Most of us either try to recycle daily or have constant plans to do better in that area. We’ve followed many stories connecting 3D printing and recycling, from ocean waste to 3D printing filament; however, the topic gets just a bit more interesting when Swarovski crystals are the items being re-used. Swarovski crystals have been used in numerous 3D printing projects, even to include special edition shoes and prosthetics.

Now, in a recent contest centering around the precision-cut Austrian gems, makers have been finding many different ways to feature Swarovski crystals in their creative—and incredibly innovative—work. For the Swarovski Designers of the Future for 2017, the three winners have chosen to make works such as 3D printed vases, terrazzo tiles, and solar panels. Aside from winning this year’s awards, they also had the privilege of putting their creations together as one installation for the recently held Design Miami/Basel.

The winners are:

TAKT Project – this is a Japanese studio founded in 2011 by Satoshi Yoshiizumi (a former employee of Nendo). For the contest, they delved into the use of the crystals as a 3D printing material—collaborating with Micron3DP of Tel Aviv for the Printed Crystal series. They made both candle holders and vases with ribbed textures impossible to create without 3D printing technology.

“By printing crystal we can in effect print light, a new way of thinking that will be part of shaping societies in the future,” said the TAKT Project team.

Micron3DP unveiled its glass 3D printing technology in 2015 and has been nearing commercialization. Developments in 3D printing with glass can offer interesting opportunities for companies like Swarovski, as the gems for which the company is world-famous are similar to lead glass, making the materials an intriguing candidate for use in 3D printed creations and unlocking new geometries and forms.

Jimenez Lai – the founder of Bureau Spectacular incorporated ‘second-quality crystal’ into his project for the contest, titled Terrazzo Palazzo. Although perhaps not good enough for Swarovski’s creations, these seconds still look very good; in fact, without the scrutiny of a microscope, they most likely look as perfect as the real thing. Lai created his own version of the popular terrazzo tile, to include multi-colored tiles, with one to represent each of the Designers of the Future.

Marjan van Aubel – this innovator is known for including the crystals in items such as windows and tables, but for this project began making them part of solar cells. They are portable, meant for the user to keep them during the day as they gather energy and then can be used as needed for light in the home at night. She made three such cells for the installation in her project, Cyanometer—a name inspired by the color of the sky.

Swarovski came on board as the contest sponsor two years ago, so crystals have been an ongoing theme that has now evolved, with the integration of technology such as 3D printing. This installation was showcased at Design Miami/Basel June 13 through 18. The venue is known as a forum that brings together collectors, artists, designers and more from around the world each year. Top galleries create exhibits for this ‘celebration of design culture and commerce.’ Discuss in the 3D Printed Crystals forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: dezeen / Images: Mark Cocksedge via dezeen]

 

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