In this ADD case study, the main design parameter was that consumers could customize the product’s variables so it can be printed to order. The lamp base was designed to be an extension of its chosen surface – be it a wall, table or ceiling – regardless of orientation. Based on material tests with different colours and a multitude of polymers, the best finish proved to come with a basic PLA polymer requiring little to none post-processing.
The lamp diameter and maximum volumes are fixed. Customers are able to choose the installation position, height, top radius, middle radius location, and the base width – as well as the quantity required. Defining these variables on the website influences the price, updated in real-time on-screen as customers set their desired parameters. The image of the lamp is simultaneously updated. Once the design is finalized, the customer sends the file, the order is processed, and the lamp is delivered in 2–3 weeks.
How can 3D printing technology prove economically viable as a business model for the serial production of a consumer product?
The 3D printing is done using the Bits from Bites 3D Touch Machine. Rhino python scripts and grasshopper are used to parameterize the lamp form and input controls. Web2py is used as the platform for outputting this information to the web-based interface, called ADD Works.