Mawj – A 3D Printed Armchair to Investigate Possibilities of Robotic 3D Printing of Bespoke Furniture

3D printed armchair
3D printed armchair
Above: Mawj investigates the possibilities of 3D printed furniture/Image Source: MEAN Design

Mawj is a 3D printed armchair commissioned by a private client and designed, developed and 3D printed by MEAN (Middle East Architecture Network). Mawj is an Arabic word meaning ‘Wave, undulate, crisp or ripple’. The name aptly suits the concept at the core of the design that represents a curved and weaving pattern. 

The undulating patterns of the Aquamarine green surface is reminiscent of the waters of the Arabian Sea, at the shores of Dubai, the city where the chair was conceived.

Mawj – The 3D Printed Armchair

Above: 3D printing process of the Mawj armchair/Video Source: MEAN Design/Vimeo

The 3D printed armchair investigates the possibilities of robotic 3D printing for designing and producing bespoke 3D printed furniture. Manufactured by Nagami, the design takes shape based on a continuous form, printed on its side with a thickness of just 6 mm, using advanced plastic polymers.

The 3D printed armchair’s dimensions borrow from the proportions of the Eames Lounge Armchair, one of the most iconic modern chairs. Designed as a standalone interior design object, the chair is a statement as well as a distinctive piece of furniture. A sequence of design iterations form the shape of the chair using algorithmic design processes. Designed for comfort, structural stability, and ergonomics, the chair is a prototype for using advanced methods of furniture design and manufacturing.

3D printed armchair
Above: 3D Printing Process of the ‘Mawj Chair’/Image Source: Nagami

A series of lines moving in space form the layers for 3D printing in one single layer, the lines progressively form Sine curves as they wrap around the form. On every other layer, the curve inverts to a negative value, generating a weaving pattern that makes larger rippling undulations on the surface.

3D printed furniture
Above: The armchair has a weaving pattern/Image Source: MEAN Design

The pattern aids in the structural stiffness, as well as creating a unique aesthetic feature, that naturally emerges as the result of the parametric modelling of the chair. Following a series of prototypes, careful attention to small details in the making of the chair develops the outcome.

The pattern fades out towards the edges and intensifies at the top, avoiding areas where the back would rest. The pattern continuously wraps around the billowing surface, doubly curved for structural stability.

Mawj is a venture towards a future where minimal material is required to carefully design and shape objects into practical, lightweight, and comfortable pieces of furniture, that enrich our lives.

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