NOWlab Designs a Recyclable, Biodegradable 3D Printable ‘Glacier’ Table

Share this Article

Mendenhall Glacier ice cavesThe Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska is famous for its magnificent ice caves, but it also serves as a bellwether of how the climate of Earth is in flux.

Some 3,000 years ago and ending in the mid-1700s, the glacier had reached its point of maximum advance nearly two and a half miles from where it now terminates. The glacier began retreating as its annual rate of melt began to exceed its total annual accumulation, and as the ice retreats and uncovers bare rock, the wind and melt result in the spectacular forms which serve as the ceilings of the caves.

NOWlab Glacier TableGerman design firm NOWlab says they began an ongoing research project to study these glaciers’ natural evolution in their applications with the idea of creating products which reflect the processes at work there.

Their Glacier is a 100% recyclable and biodegradable sculptural table meant to represent a new paradigm for product development and construction.

Founding partners Jörg Petri and Daniel Büning established NOWlab in 2014. Petri was an associate architect and project leader at UNStudio in Amsterdam, and was Büning investigating novel digital solutions for the design, simulation and fabrication of 3D printed architectural elements.

With Glacier, the pair say they wished to integrate three-dimensional, periodic microstructures in the table to provide structural performance and light weight. They used computer simulations to account for the locations of peak stress points within the table, and they adjust the geometry of the design to handle those forces. img_10_1435856060_09f8c949a4029ba85b89a25e2fd93af5

Working in cooperation with BigRep and using that company’s ONE.2 printer, the designers build each of the tables entirely with the 3D printing process. The ONE.2 printer is capable of building objects up to 1m³, and the table itself is made from biodegradable plastic.img_4_1435856060_2f223afa531fa1e2c0293572cbd7d4af

 “The processes of material layering over time, respectively layers of snow compacting, becoming ice and being melted to water eventually evaporating and becoming clouds are the fragile stages of this fascinating and complete cycle of nature,” the designers say of their manufacturing choice. “The ‘GLACIER’ therefore stands for the idea of the optimum material cycle. It is created through an additive production process where material is added over time in a layer-by-layer manner without further molds or additional scaffolding material necessary. The biodegradable material used in this design can be 100% recycled and melted again to produce another material formation of different function.”

Petri and Büning say they hope the project “opens the gateway to a new dimension of 3D printing and 3D manufacturing” and that the technology allows them to produce furniture pieces on demand and ready to use.

Have you ever visited the Mendenhall Glacier or purchased any 3D printed furniture? Let us know in the 3D Printed Glacier Table forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out more photos of the table and 3D printers used below.

glacier_06_S_1125 glacier_05_S_500 glacier_17_print_563 glacier_16_print_563

 

Share this Article


Recent News

Researchers Use Autodesk Ember 3D Printer to Characterize 3D Printed Lenses

‘3D Printing in Medical Libraries’ Offers Great Advice for Librarians & Users Too



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

BASF Continues Momentum in 3D Printing with BigRep and Farsoon Partnerships, Expansion into Asia Pacific

Global chemical company BASF, headquartered in Germany, knows that setting up partnerships with other innovative companies is key to getting ahead in the 3D printing industry. In November, BASF 3D Printing...

Step Inside Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory With Virtual Tours of Facility’s 3D Printing Labs and the World’s Biggest Laser

Some of the most interesting work being done with technology today takes place at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Located in Livermore, California, the researchers at LLNL have been responsible for...

Eight-Year-Old Michigan Boy with Moebius Syndrome Receives 3D Printed Hand from CMU’s MakerBot Innovation Center

Austin Brittain is a sophomore at Central Michigan University. And it goes to show that you never know what’s going to happen when you walk into class on any given...

The Reports of 3D Printing’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain   Like most, I revel in the idea of an argument I can win, so when our editor-in-chief asked...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!