Olivier Van Herpt’s Functional 3D Printed Ceramics
Eindhoven designer Olivier Van Herpt has designed functional 3D-printed ceramics.
Frustrated with the limitations of the 3D printing process, Dutch designer Olivier Van Herpt decided to make his own machine. After two years of research and development whilst studying at the Design Academy of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, van Herpt developed a machine that uses a piston-based extruder to 3D print complex functional objects using clay. “Clay is a much more elegant and noble material than plastic, it is much more sculptural,” the designer explained.
Van Herpt’s functional ceramic objects are part of two collections, the 3D Woven Collection and the Sediment Collection. “The forms of the two collections are inspired by the design and engineering constraints of the 3D printing process. The physics, materials and 3D printing challenges shape these objects. In guiding and exploring the forms I enjoy playing with geometric shapes that are not perfect geometries, and making things that would be difficult or impossible to make with other processes,” said the designer.
Inspired by natural textures and forms, the objects and their intricate surfaces look handcrafted, reminiscent of artisan-made work, and yet are produced by cutting edge technology – a collaboration between man and machine. The designer captures the artisanal quality by introducing an element of randomness in the 3D printing process, creating imperfections often associated with traditional craftsmanship.
“You worry about waste and C02 in today’s cluttered world, which makes you focus on creating the entire process from scratch. How can we reduce, reuse and manufacture more efficiently in today’s world? How can we create objects that have value without lessening the value stored in the natural world? There is a lot of guilt felt by designers nowadays in making yet another thing destined for landfill,” van Herpt said.