How 3D printing has led to a revolution in furniture design

Additive manufacturing is allowing producers to overcome traditional design limitations

Multithread #03 Escritoire by Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar, €45,000 (excl. VAT)Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, is transforming the way designers create, produce and manufacture furniture. The technique – which “prints” objects from digital files by depositing material in layers – also signals an exciting change for consumers: from the array of products available, to how much control we have over customising our furniture.

3D printing is not new. For nearly 30 years, the design community has used the technique to create rapid prototypes and concept models. But advancements in technology now allow designers to use 3D printers to manufacture finished products, from lighting units to tables and chairs. According to Wohlers Report 2013, a leading annual review of industry trends, the worldwide 3D printing market reached $2.2bn in 2012, an increase of 28.6 per cent on the previous year.

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