I do go on about my fascination with downloadable designs, where ideas go from the designers computer to the production process without being shipped; where anyone, anywhere can order up a design and get it printed out at their local 3Dkinko or main street store like they do at London's Unto This Last.
You can also do things with these technologies that are impossible with conventional methods. Platform Wertel Oberfell and Matthias Bär designed this table "which derives from studies into fractal growth patterns. Treelike stems grow into smaller branches until they get very dense towards the top." They claim it could only have been built with rapid prototyping technology.
It appears to be made using laser sintering, where a laser "selectively fuses powdered material by scanning cross-sections generated from a 3-D digital description of the part (for example from a CAD file or scan data) on the surface of a powder bed. After each cross-section is scanned, the powder bed is lowered by one layer thickness, a new layer of material is applied on top, and the process is repeated until the part is completed." (WP)
See also our website devoted to Downloadable Designs and the work of Freedom of Creation, who imagine "models for localized manufacturing and distribution logistics where no stock, no assembly, minimal transportation and just-in-time production are future goals."
More posts on Downloadable Designs here