What is so novel about 3D Printing anyway? And what impact does 3D Printing have on individual lives? What about society? And even larger, the environment? All these questions will be explored at MAKING A DIFFERENCE / A DIFFERENCE IN MAKING, from April 24th to June 7th at the internationally-renowned BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. Materialise has been working with curator Marta Malé-Alemany to put together this exhibition that looks at 3D Printing with both the eyes of fascination and a deeper observation of its consequences.
As you can probably guess from the title, the exhibition will be split up into two main sections. One will show how 3D Printing is “a difference in making” by showing designs that experiment with this technology. Specifically, how 3D Printing can make complex forms, use new materials, and create scaffolds that support natural processes such as petrification or organic growth, like these pieces:
FRACTAL.MGX / WertelOberfell with Matthias Bär
The FRACTAL.MGX table has become an iconic piece of furniture that in essence explores the potential of 3D Printing in design. The table consists of a series of arborescent legs, which bifurcate repeatedly as they reach the tabletop, following the fractal growth pattern of trees. The overall design reaches a formal complexity that is impossible to produce by other methods than 3D Printing.
ONE_SHOT.MGX / Patrick Jouin
ONE_SHOT.MGX is one of the first applications of 3D Printing for furniture design in the history of this technology. Its groundbreaking concept is still relevant today, because it explores how 3D Printing can be used to manufacture entire assemblies of parts in one go, a unique characteristic of this technology. The stool is printed as a complete object with all its hinges, allowing it to twist and acquire its final form as soon as it comes out of the printer.
ESCAPISM DRESS / Iris van Herpen in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise
Iris Van Herpen is known for her designs, and also for bringing 3D Printing into the world of high fashion. The ESCAPISM dress, designed in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise, explores the use of highly intricate geometries around the female body, creating an exuberant and unique garment that has been recognized worldwide.
CaCO3 STONEWARE / Laura Lynn Jansen and Thomas Vailly
The CaCO3 stoneware highlights one of the most experimental and multi-disciplinary approaches for using 3D Printing in design today. That is: as an auxiliary medium for natural processes, where a minimal 3D-printed scaffold becomes the supporting structure for petrification or other growth and cultivation phenomenon.
The other section is called “making a difference” and looks at just that: how 3D Printing is making a difference in terms of:
FIX3D BIKE FRAME / James Novak
The FIX3D bike frame is a one-off, custom-made piece of sports equipment, exemplary for its minimal design and striking absence of material. It is designed using lattice structures to make it lighter and stronger than traditional bike frames, and manufactured in one piece using 3D Printing. The bike evokes the critical role of 3D Printing for saving energy and resources in the future of mobility.
TI-JOIN CHAIR / Peter Donders
The TI-JOIN is a hybrid chair, resulting from the assembly of 3D-printed metal joints and carbon fiber tubes. Following principles of lightweight design, the joints provide rigidity and structural strength with a minimal amount of material. 3D Printing is thus applied where it can be of most service, helping to reduce production costs and indirectly benefit the environment.
VOLUME.MGX / Dror Benshetrit
The VOLUME.MGX lamp shows how a 3D-printed product can be conceptualized and manufactured by paying attention to reducing material and energy costs. The lamp consists of a series of articulated parts, which are collapsed and printed within a minimal volume of nylon powder, thus reducing material and machine time. After printing, the lamp can be unfolded and expanded to its complete volume.
HEARING AIDS / Phonak
HELIX TRIPOD / Giambattista Piranesi
The HELIX TRIPOD is an object that never existed before; it was first 3D modeled on a computer in 2010, based on old sketches by Piranesi. Using the tripod’s virtual data, 3D Printing enabled the conservation and expansion of Piranesi’s cultural heritage: it allowed for the creation of an object from his imagination, centuries after his death.
098XYZ SHOE / Earl Stewart
The 098XYZ shoe is an example of hybridization between 3D printing technology and traditional shoe making. It illustrates how the most advanced processes of fabrication can be integrated with (and contribute to the revival of) well-established crafts.
SCREW IT DOG / David Graas
SCREW IT is a collection of small 3D-printed objects that are specifically designed to assemble industrial products in a creative way, giving them a new meaning and functionality. SCREW IT demonstrates how 3D Printing is a means to repurpose everyday objects and give them a second life.