Traditional Markets x 3D Printing

Traditional Markets x 3D Printing

1000 557 Digital-Can Tech

Industrial 3D printing helps traditional markets compete more efficiently & increased productivity.

In 2015, we were approached by Taiwan Design Center (TDC) & National Taiwan Craft Research & Development Institute (NTCRI) to join an effort to help improved traditional industries/craftsmanship through 3d printing.

Innovation through Design & Craftsmanship

A joint effort between German designer Konstantin Grcic and Taiwan’s skilled bamboo craftsmen, produced the first bamboo cantilever chair, known as “43” in 2008. “43” drew inspiration from the classic styling of a cantilever chair, combined with the flexible & strong material, bamboo. “43” derives from the composition of exactly 43 laminated bamboo stripes. Unfortunately, this beautiful piece was never meant for the market as it took one month in order to produce a chair.

Breakthrough in Process

Under the guidance and assistance of NTCRI and TDC – a project to help traditional market’s production process through additive manufacturing was initiated. NOVA Design was given the task to create the 3D modeling of “43”. Digital-Can was in charge of providing 3D printing expertise & the manufacturing of the prototyping instruments.

One of the major obstacles in the creation of 43 yii is that the chair is only made up of 43 separate bamboo pieces combined together, providing the structure, design & material. Each piece is specifically bent in order to help provide the cantilever’s structure. In order to bend the bamboo pieces, it needs to be placed in high temperature treatment.

Here is where we found an opportunity to help make the process more efficient. We designed prototyping instruments to help with the high temperature treatment. So we selected to work with the material Nylon Polyamide because of it’s high temperature tolerance (Melting point of 176 °C) & its high strength properties (Density: 930 g/cm3). Each unique bamboo piece has its prototyping mould to be placed under high temperature & utilized for constructing their shapes.

Adhering to the natural bamboo’s malleability, Digital-Can helped manufacture a 3D moulding guard to help with the production process, making it more efficient and accurate – allowing it for mass production to the world. Production time of one month is now minimized to two weeks thanks to 3d printing’s ability to help traditional industries.