Here on TreeHugger we often talk of how 3D printing technologies have great potential to change the design field -- from the possibilities of hyper-customization on the user end -- to how it will revolutionize production. Case in point, it makes possible complex designs such as this striking, flower-inspired lamp -- which is amazingly printed as one piece, including the hinging mechanisms that allow it to expand or collapse.
Titled "Bloom", this lamp was created by prolific French designer Patrick Jouin for rapid prototyping software company MGX. Like a flower responding to its environment, the lamp can be opened or closed to adjust the ambient light level. It's done by hand, but it would be neat if it was somehow automated perhaps.
Using rapid prototyping techniques, the lamp's design is based on MGX's One_Shot.MGX stool, which is also a one-piece wonder. According to Inhabitat:
The process starts with converting a CAD file (technical drawing) into a .MGX file, which is then used to print the image as a 3D object.
Here's a detail of the hinges -- printed in one go:
Unfortunately, it doesn't come cheap at $2,481 (like these intriguing but expensive 3D printed shoes); nevertheless, with 3D printed prosthetics and cars already on the scene, this lovely lamp is but one example of where 3D printing might bring us. Let's hope it gets more affordable. More over at Patrick Jouin's website and Materialise & MGX.