Looking to the Future

Great design should look into the future and utilise new ideas, materials and technologies to create innovative solutions.

The D-Shape printer enables full-size sandstone buildings to be made through a large-scale CNC machine.

Existing materials such as reinforced concrete and masonry are expensive and inflexible for many complex geometries. D-Shape adds thin layers of binder to stone aggregates at predetermined slices, this gradual build up of layers allows complex and internal geometries to be fabricated easily. The design process remains similar to existing 3D printing technologies, now possible on a larger construction scale.

D-Shape has been designed to compete with cement, reinforced concrete, bricks and stone,  now focussing on digital design and natural ecological materials.

Designed by Enrico Dini, D-Shape is a huge leap forward in 3D printing technology and has a lot of implications for the future of construction. The ability to research and test new, sustainable materials for construction in a way that can compete with existing, widely used, materials is groundbreaking and could mean a sustainable future for construction isn’t a distant fantasy.

Underwater MOMA is a conceptual design for a fully 3D-printed underwater museum exhibiting work by 10 artists and inspired by reefs, hopefully encouraging flora and fauna back into the area.

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Great design for the future can only exist by nurturing and supporting new and innovative ideas, even if they are not yet fully realised or implemented, or seem initially unfeasible.

Designed by Minatsu Takekoshi, Metacast is an interesting proposed system to support making therapeutic orthoses using a 3D printer. Many health care workers are not skilled or experienced in 3d printing technology so this system exists to help them to design a 3D model of orthoses to suit the the diversity of patient body types.

Custom-made orthoses can take one or two weeks to create and the process is quite expensive. 3D printing is relatively cheap and saves a great deal of time as well.

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By making use of more sustainable manufacturing methods, materials and concepts, future developments will lean in that direction also, following the money as it were. Therefore I feel designers have a responsibility that they have to be aware of about how they can influence the future of industries.

I strongly feel that great design should lead developments that are sustainable and ethical rather than pandering to trends regardless of these considerations. In the most ideal case, eventually all manufacturing and materials used could be 100% sustainable and designers maybe would not even have to worry about damaging the environment, though this is clearly idealistic and perhaps not possible, at least not for many many years.

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