Alvin Huang’s half-scale prototype Durotaxis chair was printed using a Stratasys machine.

From lampshades to apartment buildings, the sky’s the limit in 3-D printing. Yet at this stage in its development, digital fabrication still poses as many questions as solutions  What will 3-D printing’s impact be on intellectual property? When will it become affordable to upstart designerswho stand to benefit from it the most? How significantly will it reduce large-scale building costs?


Architects Alvin Huang and Jenny Wu will shed light on these and other issues when they discuss their firms’ forays into 3-D printing at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles on May 29. Huang, the award-winning design principal of Synthesis Design + Architecture, specializes in “digital craft,” an emerging discipline that explores the interplay between digital technology and artisan craftsmanship.“At the moment, the focus is on rapid prototyping, but the shift toward rapid manufacturing is imminent,” says Huang. His futuristic Durotaxis chair (above), a half-scale prototype printed using a Stratsys machine, is a good example of this trend.


Wu, a partner at the Los Angeles-based avant-garde architecture firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative, recently launched LACE, a collection of 3-D printed jewelry that marries her modern design sensibilities with the imaginative potential of digital fabrication. The intricate nylon pieces, like the Catena necklace (below), are sturdy yet flexible. “3-D printing technology allows me to create interlocking pieces that can be printed as one print rather than multiple prints that need to be assembled afterward,” explains Wu.

Huang and Wu will discuss their approaches to 3-D printing as well as broader digital design trends at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles in May.


Originally submitted by Luke Hopping