When Stratasys first unveiled the creation of their ‘Innovation Workshop’, Bold Machines, back in September of 2014, many people were wondering what they had up their sleeves. Headed up by former MakerBot CEO, Bre Pettis, undoubtedly there would be some incredible creations originating from the workshop.
The first project was the creation of characters from a featured film that they intend on producing, called ‘Margo‘, and then there came rumblings that Pettis and company were working on several other projects, although very few details were released.
At 3D Print Week NY, I had the opportunity to speak with Robert Steiner, General Manager of Bold Machines. I learned that, although the Innovation Workshop consists of a very small team of just three individuals (including Bre Pettis and Steiner himself), the projects that are being undertaken are not small by any means.
There are actually several projects being developed at the Bold Machines studio, located in the old MakerBot building in Brooklyn, NY. These are being put forth by independent artists who utilize the many MakerBot, Stratasys, and Solidscape 3D printers available on premises. These artists have the ability to visualize what they want to create, and then fabricate their designs in real time with the help of the Bold Machines’ team and hardware.
One such artist is Robert Debbane, who has utilized Bold Machines’ resources to a great extent.
“I’ve been working on a series of 3D printed lighting designs since 2011,” Debbane tells 3DPrint.com. “I started experimenting with a Makerbot Cupcake printer which had a very small print bed. This limitation led me to experiment with interlocking designs that would allow me to make bigger pieces. From there, I’ve been experimenting with a variety of printer types (FDM and SLS printers), and making pieces that take advantage of what each technology has to offer.”
Robert Debbane Studio is located in Brooklyn, NY, not far from Bold Machines’ headquarters. Its collection of lighting designs have been fabricated on 3D printers, bringing to light (quite literally) the potential that this technology provides for the development of interior design elements. Debbane’s latest creation is what he refers to as the Galactica Chandelier, and it is an amazing piece indeed.
“My first version of the Galactica design came in the form of a table lamp,” Debbane tells us. “Galactica evokes infinite sources of light, bringing our stellar origins into our domestic space. If you have nothing else in the room, you can contemplate our universe while lying on the floor staring at Galactica. Unlit, the chandelier holds its own as a sculpture, bringing to mind the cratered surface of a moon.”
The design also takes inspiration from Islamic tile patterns as well as images of outer space and other forms found frequently in nature. It’s when the lamp is turned on that the magic really happens (as seen in the photos provided).
“The initial step was to refine the visual pattern I wanted to use,” Debbane explained. “This involved making some sketches by hand and then translating them in Solidworks. From there, I experimented with variations on the design until I was happy with the way the light passed through a part. Once I had the look and feel I was looking for, I refined the hinges.”
After the success of the table lamp, it was onto creating the chandelier version of Galactica, a piece fabricated by Debbane with Bold Machines’s help. It is made up of 176 snap-fit polycarbonate pieces. Produced by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing’s RedEye, the piece will be on display in the Robert Debbane Studio booth at WantedDesign Manhattan as part of NYCxDesign, taking place from May 15-18, 2015. Without a doubt, it will be a site to see.
This is only one of several projects currently being undertaken at Bold Machines. There will surely be many more on the horizon. What do you think about this unique chandelier? Discuss in the Bold Machines forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the assembly process below.