Critics have rightly wondered whether if there is more hype than substance to 3D printing. And while 3D printing has grown up and may very well be a disruptive technology that is heralding in a new age where supply lines, inventory and waste is reduced, it may also inadvertently enable us to create more junk that we don't need.
So it's encouraging to see 3D printed designs that move beyond tackily made clichés to eco-friendly designs of functionality and beauty that are also inspired by nature. Merging all of these qualities into one design, architect and psychologist Margot Krasojević created this visually appealing, fractally dimensioned 3D printed ceramic lamp that is powers itself as it rotates with the wind.
Using simulation software to refine the aerodynamic and fluid dynamics, the lamp's specially designed curved surfaces help it spin faster and faster in the wind, allowing it to transform wind energy into electricity that powers the LED bulb at the centre.
The spinning movement turns a motor that creates an electrical current using a so-called joule thief circuit, but in the absence of wind, there is also a capacitor that can store any wind energy generated for future use.
This lovely lamp is a striking example of how 3D printing might revolutionize production by reconciling digital design with the forces of nature. More over at Margot Krasojević.