A new service popped up purporting to offer radically new furniture through the use of additive manufacturing, known to many through its more common name, 3D printing. The 4AXYZ service says:
WE UNDERSTAND THE FUTURE OF DIMENSIONSODDM (“oddem”) offers disruptive opportunities to the world of creativity. 4 AXYZ is here to harness Additive Manufacturing Systems, to change the way furniture is designed, manufactured, bought and delivered.4 AXYZ offers a radically new platform where designers from around the world, can sell to consumers just about anywhere on this planet.
Ok, sounds interesting so far. It appears to be a site where designers can display their fantastical furniture designs and have them produced and shipped at the touch of a button. 3D printed, perhaps?
We're a little suspicious of 3D printed furniture. Not because it's impossible - it definitely isn't. But it can be expensive, particularly if produced on commercial 3D printing equipment.
However, let's have a look at the sample pieces shown on 4AXYZ's site. First, we have this rather beautiful and perhaps precarious chair. (Click for larger view) Clearly, only certain parts could be 3D printed, but that's ok.
Here's another example, a "wavy" cabinet, just as attractive and unique as the chair. But is it 3D printed? (Click for larger view)
When we look closely at this image, it seems to be machined wood, not 3D printed. Machining is a subtractive process, not additive. It's also much more appropriate for this type of construction, as it is far less expensive.
Looking again at the chair above, it could be simply numerous CNC-cut wood layers glued together. Again, perhaps not 3D printed.
So we're not quite sure what 4AXYZ is up to. Is it 3D printed? Or CNCd? Will their service offer both? Or perhaps they haven't yet produced the 3D printed items they hope to market. We're not sure. 4AXYZ is more than likely going to be a very interesting business - but it might not be 3D printed.
It's a mystery.