As per their own description, DfC (Design for Craft) is a “Design and Production Lab for technological handcraft”. The firm focuses primarily on research, industrial design, and materials R&D relating to both personal and industrial 3D printing technologies.
In two new music-related projects, DfC shows that a combination of desktop FDM and industrial manufacturing process can serve to create new design products to offer to the market, such as the UR Independent Sound speakers and the Mood fashion accessory for Mood headphones.
The audio speaker project, carried out for the Italian brand Sinfoni, transforms car speakers into a home Hi-Fi system with integrated LED lamps. With the use of basic desktop FFF machines, DfC developed a set of unique “cactus-inspired” shapes. While this serves to personalise the audio products and make manufacturing leaner by reducing the need for inventory, the issue of final surface quality brought the team to consider the use of electrogalvanic coating. The speakers, then, actually have a stylish exterior appearance in copper or gold, through the application of multiple metal layers, and are fit to be a final, high-end design product.
The second project involves the use of FFF technology to prototype the “buckle” component of Mood headphone holders. The team then resorted to the industrial AM process of direct metal laser sintering to create the matrix to be used in serial production. This still allows Mooders, the company which commissioned the work, to offer on-demand personalisation option on its website and create the final product directly by metal laser sintering.
The buckle is then coupled with a leather case for the headphone’s string, showing once again that 3D printing technologies can easily find their way into the manufacturing of stylish final products; it is just a matter of creativity, inventiveness, and familiarity with different technologies that allows firms like DfC to make the best use of all of them.