Industrial Poetry, a multi-disciplinary experimental architecture studio based in Stockholm, Sweden, is at the forefront of revolutionizing sustainable furniture production. Led by Gabriel Stuart, an architect and designer, the firm is dedicated to exploring the application of new materials in architecture and design, with a focus on environmental friendliness. Their first self-initiated project, "Filamental," aims to harness the potential of industrial-sized 3D printers using sustainable and recyclable materials.
Gabriel Stuart's journey into the world of 3D printing began with a profound attraction to the elegant balance act performed by these machines. He recognized the unique traits hidden within their strictly dictated movements, which were originally intended to replicate CAD drawings. To unlock the full potential of 3D printing, Stuart and his team allowed the printer to guide them, exploring the subtle differences between the digital designs and the physical manifestations. This approach led to numerous prototypes and a painstaking process of trial and error, gradually refining production techniques and aesthetics inherent to the industrial-scale 3D printer.
What sets Filamental apart from other designs is its innovative use of flatpack, knockdown tensegrity constructions, assembled without the need for brackets or screws. The furniture pieces are assembled by "clicking" together thin 3D-printed parts, utilizing the tension and compression of materials. Every detail is meticulously designed, with a focus on optimizing print time and weight. Parts are slimmed down to minimize volume and material usage, resulting in maximum sustainability. To further enhance the design, Filamental integrates 3D-printed components with solid wooden elements, boards, and textiles, leveraging tension and compression for structural integrity.
Looking ahead, Filamental envisions on-location, on-demand production, allowing customers to receive finished products within the hour. The furniture is lightweight enough for a single person to carry home and can be assembled in less than five minutes, without requiring carpentry skills or tools. In case of any damage, the broken part can be returned to the printer location for recycling and reprinted into a new furniture component. This approach not only promotes sustainability but also encourages a circular economy.
Key material that has played a pivotal role in Filamental's design research is UPM Formi 3D. This wood fiber cellulose-based material offers exceptional sustainability credentials and possesses properties that make it ideal for furniture production. When printed in thin dimensions, UPM Formi 3D gains properties similar to bentwood, making it perfect for tensegrity constructions. Additionally, it is translucent, dyeable, and can be milled on-site for reprints. Its delightful waffle-like scent when cut adds an extra touch of uniqueness to Filamental's creations.
Filamental's design strategy is intentionally focused on fast, flat, knockdown systems to facilitate rapid scalability in manufacturing. By integrating with traditional furniture manufacturing methods, the studio envisions a future of local, on-demand production driven by environmental motivations. With the automation of production processes by traditional furniture manufacturers, such as CNC routers, adopting 3D printing for various applications becomes increasingly feasible. From single parts to frameworks, rests, and lighting fixtures, the potential for 3D printing in furniture production is vast.
Industrial Poetry's Filamental project represents a paradigm shift in sustainable furniture production. Through their meticulous design approach, leveraging the unique capabilities of 3D printing and sustainable materials like UPM Formi 3D, the studio is creating a future where furniture is efficiently manufactured on demand, easily assembled, and readily recycled. As the world seeks more environmentally friendly alternatives, Filamental is leading the way with its innovative and environmentally conscious designs.