Amsterdam-based Faberhama, a home product design firm headed by a team of Italian designers, is using state-of-the-art 3D printing technology combined with the time-honored craft of glassblowing in a new line of maritime-inspired lighting.
Designers Paola Amabile and Alberto Fabbian launched their latest creations in a campaign they’ve called “Dual Land,” which speaks to the seafaring traditions on the coasts of the Netherlands, their adopted country, and of their native land, Italy. Concentrating specifically on Venice and Amsterdam, with the two cities’ centuries-old tradition of seafaring trade, the two designers hoped to evoke the past, images of the sea and of distant beacons of light beckoning and guiding vessels to safe harbor. This imagery they fused–quite literally–with the contemporary manufacturing technique of the 3D printing with metal.
Amabile and Fabbian were intrigued by objects, particularly storm lamps or hurricane lanterns, in the collection of the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuiven, once a thriving harbor town of the Dutch East India Company. The pragmatism of the artifacts in the museum is present in the designs in the Dual Land collection as most have a utilitarian function, but there is also the distinct stamp of Venetian glass in the artisanal aesthetic of the designs that infuses Amabile and Fabbian’s designs with both whimsy and nostalgia.
The 3D printing technique used to create the metal components of Amabile and Fabbian’s floor lamp and other objects with combined metal and glass elements is Selective Laser Melting (SLM). With SLM, a high-powered laser fuses fine metal powders together based on a 3D digital model. It differs from sintering in that it fully melts and fuses the powder so that the resulting object is one homogenous part. Sintering is used more often with alloys.
In photos on the Faberhama site documenting the production of objects for the Dual Land collection, this theme of melting and fusing is taken even further, as one of the metal elements produced with SLM is incorporated into the molten glass material. There is something almost magical or alchemical about the photos and, moreover, the way these designers have ingeniously forged a relationship between revered, traditional craft techniques and emergent ones.
Other objects in the Dual Land collection feature 3D printed metal elements introduced more subtly. They reference fish hooks, bubbles, fish scales, the glass floats from fishing nets, and more. Glass containers nested in glass containers call to mind the puzzling ships in bottles and overt references to the maritime life like rope round out the collection. Another nice touch is the addition of sand to the base of the floor lamp, an inspired detail that demonstrates just how mindfully these two designers embrace the creative process.
Let us know what you think of the intersection of maritime inspiration and glassblowing with high-tech 3D printing techniques in the Dual Land forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out more photos of the pieces and process below.