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3D-printed sofa on-demand

With traditional craftsmanship, strong climate commitment and 3D technology, Johanna Vesterberg wants to create a new way to manufacture, shop and recycle furniture. RISE Application Center for Additive Manufacturing has helped Normada Open Source Furniture develop a 3D-printed sofa, which the customer can print locally, anywhere in the world.

Johanna Vesterberg Founder Normada
Photo: Normada

With an Open Source platform the company Normada, want to create a new digital ecosystem with a high-quality Scandinavian design where customers can choose between handmade furniture in local wood or 3D-printed in environmentally friendly material. First out is a sofa that can be ordered handmade in pine or 3D-printed with biocomposite.

“We throw away incredible amounts of furniture today. We ship furniture worldwide, use them for a few years and then throw them away. Twelve million tons of furniture are thrown away every year in the United States alone. With Normada, I want to make 100% circular furniture locally produced with local materials in the country where the customer lives,” says Johanna Vesterberg, founder of Normada.

AM Center Normada
Photo: Normada

3D printing = additive manufacturing

3D printing, also called additive manufacturing, is a manufacturing method that adds the material in layers on top of each other, i.e. starting with nothing and then building up the part three-dimensionally layer by layer until the part is finished. This method makes it possible to produce complex components that, in many cases, could not be manufactured using traditional manufacturing techniques.

The 3D-printed sofa, The 3D Rocking Sofa, made of biocomposite from 80% bio-based oil and cellulose from PEFC-certified Nordic pines, was developed by RISE at the Application Center for Additive Manufacturing. Johanna’s ambition was that it, in many ways, would look like the handmade model in wood, but for making it technically feasible, she had to agree to adjust the model to a modernized variant with a solid back piece.

“Johanna challenged us, as traditional 3D-printed furniture is often relatively primitive, but she came up with a drawing on a classic swab sofa. However, having a carpentry piece of furniture as a model was a demanding test with the 3D technology, and we had to rethink the design and perform many iterations before we managed to get a result that was good enough and that Johanna was happy with,” says Lenny Tönnäng, laboratory engineer at RISE.

Johanna Vesterberg says that the team at RISE probably thought she was crazy when she wanted a copy of a wooden piece of furniture.

“But I was not interested in what the 3D printer usually does, I wanted them to take the next step with this technology and come up with a result looking like Scandinavian furniture design, and they succeeded. Without RISE, this would never have been possible, says Johanna Vesterberg.

Normada sofa
Photo: Normada

Offer print-on-demand

One of the advantages of additive manufacturing is that the products can be manufactured close to the end customer no matter where they are located. The 3D Rocking Sofa will also be available as Open Source in a license that allows private use and modification, except for commercial purpose and mass production. It is a solution for the curious ones, who want to download the furniture and experiment themselves. Johanna hopes this will drive the development of 3D printing and filaments forward when more people get access to excellent and functional models for large-scale 3D printing.

In practice, this means that the buyer can take the design file and print their sofa anywhere in the world from someone who has a 3D printer that can handle the process.

“We have chosen to lay the drawings open-source so that anyone can download them and print their sofa locally. We do this partly to accelerate the development of software and materials for 3D printing Normada will also offer its customers to recycle their furniture when they no longer want it. Normada will then sell it to someone else or use the material for a new one, in order to reduce each person’s use of materials.

” I want to contribute to a better world by changing the way we manufacture and recycle furniture. In a collaboration between designers and local actors and with the help of 3D printing, Normada can become a popular movement around the world,” says Johanna Vesterberg.

Large-scale 3D robot printing will be an essential technology for future production and manufacturing

3D printing
Photo: Normada

Robot-based additive manufacturing – a paradigm shift

The technology for additive manufacturing has been around for over thirty years. However, genuine interest from the industry has arisen in recent years due to the improved possibility of printing large scale components and the increased printing speed.

RISE is among the pioneers in using industrial robot arms to perform additive manufacturing. This technology allows manufacturing to manufacture large components and combine additive manufacturing with other manufacturing operations. This large-scale robot technology was used in the manufacture of Normada’s sofa.

”The robot arm allows us to freely vary the direction of the construction, which enables printing with a more significant overhang than conventional 3D printers. Large-scale 3D robot printing will be an essential technology for future production and manufacturing. Combining additive manufacturing with industrial robots provides entirely new opportunities to manufacture innovative large-scale products in the furniture industry as well and in the automotive industry, construction or manufacturing industry”, says Lenny Tönnäng.

And important to remember, additive manufacturing is a technology that suits widely different products and componants.

”In the Application Center for Additive Manufacturing, we want to make additive manufacturing available to all companies, regardless of size and industry. We have the expertise in all stages and can develop a package of services and tailor-made solutions, adapted to the needs of each company,” concludes Lenny Tönnäng.

Application Center for Additive Manufacturing - open to everyone

In the AM Center we offer the opportunity to test different additive manufacturing techniques including pre- and post-processing. We lower the threshold, and give small and medium-sized companies quick and easy access to the latest technology. The AM Center offers a wide range of expertise and services at all stages along the additive manufacturing value chain, for example in:

  • Design for additive manufacturing
  • Material and process development
  • Post-processing and quality assurance
  • New businesses and business models

Visit the Application Center for Additive Manufacturing

Published: 2022-01-20

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Lenny Tönnäng

Forsknings- och utvecklingsingenjör

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Seyed Hosseini

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Seyed Hosseini

Forsknings- och Affärsutvecklare (FOA)

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