Mutlithread, a furniture collection that is currently on display at the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennial, has an interesting story behind its creation.
Designed by Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram, the Multithread collection was built using custom-created CAD software that can analyze the support forces acting on a piece of furniture’s joints and modify the shape of the joints to improve their strength.
As explained in the video below, Y Shaped joints fair well when exposed to symmetrical strains, but when asymmetrical loads are placed on joints, irregular stresses can cause a complete failure of a structure’s frame.
Weisshaar and Kram describe the process of creating the Multithread line at the website. “The design of each piece of MULTITHREAD furniture begins with a set of horizontal surfaces positioned in space: table top, shelf, desk, etc. A web of thin connecting bars is defined to support these surfaces. Then a custom software created by the designers analyzes, modifies and paints the structure based on the forces passing through it. The final form and colour of each joint is a direct representation of the energy it supports.”
They continue, “The software then outputs a complete set of digital blueprints for the tubes and connecting joints which are subsequently 3D printed by the latest metal printing technology: Selective Laser Melting (SLM). These are then handed to a team of master 21st craftsmen who join the parts together and apply colours to the frame according to the computer generated finite elements calculations. Each joint is custom painted to illustrate the forces acting within it.”
See More Photos of the Multithread Collection at Kram/Weisshaar
Video Courtesy of Dezeen, a really great design site!