Although product designers have been using various additive manufacturing technologies to create rapid prototypes for decades now, few objects have ever been bigger than a traditional consumer electronic product. Thanks to recent developments in the past few years though, the scale of 3D printing – through FDM 3D printing methods, to be exact – has grown exponentially to include everything from furniture and automobiles to even urban development projects and housing.
Now, a new French startup wants to bring large-scale 3d printing into a consumer-friendly experience that allows users to watch as their furniture purchases are manufactured right before their eyes – and in some cases, even design the furniture themselves before pressing “print”.
The company, Drawn, was created by French design engineer Sylvain Charpiot and utilizes a large scale 3D printer – an industrial automobile factory robot – as its backbone. While he initially unveiled the unique 3D printer back in 2014, Charpiot has only just now publicly presented the technology as its own brand – which aims to manufacture affordable plastic furniture and decor on-demand.
While it might be hard to believe that a piece of furniture can be literally ‘printed’ right before your eyes, the company claims that one of their flagship full-size chair designs can be printed in less than two hours – which is considerably less time than it can take to print a scale prototype of the same design on some desktop 3d printers.
Without a doubt, the capability of Charpiot’s printer is surely impressive. However, one can only wonder if he has explored using the large-scale 3D printer to create similar designs out of discarded plastic or even natural materials … something that would certainly give the products some added interest.
Although the 3D printer is fully-operational, Charpiot is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter to raise awareness of the Drawn brand and is selling off a variety of objects that were produced with the machine including shelving, lamps and furniture, among other objects.
Find out more by heading over to Drawn.