Want to learn how 3D printing furniture works? Read on for the basics of using additive technologies in furniture making, as well as examples of 3D printed furniture.
In this article, we’ll talk about how 3D printing can change the way furniture is made. We’ll also look at the advantages of the technology and provide examples of 3D printed furniture.
Let’s get started.
How to 3D Print Furniture
Thinking of using 3D printing technologies to make your own furniture? If so, you should not dismiss the idea, even though it may seem too laborious, time consuming or expensive. Today, thanks to large format industrial 3D printers, like the Farsoon SS403P, you can print large furniture right at home.
Still, you can 3D print furniture at home without the need to invest in large-format industrial machines.
Below, we provide several options for creating your own furniture using 3D printers.
Option 1: 3D Print Furniture with Hangprinter
Designed by Thorbjørn Ludwigsen, the Hangprinter is a cable-suspended and movable print unit designed to print large objects cheaply. The Hangprinter doesn’t fit in a case and its print chamber is the entire room.
Hoping to inspire others to try frameless 3D printing, Thorbjörn has made the software files for this printer open and free for everyone to copy, use, and further refine. Most parts of the Hangprinter can be 3D printed. The cost of building one yourself is estimated to be as low as $250.
Let’s look at some examples of items printed using the Hangprinter.
Chris Riley Stool
Introduced in mid-2017, Hangprinter printing immediately began to be tested in the creation of large objects. In the video below, you can see one of the very first examples of an item printed using the Hangprinter. The item is the Chris Riley’s bar stool.
Such videos showed the strengths and weaknesses of Hangprinter. For example, the printer can create really large objects for relatively very little money. Delamination is also possible due to the lack of a closed camera.
Chris Riley’s stool printed with offset layers and delamination. It also took two weeks to print because the Hangprinter was so loud that it couldn’t be operated at night. Therefore, it only had to be operated during the day.
Building and using Hangprinter requires familiarity with 3D printers, understanding the mechanics of how they work, skills in working with electronics and debugging devices. The good news is that there are also detailed instructions for beginners. Moreover, there is a small but growing community of other Hangprinter users who can be contacted for help. .
If you can put up with the shortcomings described above, or can avoid them, Hangprinter remains the most affordable and affordable way to create fully 3D printed furniture.
Option 2: 3D Print Furniture on a Large 3D printer
The second option is to use a stationary 3D printer with a really large print chamber. Let’s look at an example below.
Print Your City
The “Print Your City” project, uses a 3D printer to print street furniture and other small architectural forms. The printer consists of a robot in a fenced indoor area equipped with a special printing platform.
Most importantly, the plastic used for printing is obtained from recycled waste.
Despite the simplicity of the idea, this manufacturing method is inaccessible to most people. Large 3D printers not only take up a lot of space, sometimes entire rooms, but are also incredibly expensive. On the same note, large industrial 3D printers like the Farsoon HT1001P cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Because of this, very few furniture projects are carried out by individuals. Instead, the projects are usually carried out by businesses or very passionate enthusiasts. The Wilkhahn Printstool stool below is an example of such a project.
Wilkhahn Printstool One
Designed by Thorsten Frank and manufactured by Wilkhahn, this 3D stool was produced on an industrial 3D printer and is available as part of Wilkhahn’s premium office furniture range.
Wilkhahn is a German furniture manufacturer that strives to differentiate itself from its competitors.
Unlike almost any other office furniture manufacturers, Wilkhahn stands for designs made in Germany all over the world. The company offers high-quality office and dynamic conference furniture that sets the benchmark for the entire industry.
Printstool One is one of the few 3D printed furniture pieces that are available for sale. It takes several hours to create and assemble, including 3D printing the base and attaching the seat. The base is printed with lignin, an organic biopolymer that decomposes in nature.
Although the Printstool One is a mass-produced product, it is not easy to get it. It is not part of the main Wilkhahn catalog and was released in a limited edition of 500 pieces.
The price for such a stool has not been disclosed and probably depends on options, for example, the seat material. But given that regular stock stools in the company’s catalog range from $266 to $660, it’s safe to assume that the Printstool One costs at least $500. This makes it quite an expensive plastic stool. However, overpayment for exclusive furniture is a quite common phenomenon.
In recent years, 3D printing has become more accessible. Most likely, this will also affect its large-format sector.
RH Engineering & ManoFigura – Furniture for the Home
In mid-2020, this pair of German designers broke into the luxury furniture and interiors segment with their signature Manoveneer finishing technology and large-scale 3D printing.
Their favorite printer is the BigRep One, which is big enough to print furniture with a 1005mm³ displacement and costs around $39,000, depending on the specs.
The production process begins with 3D printing of craft furniture based on the client’s design. Then, ManoVeneer’s branded coating is applied to the product. What Manoveneer is made of is a company secret. We only know that the coating is waterproof, can imitate the texture of natural stone and weighs very little.
Option 3: Modular Printing on a Small 3D Printer
Large 3D printers will always be a barrier to 3D printing furniture due to their size and cost,. As a result, designers are looking for ways to move away from using them. Some designers are turning to smaller 3D printers and are printing smaller parts for assembly.
Let’s look at some examples.
3D Printed Wall “Supermod”
Designed by the founders of Simplus Designs, the Supermod shelving wall consists of individually printed modules that snap together.
Supermod was created for decoration, visual division of the room into zones and storage of small things in cells. As a modular system, Supermod bypasses the need for large scale 3D printers. While the assembled wall may be taller than most people, each module can be printed on an affordable desktop 3D printer.
The next method involves using 3D printed parts together with conventional ones, such as a tabletop shield or wooden legs. This way, the 3D printed components are used as fasteners and frame elements. This is the most accessible way for a wide range of makers to use 3D printing in the creation or repair of furniture.
Option 4: 3D Printed Elements as Accessories
Dining table and Chairs John Christie “Saul”
John Christie, who has been creating custom-made furniture for over 20 years, returned to university at 40.
During his studies, he became interested in 3D printing and how he could integrate it into the traditional furniture making process. In his projects, he studied how 3D printed parts can be used in the production of furniture.
John is best known for his Saul Dining Table and Chairs. The table is a handcrafted piece of wood with 3D printed connections.
His connection system would provide greater customization options and reduce production time and waste when applied to existing pieces of furniture.
Such a set of furniture was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in Edinburgh in 2016.
This is a craft project to sell products. However, similar technology has been used by amateur makers as well.
Furniture by Alexander Chappelle
Designer and YouTuber Alexander Chappelle has documented the process of making his own wooden table with 3D printed connections. As with John Christie’s project, the only 3D printed parts on this table were the articulations The rest of the table’s parts were made from wood using conventional hand tools.
The author has posted the STL files and instructions on his personal website, where they are available for as little as $5.
This is perhaps the most affordable way to 3D print your own furniture. However, since John and Alexander’s designs are mostly made from wood, is using 3D printed fittings 3D printed furniture?
Techniques for 3D Printing Furniture
So, which of these methods can you use for your own furniture project?
If you are a professional studio or independent designer with the necessary funds, and you have a project that needs to be printed reliably and at high quality, then a large 3D printer will be the best option. 3D printing on a large printer can be ordered from a 3D studio if this is a one-time project and you are not going to purchase a printer.
If you need printing all the time, contact 3DTechValley, and our specialists will help you choose the machine that is most suitable for solving your problems.
If an industrial 3D printer is not available, then high-quality products can be created by 3D printing on a personal or professional desktop machine. This can be done by using modular designs or printing connections for parts made using other technologies.
Regardless of the way you choose to 3D print furniture, you already know that it can and should be used in this area. You can do this from your own home, workshop or production today.