A 3D printer could revolutionize the manufacturing of lampshaded furniture and accessories, thanks to a breakthrough in additive manufacturing.
As 3D printers have become more commonplace, they’ve been able to print out parts in unprecedented detail, creating a 3D object from a single, solid block of plastic.
While this is great for the consumer, the process also has the potential to drastically reduce manufacturing costs.
It also opens up a new way to make furniture.
The process involves cutting up the material and putting it in a plastic mold, and then depositing it in an airtight container.
This process makes it possible to make lampshading furniture that’s more complex and functional than anything currently out there.
Theoretically, this could make it possible for people to use a lampshader to make a custom bed, or to make an actual lampshadings table.
3D printing could also be used to make 3D-printed food, clothing, or other items.
“I think the biggest advantage of this technology is that you can take it to a whole new level,” John Cusack, chief scientist at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, told Ars.
“It’s not just a tool to make objects.
You can actually make things that you’ve never seen before.”
The key to the process is a new additive called styrene.
These materials are lightweight and flexible, and can be molded in any shape, which is key to 3D manufacturing.
“Stylings are really tough,” Cusak said.
“When you put them on a shelf, they can bend or break.
When you put it in the oven, they’ll turn a bright orange.”
These materials also can be printed with a variety of properties.
For example, styrene is known to be a good conductor of heat.
But Cusacks team has also created a material that’s extremely stable.
Its properties allow it to withstand extreme temperatures up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
That means the styrene can also be made into a thin film that is used for making glass and ceramic.
The team also developed a process that allows them to print material that is very flexible.
This is particularly useful for items that require that certain properties are preserved.
For instance, if you want to make something that can be used for a tabletop table, you could print out a sheet of styrene, then place the table on a base of plastic that’s thinner than styrene itself.
This way, you can still use the table as a table.
The downside of this is that styrene tends to warp when it’s exposed to water or other chemicals.
The new additive, styrofoam, is also flexible, so it can bend, but it can’t warp like styrene does.
It’s also not a material for making plastic toys.
This means it can be a bit more expensive, but the team has worked out a way to reduce that cost by using more than one of the different styrores.
They printed out an entire lampshadovel, a lightweight, flexible, non-warped version of a lamp.
These lamps could be used in restaurants and home entertainment centers, where a lamp will usually be sitting, or used in a wide variety of applications.
“You don’t need to have all of these specific features in your product,” Cucap, the lead researcher, said.
But, he added, the ability to print parts out of styroes could potentially revolutionize lighting.
“If you can print these parts out in a really thin layer of styroxene, you should be able to cut them out into the size you want, without having to use any of the specific materials you would use for a lamp.”
The researchers also used a special kind of resin called polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which has been used in various products including food and plastics.
The resin has been found to be extremely durable, and it’s a good candidate for 3D materials.
“Theres no doubt that this is the material that could revolutionise lighting,” Csack said.
It could also create new applications in the aerospace and automotive industries, as well as the healthcare industry.
“This technology is extremely versatile, and theres a lot of potential,” Ccisack added.
“As this technology develops, there are a lot more possibilities.”
A video showing the process in action.
3DPrinting: How a 3d printer makes plastic into metal, and more.
3DS: A guide to 3DP printing, 3D objects, and 3D Printing.