Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rapid Manufacturing & Janne Kyttanen

Rapid manufacturing is an additive fabrication technique for manufacturing solid objects by the sequential delivery of energy and/or material to specified points in space to produce that part. Current practice is to control the manufacturing process by computer using a mathematical model created with the aid of a computer. Rapid manufacturing done in parallel batch production can provide a large advantage in speed and cost compared to alternative manufacturing techniques such as plastic injection molding or die-casting. Rapid manufacturing may involve custom parts, replacement parts, short run production, or series production. (When the part is used in the development process only, the appropriate term is rapid prototyping.) Rapid manufacturing for large products with layer-based manufacturing from metals, plastics, or composite materials is well known for several industrial applications in the military and aerospace sectors. Small products and microsystem applications are known in medical as well as diagnostics and sensor technologies. Batch production of very small parts by rapid manufacturing techniques may offer cost and time advantages. Increasingly, rapid manufacturing is being applied to automotive, motor sports, jewelry, dentistry, orthodontics, medicine, consumer products, and collectibles. http://www.wikipedia.com/rapidmanufacturing

Janne Kyttänen, born in Finland in 1974, is just one of the big names behind today's product designs created using Rapid manufacturing technologies. During his studies in Barcelona, Janne began experimenting with Rapid Manufacturing. At that time industrial designers used the technology to produce prototypes for new products, hence the name. He proved the potential of using the technique as a manufacturing tool and introduced a line of Augmented Reality based Rapid Manufactured products as his thesis for graduation. One of the sponsors of this project was the European leader in Rapid Manufacturing, Belgian company Materialise NV, who were looking for new ways to use the technology. Janne founded his company FOC in Helsinki in 2000 and in 2002 started FOC in its current form in Amsterdam while using Materialise's machines to produce rapid manufactured lights. This collaboration led to the new Materialise MGX department, which presented its first collection of designer lampshades manufactured with 3D printing techniques at the Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2003. The collection promptly won the Blueprint Best Newcomer Award at the 2003 100% Design Show in London. Today, Janne runs his aptly named company Freedom of Creation from an 18th Century townhouse at the Herengracht in Amsterdam, delving deep into unlocking the numerous potentials Rapid Manufacturing offers. The company produces unique light designs and interior accessories in highly complex and intricate forms and its endless experimenting and research into material applications has resulted in the production of rapid manufactured fabrics made up of thousands of tiny, interlocking pieces. FOC feel the potential is enormous but the fashion industry is as yet reluctant. Further experiments have produced watch straps and jewelry made from a mixture of flexible aluminum and nylon. Janne is convinced that all this is just a foretaste of what is to come: a profound change in the way objects are manufactured. No surprise he and his company won the Blueprint Best New Exhibitor Award at 100% Design 2006. http://www.within4walls.co.uk/new/designers.php?id=JANNE%20KYTTANEN

What a truly cool tool. Very expensive and originally used for prototyping, but not exclusively, until Kyttanen decided that he should not be limited in his design ideas. A 3D printer, unbelievable! Students were encouraged to find one to use but I think that until several companies start making them, they are nothing more than a pipe dream…unless someone wants to lend me 20thou?

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