Will Office Furniture be the Next Generation of 3-D Printing?

I recently read an article by Dan Howarth on www.dezeen.com about a new innovation in the field of 3-D printing that may surprise you.  Researchers at MIT have partnered with Steelcase Inc. to develop a process they call Rapid Liquid Printing that changes 3-D printing as we know it and may make it possible to manufacture custom furniture in a matter of minutes.

3-D printing works by forming layers.  It's slow and there can be issues with the quality of the finished item.   According to the article, Rapid Liquid Printing (RLP) works by using a large tank of gel. A two-part liquid substance is extruded into the gel and the gel suspends the substance so it doesn't have to fight gravity or require a base plate to build on.  The substance chemically cures as it's extruded and has better structural integrity than a normal 3-D printed object, which which is necessary for the item to bear weight.  Take a look at this short video:

The last piece you saw being made in the video was a custom tabletop that was featured at the Milan design show this spring. Here's the finished piece:

Source:   www.forbes.com

Source:  www.forbes.com

They're predicting that eventually they'll be able to produce desks and other office furniture with RLP.  Sounds pretty cool, but don't put your office renovation on hold waiting for it - it's still in the research and development process and may be years down the road.  For now, you'll have to stick with traditional office furniture.  Give us a call for your next purchase - we'll be delighted to help you out!

If they can perfect this, it will revolutionize the office furniture industry, as well as other large-scale manufacturing industries.

I wonder if they can do Chippendale style?


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