This project focused on looking at upholstered products with a view to produce sustainable new concepts and ideas. The focus was on using new technologies to achieve this. Research was carried out in depth to justify the design criteria and set out the main objectives of the exploration.
• Is there a problem or environmental issues with the materials used? (i.e. the foams and fabrics)
• Is there improvements to be made in the construction of upholstered furniture?
• What are the biggest design factors in upholstered furniture?
• How can 3D printing and new technologies help?
The research carried out is documented in depth in the thesis. Some of it is summarised here.
The project then followed the development of a structure to replace polyurethane foam and design for disassembly/re-use, the two main criteria to address identified through the research. A flexible 3D printed solution was worked on, using nylon, to provide soft seating in combination with a cushion/evening-out surface.
A number of designed products were developed, and two of the stools were made at full size. The aim was that eventually, with more testing, the 3D printed parts of these products could be shredded at end of life, and re-extruded into new 3D printing material and made into new products. Thus, the name LATTICE closed loop furniture. It was found that whilst this project was aimed at producing flexible structures for soft seating, the structure could be changed in its angles, to create strength of flexibility where necessary, meaning it could be used to create other furniture items like tables.