Maker Chairs (2014)
Digital fabrication technology has been around for a long time, but is only recently becoming available to consumers, because of less expensive computer-controlled machines, smart software and many new materials. Digital fabrication has become more than a tool for prototyping, it has become a tool for manufacturing actual products. Regardless of how interesting the development might be, we feel it is still in its infancy phase. Digital fabrication needs to scale up in order to grow up.
We believe in the symbiosis of handcrafts and technology like parametric design tools and digital fabrication. The Makerchairs fit right into that dream. All of the chairs are composed of digitally fabricated 3D parts that fit together exactly, like a three-dimensional puzzle. By fractioning designs into many small parts, we radically expanded the potential of small consumer 3D printers and CNC milling machines. Building these pieces out of small parts is essential, given the small building platforms of most affordable machines. The digital era allows lightweight organic shapes made out of an endless variety of materials, building blocks and color gradients.
We believe that in a few years every big city will have professional production workshops as well as crowd-fabrication hubs for DIY makers. In the tradition of the early modernists, who often created manuals of their designs so that people could replicate their work at low cost, the blueprints of the 3D-printable versions of the Makerchairs were made available on the Internet under a creative commons license for people to download, modify and manufacture themselves. In that sense this chair is a work in progress and we invite everyone to help make them smarter and more diverse.
(photocredits: Adriaan de Groot, JL)