Design of the Week: Hychair

By on September 10th, 2018 in Design

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 The amazing 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]
The amazing 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]

This week’s selection is the Hychair by Thiele + Wagner.

Longtime readers of this publication might recall a post from 2012 in which we first met the young designers Levin Wagner and Jannis Thiele, who we awarded Design of the Week for their 3D printed concept called “Accommo”

The pair have gone on to create a product development studio, now called simply “Thiele + Wagner”, where they have created a number of fascinating products, all with clean industrial designs and often leveraging 3D printing.  

The Hychair is one of those designs. What is it? It’s simply a tall barstool-style chair, and at first glance it’s like any barstool you may have sat upon. 

 Detail of the base section of the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]
Detail of the base section of the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]

But it isn’t like that at all. Watch the video:

Yes, they’ve 3D printed not only the seat, but the foot, and made them both flexible: this barstool tilts! 

 Tilting the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]
Tilting the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]

The top seat can shift slightly for comfort, and the bottom foot’s 3D printed design allows for the main support to tip when balanced by the user’s feet. 

 A hidden circular lever controls the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]
A hidden circular lever controls the 3D printed Hychair [Source:Thiele + Wagner]

As an added functional feature, a circular lever traveling the entire circumference under the seat provides a means of controlling the elevation.

These two features mean the Hychair is omni-directional: there is no front or back, and it tilts in the same way in any direction, and you can sit on it from any direction. 

Another useful design feature is simplicity of installation: there are only three pieces, which snap together almost instantly to make the Hychair operational.   

Thiele + Wagner explain the thinking behind the design of Hychair: 

“What is special about Hychair? It is a hybrid! Additive manufacturing meets a conventional component. Both seat and foot are constructed in a single continuous piece. Only additive manufacturing makes it possible to realize a geometry that encompasses all functional areas: In addition to its load-bearing structure and flexible top face, the mechanism for triggering the gas spring is integrated in the seat.

The foot provides a stable stand, at the same time the 3D hinge allows a precise movement on the Hychair in all directions. Designed for additive manufacturing, the functional areas are re-imagined in compliant flexible structures, without many individual parts as in conventional joints and mechanics.”

It is not clear whether Thiele + Wagner are offering the Hychair for sale, but regardless, it is an incredible design that most certainly illustrates how best one can leverage 3D printing technology to create a unique product with unusual function. 

Via Thiele + Wagner

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!