Los Angeles-based practice Synthesis Design + Architecture has created a 3-D printed chair which uses the latest gradient 3-D printing technology to apply different material properties to different parts of the chair. Originally asked by leading 3-D printing company Stratasys to design a piece that would not be possible without utilizing 3-D printing, Synthesis Design + Architecture chose to go one better, designing a chair that would not be possible without the Stratasys Objet 500 Connex3, which is capable of combining a range of material properties into a single print run.
The piece is named the "Durotaxis Chair" after the biological process in which cells can migrate along gradients in rigidity. It consists of a densely-packed mesh, which changes scale, color and rigidity depending on the chair's structural and ergonomic requirements at various locations.
"The complexity and density of the three-dimensional mesh of the Durotaxis Chair would be ridiculously laborious in any other conventional manufacturing process," explain Synthesis Design + Architecture, "however the gradient distribution of material properties and performance would be impossible without the Objet Connex3."
The ovoid rocking chair can be used in two positions, both stood upright and laying down. In both positions, the shape of the chair and the material used combine to provide the structural rigidity required for stability and comfort.
Synthesis Design + Architecture describes the project as "an extension to an on-going body of design research which explores the reciprocal relationships between form and performance," explaining that "the chair provides an opportunity to explore a design and fabrication process that articulates both visually and materially what the chair is doing structurally and ergonomically. The chair is thicker and more rigid where it needs it, and thinner and softer where it needs it."
Dimensions: 50cm x 60cm x 800cm
Materials: Objet VeroCyan Digital Material & Objet VeroWhite Digital Material
Designer: Synthesis Design + Architecture
Design Team: Alvin Huang (Design Principal), Yuan Yao, Alex Chan, Mo Harmon, Kais Al-Rawi, Joseph Sarafian, David O. Wolthers
Client & Fabricator: Stratasys
Photo credits: IMSTEPF Films