Students of the Bartlett Architecture School Came Up With an Alternative to 3D Printing


A group of students from the Bartlett School of Architecture demonstrated the results of an innovative study devoted to the search for a fast and inexpensive robotic way of furniture production. “Mickey Matter” – a universal system of “construction” of interior items, which reminds the designer Lego: lightweight plastic parts, produced in three sizes, are attached to each other, forming tables or chairs. The assembly is handled by a robot equipped with a manipulator with vacuum suckers, and, according to the authors of the project, the process takes much less time than 3D printing.

Also, for making furniture with the help of “Mickey Matter”, less material is needed: hollow streamlined blocks-“voxels” (three-dimensional analogue of a pixel) make the subject easy and inexpensive. The shape of the details, which gives the furniture to the “Mickey Matter” a futuristic look, is chosen primarily for functional reasons: the robot is easier to “stick” to the rounded surface and thanks to the smooth outlines of the “voxel” they quickly fit together. While the team presented three furniture prototypes made with the help of the system, but the designers are sure that its application can be wider: from the construction of building blocks to interior experiments.


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