Wood chaise lounge, 3D printed and CNC shaped, heads to museum
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Gemini' acoustic chaise by Prof. Neri Oxman in collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter and STRATASYS, purchased by SFMOMA. Inner lining produced in 44 composite materials using Stratasys' unique color, multi-material 3D printing technology.

Photo By Michel Figuet

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Click on the image to open
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Photo By Michel Figuet


SAN FRANCISCO - Gemini, a curvy wood cocoon chaise lounge made on a CNC routers and 3D printer, has been acquired by The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Gemini was created as a type of  acoustic furniture by Prof. Neri Oxman at MIT Labs, in collaboration with Prof. W. Craig Carter and Stratasys, a manufacturer of 3D printers. Le Laboratoire, in Paris, CNC milled the bent wood exterior curves, which surround an inner lining produced with Stratasys 3D printing technology.

Prof. Oxman says Gemini is intended as a semi-enclosed, stimulation-free environment designed to enhance vocal vibrations - thought to be healing - throughout the body. A biologically-inspired 3D printed skin lines the wooden chassis. The skin’s texture is an intricate design of tiny knobs, which provide comfort and maximize sound absorption. The combination of a CNC milled wooden shell and the 3D printed lining creates an acoustic setting for a single individual.


Award-winning furnishing designs: Top 3 globally

A competition, reviewed by a panel of five designers that judged 233 entries from 34 different countries, selected three winners, along with 20 honorable mentions.  

Gemini is also the first project to use Stratasys’ Connex3 triple-jetting technology. Combining three base materials – Stratasys’ rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta – the acoustic chaise included 44 different materials properties in varying shades of yellows and oranges with differing transparencies and rigidities, all produced simultaneously in a single 3D print. 

“No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process,” says Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “And that’s just one influencing factor in the recent growth we are seeing in museums advocating 3D printed artwork."

At the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this month, Prof. Oxman is scheduled to present new design work and will offer a glimpse to the future of manufacturing at the intersection of technology and biology.

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.