A new language of lighting fixtures combine textiles and polymer in 3D printing
In collaboration with stratasys Ltd.
The project aims to create a new language of lighting fixtures that emphasize innovation, Three-dimensionality, and unique aesthetics while preserving the raw qualities of each material.
The lighting fixtures celebrate a relationship of contrast - soft versus hard, constructive versus flexibility, 3D versus 2D, and especially the advanced printing technology combined with simple and familiar textiles.
Project made in collaboration with stratasys Ltd. A company that manufactures and markets 3D printers, a leader in the development of 3D printers based on an advanced technology called POLYJET.
The project deals with a relationship between two materials, with the ultimate goal being to create added value that exists only thanks to this combination. Since each material has unique properties, I wanted to maintain its personal identity and be able to contribute its existing qualities to the total of the object created.
A relationship based on the value of contrast is the principle I chose to focus on in the work process.
Material contrast is expressed on two levels, one, the conceptual perception that includes a difference between our expectations of the material itself compared to the object obtained. And the second is a practical concept with contrasting properties such as volume versus flat, constructiveness versus flexibility, opacity versus transparency, etc.
For the role of the soft material in this relationship, I chose textiles. I have made various attempts to understand how I manage to extract from it its uniqueness. During this interrogation, I discovered the contrast I was looking for when I heated the textile to a melting level which caused the fibers to harden and become a hard polymer. From this, I deduced that the two materials I would work with would be elastic textiles combined with a hard polymer.
I tried different options in search of the way to connect these two materials, by default I chose to make the initial attempts at manual connections and as I continued to work I came to understand that using 3D printing technology can be the right way for connecting materials. I began to get to know the world of 3D printing so I can specialize in this technology.
3D printing on textiles is an evolving field in the industry and is subject to various interpretations and expressions, whether it is printing a textile look, imitating textiles from a hard material, or printing a hard polymer on textiles for the purpose of creating an innovative texture. The use of this technology in the textile combination often exists in the field of fashion.
The initial attempts were printed on my home printer that works with FDM technology, a printing technology based on wire from a thermoplastic material that is melted and solidified again into a designed configuration. I built a dedicated surface for printing on the textile that at the time of printing the polymer is melted and adhered to it.
The discovery that made me realize that this is the technology that will accompany me throughout the project was one of the attempts to print thin lines that lasted only 8 minutes and managed to produce a three-dimensional surfaces that I found a lot of potential in.
I have made printing attempts of various patterns. Each pattern created a surprising 3D volume with high aesthetics. My use of technology has been very subtle and basic in relation to the objects identified with the technology and what it is capable of doing. The goal was to use it as accurately as possible and turn its shortcomings into a design opportunity and problem-solving.
I chose to apply the discoveries in the field of lighting out of a decision to produce a functional product that will highlight the qualities of simple textiles in the face of complex technology. I chose to focus on the polymer property to harden the textiles and empower them into constructive, volumetric, and structural strength. The aim was to create a new language of lighting fixtures that emphasize innovation, three-dimensionality, and unique aesthetics while preserving the raw qualities of each material.
The sources of inspiration that accompanied me at the beginning of the project were mainly from the world of textiles, Pleats, Origami, and 3D Shibori. But I knew that in order to achieve the goal of creating a new language I had to go for less conventional sources of inspiration. I chose the underwater animal world as a formal source of inspiration, its investigation revealed to me a mesmerizing formal world, full of unique and unusual amorphous bodies. The formal and colorful abstraction I made is reflected in the design and planning of the lighting fixtures.
Stratasys is the leading company in the development of 3D printers based on an advanced technology called PolyJet.
PolyJet printers use UV-sensitive liquid polymer. PolyJet printing is the optimal method for printing on textiles because the liquid polymer, called a photopolymer, is absorbed into the textile and hardens in exposure to UV light, making the polymer an integral part of the textile.
3D printers are not considered mass production tools and this is because the printing time for 3D objects is long and slow and therefore not efficient for a fast industrial manufacturing process.
Beyond the shapes and colors that printing is capable of, its purpose here is to create a selective rigidity that produces constructiveness and for that, thin beams are sufficient. Which significantly
affects the printing time and makes the 3D printing process an industrial tool for everything.
The printing time of the light fixtures is between 2-5 hours, depending on the size of the light fixture.
The production process is fast, efficient, and has the advantage of manufacturing in one factory. Even the “sewing” and connection processes are solved by 3D printing.
The lighting fixtures celebrate the advanced printing technology combined with simple and familiar textiles.
This is just the beginning of the formal options that can be obtained thanks to 3D printing on textiles.