Redefining interior design with 'printed' living spaces
04 April 2013
Designer Francois Brument is right up to date as far as the possibilities of digital design are concerned. He is currently turning to integrated digital production processes for the creation of living spaces, breaking with the traditional approaches that separate architecture from interior design and furnishings.
Francois Brument melds these areas into one unit. Rooms, walls, furniture items become one and can be freely defined by the designer and builder without restriction. With this novel approach, he has opened up a new chapter in the design of living spaces.
Demonstrating the opportunities that are now opened up by large format 3D printing is his carte blanche project 'Habitat Imprime' (printed living space), which is the result of a collaborative effort with Sonia Laugier. This is currently the subject of an itinerant exhibition, which started in Paris in March and is currently showing at the 52nd Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan from April 9-14.
Brument’s exhibit includes a real model of a bedroom with integrated shower and walk-in closet showing how an integrated suite of living quarters can be created, covering some 15 square metres. The room can be divided as required, shelves can be integrated into walls, surfaces can be structured in any manner desired – the restrictions that formerly set limits to the creativity of builders, architects and designers have been removed.
Finding the right technical partner
Turning his vision into reality meant a search for a suitable engineering partner. Brument subsequently contacted the German 3D printing machine specialist, voxeljet in May 2011. Voxeljet’s large-format VX4000 3D printer, offers a build space of 4,000 x 2,000 x 1,000mm, and following extensive discussions, it became clear that this machine could provide the perfect solution for his project. The designer was particularly impressed when he saw a VX4000 printer in action at one of voxeljet’s service centres.
voxeljet CEO, Ingo Ederer says the VX4000 can generate moulds the size of a sports car, presenting users with “undreamed-of possibilities”. The significant build space enables the rapid production of large individual moulds, but the machine is also flexible enough to allow cost-effective production of small batches.
The VX4000 also scores high on flexibility and speed. The machine operates at three times the build speed of voxeljet's standard printers, but with the same resolution and precision. Users benefit from significant time and cost savings. Building platforms can be inserted alternately into the process station enabling continuous, round-the-clock operation.
Once the CAD data arrived at the service centre, Brument’s print run commenced. The VX4000 built the entire living space, including furniture, shelving, wash basin and all technical installations, in a total of 64 moulds, which just required final assembly. Dr Ederer concludes:
“As a manufacturer of 3D printers with an attached service centre, our ideas are anything but conventional. Still, we were both surprised and inspired by Francois Brument's creative approach. The 'Habitat Imprime' project is a milestone for 3D print technology and drives forward our activities for the development of printing systems for concrete."