In 2019, 3D printers are far from being the exclusive realm of big companies. From tooth crowns to artworks, décor items to shelves, these printers are increasingly forming a part of offices and homes across the globe. Unless you are a lover of home design, you may not know that 3D printers are also capable of creating stunning furniture items – with companies like Nagami (by Zaha Hadid Architects) showing off gorgeous chairs, lamps, and sofas, all made with high-precision, large-print volume 3D printers in a variety of colours and styles. If the room you are most likely to be found in during the day is the kitchen, welcome to the club. Today’s open plan houses and cutting edge materials in everything from countertops to wallpaper mean that modern home dwellers are looking for nouvelle, efficient, practical ways to make the most of their kitchen through 3D printing.
Something as Small as an Oven Knob
3D printed furniture can be large-scale and impressive but this technology is also the perfect match for solutions to small but potentially costly problems. Take the example of an oven with cracked or broken knobs. Not all companies offer replacement parts, so what are homeowners with a perfectly functioning oven to do with unsightly metal prongs sitting where a handsome plastic knob should be? Use a 3D printer to make new knobs, of course. In a fascinating expose, writer James Tulloch tells the tale of how printing a kitchen knob in 3D was quick, easy to experiment with, and absolutely practical (and cheap) in terms of the results produced. It is amazing to think that the average person will one day will be able to solve a plethora of problems this way – proactively, and in-house!
Stunning Designer Countertops and Islands
Imagine a kitchen comprising large-scale 3D furniture such as countertops, islands, and benches – boasting the characteristic ‘beehive pattern’ that 3D printing can so easily produce. Last year, Berlin-based designers Studio 7.5 created an absolutely stunning collection of benches bearing a tight woven pattern. The result was almost rattan-like in appearance yet infinitely stronger wearing and bearing a futuristic light grey hue. Modern, clean designs are particularly conducive to 3D printing. For countertops and islands, you can simply opt for smoother surfaces in materials that are resistant to heat and wear-and-tear.
Will Families Ever Print 3D Food?
Forget messy skillets, pots, and pans. The future looks breezy, thanks to 3D printed food that is delicious and aesthetically pleasing. One company in Germany is already using specialised printers to make food for seniors who find it hard to process solids. The global 3d food printing market is expected to reach $400 billion within five or six years, so watch out Jetson Family, everyone else will be enjoying meals at the push of a button, sooner than they realise!
Kitchen Accessories with 3D Style
Many modern kitchen accessory shops are already selling 3D printed soup ladles, measuring spoons, mugs, salt-and-pepper shakers, pasta makers, and even sushi sets. All these items can be made in durable materials that will stand up well to dishwashers and other equipment that be used alongside them. One of the most common comments about 3D kitchen accessories is how bright and colourful they are. Vivid fuschia, deep orange, lime green, and sky blue are just a few colours used to make kitchen containers and other items that jazz up the design of everyday kitchens.
If you always dreamed of a world in which you could programme a computer to create a delicious meal without having to put up with the heat and mess of cooking, the good news is that in less than a decade, you may have already samples your first 3D snack. Of course, this cutting edge technology allows you to make more than food. From large-scale furniture items like benches to designer stools, utensils, and décor pieces, 3D printing is here to make your kitchen a more practical, colourful place to prepare and enjoy fantastic meals with your loved ones.
Author Bio Ali McEnroe:
Working full time as writer has been an exciting transition for Ali McEnroe. In a previous life she worked in tech/software and although she loved her job, found it was very stressful at times. Motherhood focused her and allowed her to take a step back and now she writes on tech, innovations and news pieces. In her free time she volunteers for a range of mental health charities.