Ask the expert

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Katerina Zachariades, Design Director, Morgan

How 3D printing has affected design and manufacturing in the UK.

 

The use of 3D printed componentry is not new; it has been used for over 20 years in biomedical engineering, playing a key role in the progression of prosthetics, stem cell printing, cancer research and producing replacement bone and cartilage.

 

The advancement of 3D printing in medicine has transformed lives, to the extent we now take this remarkable technology for granted. Exploration of its applications in other fields continues to push the boundaries, with Architects & Designers now at the forefront of a pivotal time where 3D printing could change the way we design and manufacture in the future.

 

Manufacturing furniture in the UK is no easy task. We rely on our team to maintain the standards of traditional craftsmanship in upholstery, cutting, sewing, joinery, frame assembly and polishing. These skills are imperative to UK manufacturing and require nurturing though investment in young people, Apprenticeships and solid induction programs.

 

With this emphasis on the importance of traditional manufacture and craftsmanship, some might wonder why we felt compelled towards designing furniture using 3D printing? The beauty and ethos behind our use of 3D printing is that we have designed componentry that can be made in no other way, other than by a laser sintering 3D printed technique; opening up an exciting world of aesthetic possibilities. As a design-led manufacturer this challenges us to make ourselves better, provide innovation in a contract furniture market that is flooded with product and to stand out from the crowd by offering this new commercial 3D printed collection.

 

Additive manufacturing is a wasteless process, and therefore a constant reminder to us that sustainability is king in an ever consuming world. Over the past few years, 3D printing industries have reached the level of reliability and affordability which has gradually accommodated some of the complexities and challenges involved in the mainstream design industries. This has coincided with a significant rise in public awareness of 3d printing. We believe it is now the time to utilise some of the possibilities that additive manufacturing offers us, for a meaningful purpose.

 

Morgan will exhibit within Cubitt House at Design Junction and the Rio chairs and tables will be on display for visitors to see.