Despite being a tried and true advocate of 3D printing, designer and 3DS Creative Director Janne Kyttanen consistently puts his beloved technology to the test. In his latest efforts to push the limits of 3D printing, Janne created a single-build, sofa-like lounger using the least amount of materials possible to maintain strength and durability. The result is an impressive and airy 1.5 meter long, 80 centimeter tall seat that used only 2.5 liters of material.

Janne’s inspiration for this project was the unique optimization capability of 3D printing, and he’s quick to make the cognitive leap from his lounger to the vast potential for alternate applications of 3D printing: airplane and automotive design among them. No matter the industry, Janne says the status quo of design is an overuse of materials based on limitations imposed by the available tools. “Fundamentally, there is about 80% excess material-use in construction using the classic H-beam. By using the strongest architectural shape – a diamond prism – I was able to make something strong and big with a priority on conservation,” Janne says.

Janne designed his lounger in Geomagic Freeform, allowing him to create perfectly smooth 3D printing meshes at the click of a button. He then scaled his model to the maximum parameters of 3DS’ ProX 950 SLA printer to create what is now the largest single-build from that machine. Along the way, Janne conducted various material tests on scale models to find his preferred method of metal-plating, and ultimately opted for electroless nickel plating with his final piece. Janne’s durability tests were rigorous if not conventional, and included kicking prints, standing on them and slinging them against walls.

Using optimized lattice structures, a designer can make all the necessary considerations of load, pressure and give, while reducing weight and maintaining strength. “This can have huge positive side-effects in fuel and transportation costs,” Janne points out. “We haven’t even thought of all the advantages 3D printing will provide.” 

Do you have an idea for an amazing 3D print? Join our 3DS Design Challenge for the chance to win a Cube 3D printer! Click here for rules.