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August 23, 2008

1 Min Read
New use for rapid prototyping material

DMP_DSM_honey_bunnsA.gifAt the Spin Off forum of the Cologne International Furniture Fair, a translucent, honeycombed stool called Honey Bunns turned more than a few heads. What caught IMM?s eye was not just the unusual design, but the fact that Honey Bunns was fabricated via stereolithography.

Freedom of Creation (FOC), a noted design house based in Amsterdam, designed the 36-by-38-by-51-cm stool with the RP process in mind; it was the only viable means of producing the complex honeycomb structure. One stool takes 52 hours to build on 3D Systems? SLA 7000, and can be dyed or spray painted to produce hundreds of colors and textures. While not rapid manufacturing, per se, the process allows FOC to market the furniture as custom pieces, built to order.FOC plans to offer Honey Bunns commercially at a price of e5000 ($6000). It will most likely be fabricated and sold through Materialise, an RP service bureau and software provider headquartered in Belgium, which currently makes and markets several FOC lighting products.

To make the airy stool structurally capable of withstanding frequent use, FOC chose a resin that promises extremely low water absorption. The stool is fabricated from WaterShed (DSM Somos), a general purpose stereolithography resin that features resistance to water and humidity. According to Dan Mickish, R&D manager for DSM Somos, mechanical properties of the relatively new material match those of ABS, and tensile and flexural strength are unaffected by humid environments, unlike other SLA resins.

DSM Somos, New Castle, DE
(302) 326-8100; www.dsmsomos.com

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