Design of the Week: Card Holder

By on April 9th, 2018 in Design


 A brilliant 3D printed card holder
A brilliant 3D printed card holder

This week’s selection is the minimalist Card Holder by Elia Furgiele.

Furgiele, based in Switzerland, is a young industrial designer who has created quite a number of very interesting pieces. If I was remodeling my home, I’d certainly consider many of this concepts and designs. 

Furgiele was recently interviewed by 3D print service i.materialise, where he explained how 3D printing empowers his design capabilities. In the piece he says: 

I use 3D printing to test dimensions, ergonomics, space, proportions and usability. Using different colors and materials could add value and give a strong identity to my products.

 Examples of the 3D printed Card Holder
Examples of the 3D printed Card Holder

A number of his most interesting works are displayed in the interview by i.materialise, but one in particular caught my eye: the Card Holder. 

This item, functionally, is exactly what you’d expect: a desktop object that holds business cards. 

How much ingenuity could you deploy in such a simple object? Even more challenging, Furgiele chose to use a cube as the base shape, the most simplistic 3D object one could possibly select. 

Yet somehow the Card Holder becomes a fascinating object as it holds cards at an oblique angle. This is not your average card holder, but at the same time it’s “only a cube”. 

To me this is the epitome of minimalistic design: achieve the desired function using the minimum geometry and still make it visually attractive and interesting. 

Furgiele apparently used PTC Creo 4.0 to design this simple object, although I suspect that was significant overkill given the minimal geometry involved. 

This project shows that it is entirely possible to design incredible objects with very limited geometry, and should serve as an example and inspiration to others hoping to design and 3D print experimental objects. 

i.materialise offered Furgiele the opportunity to 3D print the Card Holder using their equipment, as they do to the public, but in this case they seem to have printed the item in several different materials. 

 A concrete version of the 3D printed Card Holder
A concrete version of the 3D printed Card Holder

One thought I had about this design was the weight, as it might be tippy if loaded with heavy business cards. That’s not a problem, as one iteration of print involved 3D printing a mold and then casting the Card Holder in solid concrete! 

That’s definitely not tipping over. 

Via i.Materialise and Elia Furgiele

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!