How 3D printing and artisanal traditions walk hand in hand into the future
Every innovation has many consequences and exploring new design horizons also means bringing together different technologies. In this case, robotics and 3D printing, or additive manufacturing.
The symbol of Caracol Design Studio is a snail, which has a shell with a complex and layered structure. A good metaphor for the idea of what lies behind systemic design.
The impact of 3D printing can be felt in many manufacturing supply chains. For example, they’re working on the design of a customized ergonomic chair. Paolo Cassis, one of Caracol’s founders, explains that they would start by scanning your body and back and using the data, elaborate it digitally to produce a chair, with millimeter accuracy, via the robot and the 3D printer. For a cost of a few hundred euros.
Another example of efficiency with this manufacturing process is the creation of a simple clamp, which affects the performance of a robotic arm. Caracol printed a clamp which is much lighter than the piece traditionally made of metal. Their clamp, installed on the robot, has allowed companies to save money as the the robotic arm is lighter and can achieve the same results as larger, more expensive robots.
This doesn’t mean that they don’t value the way things used to be done, in fact, they believe that the value of tradition should be carried forward even in an innovative field like 3D printing, precisely because a beneficial collaboration between tradition and innovation can be an engine of the progress of design.