London Design week is a fantastic spectacle of fashion, architecture, interiors and products; and it was only correct that 3D printing should feature in the mix. Last weekend marked the end of London Design Week. We headed over to Earl’s Court to catch the final day of 100% Design and help out with the RSA’s Great Recovery stand.
The Great Recovery is all about challenging the lifecycle of products and designing for a circular-economy model. In addition there were talks from Daniel Charny, the curator of the V&A’s Power of Making exhibition, and James Carrigan, co-Founder and Creative Director of Sugru. They were talking about Fixperts.org, a project looking at how using design thinking can help fix everyday problems. Of course these projects are a great fit with the 3D printing and maker movement.
The RSA’s stand was a bold statement amongst the slick and minimalist displays. Shelves filled broken electrical items surrounded volunteers busily fixing things. Jim was there with his Emaker Huxley printing out spare parts and replacements in Faberdashery neon colours. The printer was a real crowd pleaser with reactions ranging from sage head nodding to pure open-mouthed amazement.
It was great to see the buzz and excitement generated by the printer. When you are so deeply immersed in the world of 3D printing it is easy to forget that feeling of amazement on seeing your first print. Despite the explosion of the home 3D printing market and the attention it gets in the press it is still only small (but fabulous) proportion of people with machines. It was inspiring just to experience the delight on people’s faces as they watched a product emerge before their eyes. As one amazed onlooker said: “It’s alchemy I tell you!” Alchemy, sorcery, magic, whatever you want to call it. It’s here. We call it fabbing.