A groundbreaking technology is making a name for itself – additive manufacturing makes it possible to manufacture products quickly, flexibly and cost-effectively directly from 3D CAD data. Components can be produced layer by layer without tools. AM gives product designers limitless possibilities and freedom, because their ideas can take shape in any three-dimensional geometry. It is also being described as a “design-driven manufacturing process”. Turning objects into data.

The Spiral Lamp adds architectural highlights as a pendant or table lamp. (photo: echtmacherei)
The creative minds tinkering in the mountain village of Ebnit, above Dornbirn. (Photo: Darko Todorovic)
Markus Schrittwieser gives the designers an insight into the almost limitless possibilities of additive manufacturing. (Photo: Darko Todorovic)
Another impressive result – the “Breakout” hanging lamp with text element illuminates the bar area (photo: echtmacherei). (photo: echtmacherei)
Insight into the design process for the “Breakout” hanging lamp. (Photo: 1zu1 Prototypes)
The workshops began with an introduction to 1zu1 Prototypes on site in Dornbirn. (Photo: Darko Todorovic)
Markus Schrittwieser, a 3D printing specialist from 1zu1 (far left) in conversation with the participants at the product design workshop. (Photo: Darko Todorovic)

1zu1 is the ideal partner for this new type of production. We were once again able to prove this via an innovative design project as part of the poolbar Festival 2016. Each year talented designers and craftspeople design the equipment and architecture for this famous music festival. This year, Markus Schrittwieser from 1zu1 oversaw the project management and made his extensive 3D-printing expertise available.

AM projects – from the idea to the product

A customer's product idea is translated into a virtual data model via CAD. Even at this early stage, we discuss the optimal manufacturing technology with the customer. We inform them about various 3D printing technologies, their respective fields of application and advantages, and also discuss complementary technologies (e.g., vacuum casting, metal casting, rapid tooling).

Markus Schrittwieser: “Selective Laser Sintering is particularly well-suited to additive manufacturing. The components are presented with the finest, slightly roughly sanded surfaces and ultra-thin layers with a thickness of just 0.1 mm. In terms of the desired materials, PA, glass-reinforced PA, PP and rubber are available.”

The idea is then implemented. The customer designs – 1zu1 takes care of perfecting the technology. The first prototypes are quickly printed in 3D to avoid errors or risks. Typically, the designs are then revised and improved. The resulting solution comes close to series production.

After sufficient testing and series release, production begins on one of the SLS 3D printing systems that are in use at 1zu1. The product is now ready for the end customer.

Markus Schrittwieser: “AM shows its strengths especially with small series or a batch size of a single piece. A real breakthrough of AM/SLS is the ability to produce different types/versions of a product in one production process. The buzzword here is ‘individualization’.

Unlimited possibilities from a batch size of one

Markus Schrittwieser and the festival design team thus made rapid progress with the poolbar project – from the idea to the product. In other words: Construction without design limitations and the creation of quick, comprehensible models that served to improve and perfect the end product. The result was two beautiful lamp types for the poolbar crowd. This mini-series was manufactured without tools via Selective Laser Sintering at 1:1.

The Breakout lamp

AM brings boundless design freedom. The bar lamp “Breakout” (PA) was developed from one surface into a fascinating 3D object. By breaking out parts, the optics of the lamp can be changed and an underlying layer inscribed with texts is revealed. The only way that 1zu1 could realize this special lampshade design was via 3D printing, specifically on the company's EOS 3D printing systems.

The Spiral Lamp

In Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), detailed functional prototypes or small series from a batch size of one piece are produced, layer by layer. The Spiral Lamp was similarly designed as a two-dimensional surface, printed and then shaped to give it volume. The designers learned to think cost-effectively – via process optimization as part of the AM process, it was possible to simultaneously manufacture 100 lamps and considerably reduce component costs to approx. 45 EUR/lamp, while making optimum use of the installation space.

Markus Schrittwieser: “We were involved in the poolbar project from the first idea to series production. New, creative solutions were found by scrutinizing each sample part. The optimal combination of design processes, technical optimizations and economic efficiency provided an innovative boost.”

Both lamps won plenty of admirers at the poolbar-Festival 2016 and will be presented to the public at various trade fairs on the 1zu1 exhibition stand.