Home Furnishings Go Open Source with FABrics Easy to Make Chairs

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FABrics is open sourced furniture.

FABrics is open sourced furniture.

When something is open source, that means that all of the resources that the creators used are available for anyone else to use, either for their own projects or to customize and improve upon the work that was already done. While the concept of something being open source has traditionally been applied to software, it really didn’t take long for the term to to be co-opted for all types of new technologies and ideas. Today there are open sourced plans for hardware, open sourced scientific research, open sourced encyclopedias and even open sourced music. And now there is open sourced home furnishings, designed to be made by anyone, anywhere with easy to access technology and materials.

The FABrics project was created by Ningal, an Israeli designer, artist, maker and graduate of Holon Institute of Technology. The work of Ningal is inspired by the world around her, and she says that she is especially fond of working with basic, traditional raw materials and using them in new ways with the newest technologies available to her. Her concept behind creating the FABrics designs was to create a collection of easy to make home furnishings that can be made from virtually any locally sourced materials that can be customized by the maker who is assembling them.

The Martha Chair on the right and the Enzo Chair on the left.

The Martha Chair on the right and the Enzo Chair on the left.

The first two designs are a pair of chairs, each made from simple plywood, some pieces of strong leather and held together with a handful of 3D printed connectors. All of the materials are relatively simple to find just about anywhere these days, as are the tools needed to make them. The plywood can be cut using a basic CNC router, while the leather can be laser-cut using a basic laser engraver. Both machines are commonly found as standard equipment in just about any FabLab or MakerSpace anywhere in the world. The 3D printed connectors are simple models that are fast and easy to print. When made from a strong material like ABS they are more than sturdy enough to hold everything together nicely.

CNC cut wood, laser cut leather and 3D printed connectors are all that's needed.

CNC cut wood, laser cut leather and 3D printed connectors are all that’s needed.

“In a time when DIY culture and the Maker Movement are emerging in response to commercially manufactured products, FABrics Chairs are open-source furniture the ‘consumer’ produces at home. This open-source model is based on a more decentralized model of production, in contrast with more centralized models such as those typically used by commercial manufacturing companies,” Ningal wrote on her project at Core77.

Ningal designed two different styles of chair, the Enzo Chair, which has a modern, simpler and more organic shape to it and the Martha Chair, which is a slightly more traditional chair design with a more defined back. Both chairs can be fabricated from just about any type of plywood, but the samples made by Ningal are made from a cheap and easy to find birch wood that will look great in just about any room. However, Ningal encourages makers to customize the chairs to their own, specific tastes using their own preferred materials. They can use any type of wood, either purchased or reclaimed, and it can be stained, painted or even left bare for a modern, industrial feel.

The leather can be stained any color, even a variety of colors, and it can even be stamped or crimped to give it some texture. While the plans for both chairs call for leather to be used for the seat, it would be relatively simple to adapt the design for other materials. The maker can use cheaper materials like vinyl or canvas, as long as it is strong enough to support someone sitting in it. Additionally, the 3D printed connectors can be printed in any color so it matches, contrasts or complements the rest of the materials.

Ningal will be exhibiting her open sourced FABrics furnishings at the upcoming Fuorisalone 2016, an international furniture fair taking place all this week, April 12th to the 17th in Milan, Italy. FABrics will be featured in the RAW EXHIBITION of SBODIO 32, held at the Ventura Design District in Lambrate. You can learn more about FABrics and their designer Ningal on her website. Discuss in the FABrics & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

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