Fieldlab UPPS

A Custom Fitted Chair for the Modern Home Workspace Combining Manual Processes with Robotic 3D Printing

2.2.2022
Zon & Hoofd Design

Summary

The Coopi project is an innovative exploration in the realm of furniture design, specifically targeting the modern home workspace. It focuses on creating a custom-fitted chair that harmoniously blends manual craftsmanship with the precision and versatility of robotic 3D printing. This project is the culmination of research and design efforts aimed at producing a chair that not only provides comfort and ergonomic support but also serves as a stylish addition to contemporary living spaces. The design process was guided by the limitations and opportunities presented by digital manufacturing techniques, particularly 3D printing, to ensure a realistic application in a startup context. Through an extensive ideation process, the project examined various aspects including manufacturing the seat, enhancing comfort, ensuring sturdiness, and achieving a visually appealing design. The outcome, Coopi, is a chair that showcases a bold, open, and trendy character, designed to fit seamlessly into modern home workspaces while highlighting the innovative use of manufacturing processes .

Problem Definition

The challenge was to design a stylish, comfortable chair suitable for the modern home workspace, that strives away from the bulky and complicated nature of traditional office chairs. The focus was on using digital manufacturing techniques to offer a body-fitting chair without sacrificing aesthetic appeal. The project scope focused on design and technical realisation, with a 1:1 prototype as the desired outcome.

UPPS Workflow Description

Collect Phase

Analyse Phase

Design Phase

Parametric Modelling

The project uses advanced parametric modelling techniques to navigate the intricate balance between ergonomic functionality and aesthetic appeal. By using software such as Autodesk Fusion 360, the team was able to construct a dynamic model that could adapt to varying anthropometric data seamlessly. This approach enabled a fluid design process where alterations could be made efficiently, without the need to rebuild the design from the ground up. The exploration into parametric modelling highlighted its important role in tailoring the Coopi chair to fit the unique contours of the user's body, ensuring a personalised seating experience.

Co-creation

A collaborative approach engaged potential users early on, incorporating their insights and preferences to shape the final product. The project embraced methodologies that facilitated user involvement, such as virtual fit mapping and ergonomic assessments, to refine the design.

Produce Phase

Production Technique Selection

The selection of the appropriate production technique was a cornerstone of the project, with a focus on additive manufacturing, particularly Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). The decision to use FDM was grounded in its ability to produce highly customised pieces at a viable cost and time frame. The project delved into the nuances of this technique, evaluating factors such as print orientation, layer height, and material properties to optimize the manufacturing process. This meticulous approach ensured that the production of the Coopi chair was not only feasible but also aligned with the project's sustainability and efficiency goals.

Manufacture

The transition from design to manufacture was marked by the creation of a full-scale prototype, a tangible manifestation of the Coopi chair's potential. This phase detailed the practical aspects of bringing the design to life, from interpreting 3D scans of the user's body to selecting the most suitable materials for both the printed components and the manual upholstery. The prototype served as a critical tool for evaluating the design's viability, offering insights into areas for improvement and the overall user experience. The manufacturing process underscored the project's innovative spirit, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern digital techniques to produce a chair that was both functional and visually compelling.

Use Phase

Conclusion

The Coopi project represents a significant advancement in the integration of digital fabrication with traditional upholstery techniques, offering a novel solution for home office furniture. The research and development process led to the creation of a prototype that not only meets ergonomic and aesthetic requirements but also highlights the potential for customisation in furniture design. The use of 3D printing, particularly FDM, allowed for the exploration of new design paradigms, emphasising customisation and user-centric design. The project underlines the importance of considering the end-user's environment and preferences in furniture design, moving away from one-size-fits-all solutions to more personalised and aesthetically pleasing options. The Coopi chair, with its blend of modern manufacturing techniques and traditional craftsmanship, sets a new standard for home office furniture, offering a glimpse into the future of personalised, stylish, and comfortable seating solutions.

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