3D Printing and Furniture Manufacturing

3D Printing and Furniture Manufacturing

Published by - On September 30, 2013

The advent of 3D printers and it’s wide spread use has opened the manufacturing industry–which includes; Toy industry, Jewelry Industry, Games and Furniture Manufacturing industry–to every Tom, Dick and Harry interested in manufacturing a customized item for him or herself. And for fans of “Futurama–an animated cartoon based in the future”, the quick, production and creative future experienced there may just be a step or two from us. 3D printing or additive manufacturing can hardly be termed as a new technological process for it has been in the works for approximately 30 years and some manufacturing organizations have since employed additive manufacturing in producing various items. Therefore, the hullabaloo currently associated with these printing techniques doesn’t really come from its “newness” but from the current production of printers for domestic use.

3D Printing and Furniture Manufacturing

To effectively discuss the effects 3D printing has had on manufacturing and furniture design, one has to break the discussion into two components which I shall term “domestic 3D printing and Commercial 3D printing”.

Commercial 3D Printing and Furniture Manufacturing

The commercial furniture design community first embraced CAD design for designing furniture pieces–as can be seen from IKEA’s recent release of its Home Planner Software–and now, it has also embraced the use of 3D printing for manufacturing furniture. This acceptance has led to the large scale production of furniture pieces of different materials. Commercial furniture manufactures now incorporate the process of manufacturing-on-the-go. This comprises of taken a customer’s design ideas, developing them with CAD software, and feeding these .STL CAD designs to a 3D printer for immediate renderings or production. This process will not only simplify manufacturing but it will also slowly eliminate the widespread use of return policies in the furniture making industry.

Depending on the material and design to be constructed, 3D printing can be done within duration of 1 to 24 hours. Commercial manufacturers make use of large 3D printers such as the Objet1000 model, which is capable of modeling all types of materials.

 – The CAD Chief

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