Benchtop Factory

Students at the Royal College of Art create innovative new products on a ‘benchtop factory’ powered by Form 1+ 3D printers.

Royal College of Art

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Manufacturing with the Form 2

  • Rapid iterations
  • Beautiful surface finish
  • Exhibition quality

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How could desktop 3D printing shift the industrial design landscape in the future?

In search of answers, we partnered with Design Products at the Royal College of Art in London to explore the future of desktop manufacturing.

Titled “Benchtop Factory”, the semester-long Industrial Design course 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.

RCA students prototyped on Form 1+ 3D printers in a "Benchtop Factory"
RCA students prototyped on Form 1+ 3D printers in a "Benchtop Factory"

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.

Some of the featured works include 3-dimensional security systems, customizable light fittings, and a 3D printed horticulture lab.

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.”

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.

Removing the need to remember by Thomas Leech, Joshua Browne, Axel Bluhme, Yun-Pei Hsiung.
Removing the need to remember by Thomas Leech, Joshua Browne, Axel Bluhme, Yun-Pei Hsiung.
Memory Impression by Ivie Egonmwan, Clea Jentsch, Fiona O'Leary, Tomomi Ogata
Memory Impression by Ivie Egonmwan, Clea Jentsch, Fiona O'Leary, Tomomi Ogata
The Growing Lab by Alex Loudon, Micaella Pedros, Cristian Ferrara
The Growing Lab by Alex Loudon, Micaella Pedros, Cristian Ferrara

Form 2 High-Resolution 3D Printing

Form 2, Finish Kit, and Formlabs Resin
  • Beautiful prints that look and feel like end products.
  • Complex structures and fine details that push the boundaries of design.
  • Accurate prints that fit with other assemblies (electronics etc.).
  • Rapid iteration that reduces the CAD to final product cycle.
  • Cost savings of 95% or more over service bureaus.

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