From Howard, The Big Bang Theory’s funny engineer, to your geeky college friend who’s building his own, 3D printers are conquering the world, fictional reality included. 3D printers may not be affordable for everyone just yet, but they have become popular enough for fashion designers and designers in general to start experimenting with new shapes and textures. In the meantime, the fashion and interior design world has fallen in love with how organic and harmonious 3D-printed items are, so much so that the market is starting to be populated by items that have been designed specifically to resemble 3D-printed objects. Let’s take a look, shall we?
A trend we’re starting to see all around us is mixing quasi-futuristic elements with fairly traditional textures and materials. This side table is a great example: the corners of the frame have been bent and rounded off, and the outline itself, sleek and polished, looks like it’s freshly out of a 3D printer. But here’s the traditional touch: wooden drawers have been inserted in the frame; to emphasize the contrast between nature and artificiality, the wooden surface has not been covered by any paint in order to show off all the natural characteristics and imperfections of the wood.
Have you noticed how the corners of that side table we just saw are rounded-off? Well, this is actually a trend that’s getting more and more popular by the day: it reinforces the feeling of looking at a piece of furniture that’s been printed in one piece. Just for you, we were able to find a perfectly coordinated set of lamps: a match made in heaven! They’re an excellent home décor piece even if you’re not trying to coordinate them with anything else: their shape is so sober and fluid that they will blend in with any modern or contemporary context.
These square but still curvilinear lamps are becoming so popular that you'll see, it's going to be quite literally impossible not to find one to your taste! How about a less dark, warmer version?
Another 3D-inspired lamp is this softly shaped, polished chandelier that looks like it just flew into your window from outer space. Again, you can notice an interesting interplay between colors -- black vs white -- and textures: the shiny black and polished top half meets with the elaborate and matte off-white bottom half, creating a fascinating game of contrasts.
All in one piece
One of the characteristics of 3D-printed objects is that they’re often printed in one piece. And in fact, a new interior design trend is creating the illusion that furnishings have been molded from a single, malleable block of material. The result is surprisingly striking: flowing and harmonious shapes that infuse a sense of peace and serenity. For example, this semi-transparent desk bends softly towards the ground, like a frozen waterfall.
Only the essential
The interior design inspired by the revolution of 3D printers seems to be moving in a very well-defined direction: only using what’s strictly essential. Because of this, forms and shapes are getting purer and more rarefied: the final goal is to see how extremely essential a piece of furniture can become while still being perfectly functional and / or comfortable. This challenge is particularly tricky with chairs, as the main feature of a chair is its level of comfort; however, designers are getting more and more skilled at creating pure, light and ergonomic seating solutions. Wouldn’t the chair below look great behind the frozen waterfall desk?
Anything can look 3D-printed
If you thought only materials such as plastic and resin can achieve that 3D-printed effect, think again. In truth, any malleable material can be worked, treated and shaped into a futuristic piece of furniture. Take a look a these wooden armchairs: inspired by the concave lines of sea shells, they're a perfect example of how designers are trying to connect and fuse together the world of handmade creations with digital reality.
And what about a rocking lounge chair? Made with the same technique, material and design, it will make for an eye-catching piece of furniture that all of your guests will want to try!
Wood is not the only material that can be shaped into basically anything. For instance, felt is a great material for stools and poufs: it’s a soft but sturdy fabric that designers can shape into any new form. We particularly love this signature pouf because it combines a plasticity that’s typical of materials like resin, with the warm and enveloping softness of felt.