These Elegant 3D Printed Coasters Inspired by Nature are Works of Art

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Romanian architect, product designer, entrepreneur, and 3DPB.com member Irina Alexandra admits that she’s “crazy in love with 3D printing!” Her most recent foray into 3D design and printing yielded an artful collection of elegant coasters that speak to not only her creativity but also her skill as a 3D designer and printer. The collection, Geometrix Meteor, was inspired by nature.sunburst

Irina’s designs include the geometrical designs seen in the most minute of things like snowflakes and intricate, individual grains of sand. One coaster resembles a flower; another is reminiscent of the neat, rows of hexagonal apertures in a beehive. Yet another might be a snowflake or a ship’s wheel, while another looks like a starburst. The more overtly geometrical ones are less evocative of nature than of the shapes created in the framework of a complicated architectural design.

In her very poetic description of her pragmatic but beautiful objects–drink coasters you’d probably just as happily display as works of art (you can do both!)–Irina recounts the process of designing and 3D printing her work:

“Each of the [coasters] has traveled its own road, not short, starting from concept/sketch to [become] a particular accessory in your home.”

Clearly an adept 3D designer, Irina worked on the coasters, refining the designs, 3D printing, and finishing them by hand. The process took three months with the help of her partner–and co-owner of their company, Micro3DTechlab--Dragos Toader.

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One of the design characteristics that Irina hoped to achieve was to create 3-dimensional rather than flat ones like most standard coasters. They are sturdy and allow glasses and cups to sit firmly on the upper edges. Since they are not solid disks, there are clear, 3D printed disks topping the more intricate lower portions of the coasters, so the risk of moisture getting through from the bottom of the glass to the surface of tables is eliminated.

For this project, Irina noted that she used Rhino to design the coasters. She also listed several design suites that she, as an architect and product designer, is familiar with: Autocad, 3D Studio Max, and SolidWorks. The coasters are printed in both ABS and PLA and they are available in a variety of colors: red mercury, golden yellow, gray, olive green, matte black, and blue ciel. The dimensions of each coaster are 95 x 95 x 8 mm. She printed them using a Flashforge Creator Pro 3D printer.

Irina’s Geometrix Meteor coaster collection is being displayed at the chic Delta Studio in Bucharest from April 24 to May 9 in an exhibition that is, she explained, “dedicated to novelties recently launched in international household product [design] fairs.”

Coasters are available for $28 each through the Micro3DTechlab Etsy store. Will you purchase any to decorate your home? Let us know what you think of these designs in the 3D Printed Drink Coasters forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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