While 3D printing becomes ever more popular as a tool for creating prototypes, customised products and art, a Jetsons-like future when we print every day, household items seems an unlikely prospect. Though plenty of frantic paragraphs have been excitedly typed over the last two years regarding the possibility of consumer items being bought and shared as digital files before being printed by the customer at home, it now seems the general consensus is that 3D printing’s real practical capabilities lie elsewhere.
A new concept from Janne Kyttanen, the Creative Director of 3D Systems, however, kicks against this trend.
At the innovative designer’s latest exhibition, housed in Rotterdam’s Galerie VIVID until 20th April, one of the most talked about pieces is Lost Luggage, which aims to entirely change the way we pack and travel.
Essentially, you attach all the clothes you need for a short trip as a digital file to an email, which you then print on arrival at your destination. This reduces your packing time down to a matter of seconds, allows you to travel totally unencumbered and means losing your luggage is no longer an issue.
The only thing you need to be sure of is that there’ll be a 3D printer at the other end of your journey.
The entire package contains eight items altogether, Le 69 Handbag, the 4 in 1 Dress, Mashup Shoes, St Tropez Cuff, Drivers, Fat Shades, Superkitch and a Love Buster, each of which can be printed in a single operation.
OK, obviously there are a few drawbacks. I mean, really, the package is only suitable if you fancy spending your holiday looking like an extra from the Fifth Element. Yet, as with much of Kyttanen’s work, it is the future possibilities behind the idea that truly makes it interesting and, potentially, game changing.
Kyttanen compares Lost Luggage to the way music is now distributed online, predicting a future where all products are shared as digital files:
If products and designs are distributed in the same way that images and music travel through the internet today, how would our perception of those objects change? Will democratisation of manufacturing eliminate the need for mass production, bringing production closer and closer to the consumer, regardless of their location and economic status?
Lost Luggage is just one of many designs, big and small, from Kyttanen that are on show in Rotterdam until the end of the week.