This zip-tie chair is at the vanguard of a revolution in manufacturing

We keep asking the question: "in a world where everything can be digitized, why move material when we are interested in ideas, creativity and talent?" Here is yet another example of how things are changing. William Holman designed this clever Zip Tie Lounge Chair. He describes it:

The chair takes advantage of the flexibility inherent in zip tie joinery to create an articulated hammock of seating panels that conforms to the body. Modern, lightweight, and laid-back, it can be customized with different veneers or colors of zip tie. When it comes time to move, the chair breaks down with a pair of scissors and packs into a 24 inch-square package weighing less than 20 pounds.

But the process and the thinking behind it is the real revolution.

OpenDesk/Screen capture

The Zip Tie Lounge Chair is a new flat-pack offering from London-based startup OpenDesk and Baltimore-based studio Object Guerilla. Cut on a CNC router from a half-sheet of plywood in less than an hour, the frame stitches together with 44 zip ties in a matter of minutes. OpenDesk's platform allows users to download the plans and cut files for free, or use the OpenDesk network to contract a local fabricator to cut, sand, and ship the chair in kit form.

OpenDesk/Screen capture

3D printing may get all of the pixels these days, but CNC routers can do big useful things like furniture and houses, out of much greener materials like sustainably sourced woods and plywoods. OpenDesk offers a wide range of furniture from a global network of makers and designers so that you can get internationally sourced designs made locally. No more schlepping out to the big blue and yellow box store in the 'burbs when there is a CNC shop on Main Street.

© Studio Minale-Maeda

Toss a 3D printer into the mix and you get hybrids like this furniture from Studio Minale-Maeda. You get the sophisticated connection combined with simple dimension lumber and sheet goods, for people who consider the zip tie a little to primitive. This could well be the future of furniture.

On the other hand, others ask, how sustainable is digital fabrication?

Tags: 3D printing | Dematerialization | Downloadable Design

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