The House Tipster Industry team has been proud to spotlight many impressive up-and-coming product developers and designers coming out of this ICFF 2019 show in New York City. This includes the next generation of great makers: promising college students from across the country.
This season, Virginia Tech design students Gabby Perry, Kaelum Hasler, Cole Powell, and Callen McGill exhibited some of their latest work for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, and told us all about their creative process and the 3D printing technology they are working with.
“Our booth here at ICFF consists of work from students in the Center for Design Research,” Hasler said. “That’s both architects and product design students, as well as some work by graduate students and faculty in the architecture program. We have some architectural facade projects, we have some large-scale additive manufactured furniture, as well as smaller-scale 3D-printed research.”
To make their pieces, like the grand 3D printed and wood-topped objects on display at ICFF, the students must combine their creativity with tech know-how and engineering research.
“The machine that we use to print the majority of our large-scale furniture is a 14-foot industrial robot arm that’s been outfitted with a custom pellet extruder,” Hasler explained. “We get our plastic in pellets, and then we have a system that pushes the pellets up to a small hopper at the extruder, and then it gets heated and extruded through the auger at the end of the robot arm in order to print our objects.”
In the future, these students see their work being part of a larger waste-free design solution.
“The eventual goal is to really use recycled plastics for all of this,” Hesler said. “[We want] to bring recycled plastic manufacturing into the home and into the architectural scale so we can start to print furniture and buildings from one hundred percent recycled plastics so that you’re not creating any waste.”
“The reason to use additive manufacturing is because it’s probably the most sustainable way to build something,” he added. “You have no extra pieces, you have no extra waste.”
Stay tuned for more student profiles from this ICFF season, coming soon to House Tipster Industry.