When bringing up the topic of digitally fabricated furniture, it’s difficult to not bring up Joris Laarman’s infamous Bone Chair (which is one part of an entire Bone Furniture collection). The bone structure-inspired chair, which was among the first and most unique experiments in applying digital fabrication techniques to furniture, still sits in museums and galleries today as an early example of how digital fabrication can aid in the final aesthetic of furniture design, among other new ideas.
It would be fitting then, that Laarman would also be the one to spearhead a Lab dedicated to creating crowdsourced and ‘crowd-fabricated’ furniture nearly ten years after the original Bone Chair by the name of ‘Bits & Parts‘.
Employing a variety of tools including Rhino and various 3D printers and CNC mills, Laarman and team have been busy creating the world’s first ‘crowd-fabricated chair’ in an effort to allow users to fabricate their own full-sized furniture with desktop manufacturing machines.
“By fractioning designs into many small parts we where able to radically expand the potential of small consumer 3d printers and cnc milling machines. The 3D parts can be assembled into a piece of furniture like a 3 dimensional puzzle.”
More recently, Joris Laarman Lab teamed up with desktop 3D printing manufacturer Ultimaker to get their first prototype of their ‘Maker’ chair out the door:
The prototype as seen in the video above was generated out of a single chair form divided into 202 3D print-optimized jigsaw puzzle parts. Currently, the updated chair design has been improved to just 77 parts and can be manufactured via a desktop 3D printer in about 10 days with a cost of approximately $30 USD. Not bad.
“Bits & Parts is a work in progress project and we invite all makers around the world to help improve the designs creating the most efficient, beautiful, comfortable, fully recyclable furniture in the world that can be produced locally. To make this project a succes we have to radically reduce cost and scale up an automated fabrication process. Our devopment goals range from optimizing the designs to fully automated mass digital fabrication units to streaming fabrication from the cloud.”
Future chairs will include designs that can be made from other desktop manufacturing methods including CNC machining and laser cutters.
If you’re in need of a new chair or just want to experience what Laarman’s idea of what “home-based manufacturing will look like in the next 5 years,” you can download the chair yourself here.