Currently we think of 3D printing as the most technologically advanced way of easily and cheaply creating custom products -- but a research experiment called computational thermoforming could change that. This method could change the way people think about design in the future, specifically when it comes to fabrication.
The technique combines hardware and software to enable you to create one of a kind things from your computer. Computational thermoforming lets you make extremely intricate plastic objects, including masks, molds and models in a variety of textures and colors.
Described by Fast Company's CoDesign as "sort of like artisanal injection molding for hobbyists and Etsy types," this experiment is outlined in a research paper by Christian Schuller, Daniele Panozzo, Anselm Grundhofer, Henning Zimmer, Evgeni Sorkine, Olga Sorkine-Hornung, ETH Zurich and Disney Research.
Computational Thermoforming Could Disrupt Fabrication Design
1. Computational Thermoforming - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Offering a new way of fabricating custom products using a combination of hardware and software.
2. Intricate Plastic Objects - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Allowing for the creation of highly detailed plastic items, such as masks, molds, and models, in a range of textures and colors.
3. Artisanal Injection Molding - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Introducing a method similar to injection molding that is accessible to hobbyists and individuals on online marketplaces like Etsy.
1. Fabrication - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Revolutionizing the design and production process for fabrication by enabling the creation of unique, custom products.
2. Plastic Manufacturing - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Transforming the plastic manufacturing industry by offering new techniques and capabilities for creating intricate objects.
3. 3D Printing - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Providing an alternative to traditional 3D printing methods by offering a more accessible and cost-effective approach to fabrication.