DDW 2018 – 3D Printing Review

2018-10-31

Tessa Blokland  

MX3D 3D printed metal bridge at Eindhoven during DDW 2018

From 20 to 28 October 2018, one of Europe’s biggest design events took place in Eindhoven, Dutch Design Week (DDW). The emphasis of this 9-day event is mainly experimentation, innovation, and cross-overs, with a strong focus on the work and development of young talent, hence the many schools that are presenting the work of their graduates and students.

With approximately 2,600 participants over 120 locations, it is impossible to see everything. Still, in my limited tour, I found some interesting new 3D printed designs and applications. First thing I did notice is that DDW is not the right platform for innovation in the technology itself, but DDW is still an interesting platform to show the latest developments and especially the applications of 3D printing to a wider audience and potential customers and users. One might state that 3D printing has indeed become part of regular work and production methods.

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MX3D bridge, a 3D printed metal bridge at Ketelhuisplein, Eindhoven, during DDW2018

It may come as no surprise that the 3D printed metal bridge of DAE alumnus Joris Laarman with MX3D has won the Public Award of the Dutch Design Awards this year (above and up top). The project already had won a Dutch Design Award in the category Design Research. As the Dutch Design Awards’ jury noted in last June: “After years of (im)patient waiting, the MX3D Bridge not only dispels the tense anticipation surrounding digital manufacturing but does so with a utopian construction in the picturesque centre of Amsterdam! The leap in research into 3D printing opens the door, once and for all, to other (large and/or public) applications in architecture and the metal industry. The jury is curious to see how this will be emulated, and where it will lead. Laarman has set the bar high, with an extraordinary choice of material: steel, a typically (conservative) construction material, known for its extremely static properties. The form and material freedom achieved by the design hint at almost unimaginable scenarios.” For DDW MX3D placed the 3D printed bridge in the middle of Strijp-S, using DDW as a testing platform and the visitors could actually walk over the bridge  (and, yes, jumping on the bridge was allowed as well).

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Using color pigment in clay objects, design by Olivier van Herpt

Two other projects, which I like for their combination of production and application are the 3D printed objects of Olivier van Herpt, one of the winners of the Young Designer Award 2018, and the Foliage Dress by Iris van Herpen, created with the help of, among others, Delft University of Technology Assistant Professor Zjenja Doubrovski. Both projects demonstrate a high sense of aesthetics which seem to come naturally with the used 3D printing technique. Van Herpt, who graduated in 2015 from Design Academy Eindhoven, with a 3D printer and 3D printed vases in an endless variety of textures and structures, surprised me this time with the use of different colors in one print. Color pigments are integrated into the clay so each time a 3D print comes out differently adding a touch of surprise in each object. The Foliage Dress of Van Herpen is an exceptional example of how computational design and haute couture create new forms and materials.

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Detail of Foliage Dress by Iris van Herpen

I saw a lot of material experiments and explorations in material structures to enhance performances, in combination with 3D printing. With 3D printing being more accepted and used as one of the possible technologies to use for products, I think more designers will explore and stretch the possibilities of the use of less common materials. Like for example, Beer HolthuisPaper Pulp  Printer, the mussel shells material of Mariet Sauerwein and the algae lab of Studio Klarenbeek & Dros. Explorations in material structures for performance enhancements I saw in the work of DAE graduate Henri Canivez, TU/e graduate Davide Amorim and the TU Delft research team of Arwin Hidding, Henriette Bier, Patrick Teuffel, Qing Wang and  Senatore Gennaro, who are responsible for the Chaise Longue.

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3D printed models of DAE alumnus Henri Canivez’s Data Stool

Like I said in the beginning, I am sure I have missed some interesting 3D printing projects.  Feel free to share them with us! For more insights and information follow us on LinkedIn or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.

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