3D Printing

The Manufacturing Metamorphosis of Zambelli's 3D Printed Maggiolina Lamps

Around this time last year, we covered Alessandro Zambelli’s Afilia Lamp collection, designed for 3D printed lamp pioneer .exnovo. This year, the young Italian designer is at it again, introducing his Maggiolina collection of tabletop and wall-mounted, 3D printed lamps. The new collection was presented at the Maison et Objet exhibit in Paris and has already been favorably received by critics, hinting that it will be one of the highlights at Milan’s Design Week next April.


Zambelli drew headlines last year by being one of the first industrial designers to unleash the power of 3D printing technologies, by combining complex laser-sintered geometries of nylon components (mainly the diffusers) with a traditionally manufactured, precious wood bases. This way, he explained, the perceived value of the object is significantly superior with respect to one made only of nylon. The Maggiolina lamp carries this line of thought forward by replacing the wood with ceramics.

The Maggiolina design also resents a shift from Zambelli’s previous plant-based inspiration (Afilia means “without leaves) to a concept based on a “Kafkian-like” metamorphosis, with the lamp transforming into a ladybug-like sculpture. Maggiolina is actually a made-up word that literally means “lady-scarab”, although it is different from the actual Italian word for ladybug, which is “coccinella”. This gives the lamps a more original name, which also reflects the designer’s original approach.


Zambelli’s more recent lamps are produced and distributed by .exnovo, a one-of-its-kind company specializing in 3D printed designer products. Its mother company, HSL, is among Northeastern Italy’s largest professional rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing bureaus and it has created the .exnovo and .bijouets brands to help bring these technologies to a wider public by leveraging on the creativity of Italian designers.

The collection is available in white, marsala, mustard, and ottanio (a particular type of dark green). Each lamp measures 148 x 153 x 115 mm, and supports an E14 3W light bulb. Its metamorphosis does not stop at its conceptual inspiration: it continues in the way its components shift back and forth from traditional to advanced manufacturing methods, shining yet more light on what the future of design is going to look like.