Tessa’s Designer Pick – Joris van Tubergen and 3D printing


Tessa Blokland  


Joris van Tubergen is a Dutch designer, inventor, and 3D printing expert. When it comes to stretching the boundaries of 3D printing he is your man! What I did not know is that Van Tubergen is actually the secret man behind some very interesting 3D printing projects. Van Tubergen, an Industrial Design Engineering graduate from Delft University of Technology, became fascinated with digital production back in 2008, which resulted in the foundation of Protospace in Utrecht, where he is the creative director and lab-manager. Joris is also actively involved in the development of the Ultimaker. He invented an add-on for the Ultimaker 3D printer, the Z-Unlimited, and uses this 3D printer for its own projects. Below just a few of his projects:

In 2017, Van Tubergen returned to his alma mater as a visiting professor. Together with the university he started a 3D printing project, a life-size 3D printed prototype of cyclist Tom Dumoulin, with the aim to bridge academic research with a maker attitude: learning-by-doing as an intrinsic part of design research. Instead of asking Dumoulin to spend his time in a wind tunnel, the exact 3D printed mannequin could be used for the optimization of the cyclist’s suit.

Another crazy project Van Tubergen was involved in, was based on the following question: Is it possible to ship a printer while it is printing during the shipment? Van Tubergen designed the package and the trumpet in a way it can really be 3D printed during transport. Curious about the result? Take a look at this film.

To celebrate the installation of its 100,000 thermostats, Dutch energy supplier Eneco asked Van Tubergen to 3D print personalized Toon thermostat covers, all designs were created by Eneco’s customers. The challenge for Van Tubergen was to show that you can indeed create an idea and 3D print it in just one day. The best 10 were 3D printed.

Commissioned by advertising agency FHVBBDO for the World Animal Protection, Van Tubergen 3D printed a life-size elephant within 2 weeks’ time. Although it is for an extremely good cause, I think, the project is totally insane! Van Tubergen created a 3D printed installation with 5 Ultimakers combined with Z-Unlimited add-on. Thanks to this add-on he was able to 3D print out-of-the-box and print larger-than-the-printer objects. The live performance at Schiphol airport was very successful: signing the petition against elephant abuse activated the printers and all 30.000 names are engraved in the 3D printed elephant skin.

What I like about this last 3D printing project, is its honesty: you paid for the duration of 3D printing. For example, the vase you like will be printed in 90 minutes, so you will pay 90 euros. If you would like the vase to be smaller, taking just 15 minutes and 40 seconds to 3D print, you will pay 15 euro and 40 Eurocents. The 1-euro-per-minute project started in 2011 and claimed to be the very first 3D print shop in the world where people could choose what they want and the 3D printer made it right in front of their eyes.

Joris van Tubergen in front of Ultimaker 3D printers at the 3D printing installation at Schiphol.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_Joris van Tubergen and 3D Printing

Each of Tessa’s designer pick is a curated group of 3D printed designs or projects from one designer or design studio. If you would like to offer a designer or design studio for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed designs or projects you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest picks every week in your mailbox.

For more inspiration and information follow us on Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>