London. What they have created is a never before seen 3D printing technique that gives them the capability to fabricate objects and structures with impressive accuracy, details, and functionality.
The team is made up of students Xiaolin Li, Hyunchol Kwon, and Amreen Kaleel. They are currently working on a project called Spatial Curves, which features a unique 3D printing technology using robots and spouts that can successfully 3D print functional and intricately designed voxelized structures in midair. The technique is designed for medium to large scale objects such as their Panton-inspired voxelized chairs.
Back in the early 1900’s, Verner Panton designed a very complex chair that featured voxels. It became famous both due to its very attractive nature and the intricately designed structure that boasts of summarily difficult calculations. With the use of an algorithm from a special software, which the team also designed, they were able to figure out the complex pattern and structural design of the chair. The Spatial Curves’ chairs all have the kind of specific densities that make them very functional and attractive. They have the right thickness in all the right places to hold a person’s weight while thinness in some of the areas makes the design truly outstanding.
The combination of the software, the robot, and the sprouts effortlessly made the complex structure. One can readily see the best benefits of 3D printing technology as opposed to the normal ways of manufacturing chairs when producing something as complex as the Panton chair. Manufacturers can certainly relate how much effort and cost are used in the preparation prior to the actual production.
Obviously, something as unique and groundbreaking as this will not be left unnoticed for a long time. Considering the implications of what the new technology can do, especially after further research and development, more than a few people are starting to take notes and interest.
Last year, the project won a couple of prestigious awards in two countries. Team Curvoxels got the Gold Track Award from the university itself as well as getting the chance to showcase their technology at the Bartlett’s Pro-Show in the nation’s capital. The recognition also saw the team presenting the same technology to another exhibition in Le Mans, France. Other than the voxelized chairs, the team is also using their unique 3D printing technology to fabricate what they call the Spiral Staircase.