Formlabs Partners with Design Products at Royal College of Art to Explore Future of Product Design

RCA students created innovative new products on a ‘benchtop factory’ powered by Form 1+ 3D printers.

Somerville, MA, Wednesday, March 18, 2015Formlabs, the company behind the high-resolution Form 1+ 3D printer, recently partnered with the Royal College of Art in London to host a design research course exploring the future of desktop manufacturing.

How could 3D printing shift the industrial design landscape in the future? Through this partnership, the students were able to immerse themselves in the technology and explore the ways our lives may shift as 3D printing gains greater adoption.

Titled “Benchtop Factory”, the semester-long Industrial Design programme was led by Formlabs designer Yoav Reches and the RCA Senior Tutor James Tooze and produced a series of innovative products, all of which were designed for the desktop Form 1+ 3D printer. A selection of the works, which range from a webcam-activated security key to pattern-making systems, will be on display at the Victoria and Albert museum on March 28, 2015.

Max Lobovsky, co-founder of Formlabs, says: “We developed Formlabs for designers and engineers to create new ideas. And we’re all trying to understand how 3D printing will change how we make and manufacture. So it was really inspiring for us to have these design students prototyping exploring new horizons on the Form 1+.”

Some of the featured works include:

Removing the need to remember by Thomas Leech, Joshua Browne, Axel Bluhme, Yun-Pei Hsiung.
Formkey is a unique 3-dimensional object which is the physical embodiment of your online passwords. To access your account, simply swipe the Formkey in front of your webcam.

Memory Impression by Ivie Egonmwan, Clea Jentsch, Fiona O'Leary, Tomomi Ogata
The main focus for this project was the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan. The designers discovered that survivors often returned to the disaster sites to recover what they could find. The fragmented and often entirely destroyed possessions salvaged during this search acquired a newfound preciousness. Memory Impression created a pattern-making model designed from these fragments found.

The Factory by Václav Mlynář and Pinja Maria Piira
The Factory produces one-off custom-made light fittings through a process of analogue material manipulation (bending of wire or rope) and parametric 3D computer models that are printed on demand.

The Growing Lab by Alex Loudon, Micaella Pedros, Cristian Ferrara
The Growing Lab is an experimental factory that prints growing vessels that evolve with the plants.

Dr Sharon Baurley, Head of Programme, Design Products at the RCA, adds, “What i was really impressed with was the spread of ideas. The brief was about challenging the students to envision future benchtop manufacturing scenarios, and thinking about socio-cultural, political, technological changes to manufacturing.”

Event details:
RCA Design Products presents Benchtop Factory with Formlabs
28th March 2015 (11am to 4pm)
Victoria and Albert Museum - Gallery 21 (Sculpture)

For media inquiries, please contact
Sara Bonomi
[email protected]

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About Formlabs
Formlabs designs and manufactures powerful and accessible digital fabrication tools for designers, engineers, and artists. It was founded by a team of engineers and designers from the MIT Media Lab and Center for Bits and Atoms, and launched in 2012 in a record-breaking $3M Kickstarter campaign. The company’s growth has been chronicled in the award winning Netflix documentary, Print the Legend. Their most recent product, the Form 1+, shipped in June 2014. Learn more at formlabs.com.

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