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Designing a platform for modeling+3D print (Master Thesis project)


I'm doing a project on combining construction kits and 3D printing as part of my master thesis in industrial design.
Inspired from the user involvement from crowd funding, I want to develop the concept partly in collaboration with potential users and hope you are interested in helping out with either feedback or input.

Your feedback can hopefully shape the development in a direction that might be interesting to you in future modeling projects.

Do you use 3D printing in combination with any projects? How?/Why not?
Any thoughts/references/ideas related to the project, that you may have will be very helpful.

If you're interested in helping, please comment/follow at either of the following pages. The Facebook page is still "infant", but don't be afraid of liking and please share anything.
The project has just entered the idea development stage, so I'll start posting regular updates shortly.

Further please answer this very short survey if you have time:

Thanks for any time you may invest in helping me in my project. Any comments are welcome.

Torben Hove Larsen

MSc 4, Industrial Design
Architecture, Design and Media Technology
Aalborg University, Denmark
M: +45 28296663


The basis of my project:

With inspiration in the diverse use of modular toys like Lego, GeoMag and littleBits, I am doing a master thesis project based on the fact that these are all targeted children.

Related products, aimed at a grown up audiences are either fixed kits like Revell or freeform modeling with advanced methods like lathing or milling. My aim with this project is to develop a product in the middle, between these two types of products. A product that facilitates creative model building.

To set the product in a contemporary context, the idea development will be based on a concept of including 3D printing as a mean for further modulation.
This way it will be a platform for facilitating the personal use of 3D printers along with being a construction kit for model building.
The idea development will be based on the following problem statement:

"How can a modular construction kit both facilitate model building and enhance the qualities and use of a personal 3D printer?"


  • torbenhltorbenhl Member Posts: 5
    Hi again.

    Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been busy twisting the project in an interesting direction.
    Since last my project has developed from an initial domain of designing a construction toy for adults, to specifying this to a modular interior design product. A lamp that is modular assembled and emphasizes the use of 3D prints for customizing it. (Interior design sort of represents the adult equivalent to toys)
    In the exploration of this design, I have stumbled upon a couple of interesting areas/problems:

    - In the assembly process what makes LEGO more exciting to assemble than for example IKEA? (I'm very interested in your opinion regarding this and I will post my conlusion to it later)
    - What functions emphasizes 3D printed modules over cardboard or clay?
    - How prominent is home build/custom figures and sculptures in your homes? On level with books as accent decorations or as more central art pieces?

    I will post some more pictures to the blog and facebook page soon.

    - Torben
  • torbenhltorbenhl Member Posts: 5
    The lamp concept has come from an open construction kit to a more limited construction with the possibility of making a full truncated icosahedron.
    This means a spherical lamp would consist of 20 hexagonal conic modules.

    Assembling the modules will probably be by having magnets in all sides of the modules to give an easy overview of how to connect one module to another.

    The hexagons’ conical depth is meant to facilitate add-ons/custom features. This way 3D printed objects can be placed in the upwards pointing modules for both sculptural purposes and to create lighting effects.
    The magnets holding the modules in place can be used to hold add-ons in place in the downward pointing modules. This could be light filters/shades or electric modules like spotlight.

    Currently the development is focused on the system of assembling and the styling related to this.

    - Torben
  • torbenhltorbenhl Member Posts: 5
    The idea in the lamp is the possibility to both partly customize it through assembling modules and by further adding add-ons later. This could be either home made add-ons like 3D prints or cut outs to manipulate the light or retail add-ons like small speakers or spot lights that could be held in place by the same magnets that hold the modules together.
    Do you have any further ideas of how it could be used?

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