The Thallus Chair, designed by Torres Chen, is an innovative furniture design that combines technology, natural aesthetics, and sustainability.
The project began as a journey of research and was implemented with the support of algorithms, which allowed the designer to run through a massive number of iterations to refine the curves and optimize the chair’s performance in terms of load-bearing, lightweight, and complexity of fabrication implementation. The chair was fabricated in ARM’s Beijing lab through a collaboration between Torres Chen and Wei Gong, co-founders of ARM Robotics, a pioneer manufacturing technology company.
The curved and naturally organic shape of the chair was achieved by working with a KUKA KR270 industrial robotic arm and a pellet extruder self-developed by ARM. The designers had the chance to experiment and push the limits of robotic 3D printing, and the chair’s form was molded layer by layer with high-level precision and care.
During the preparation stage of the fabrication, a series of tests were conducted by varying different parameters, including extruding amount and robot moving speed, to find the balance between efficiency and preciseness. Eventually, a 12-hour constant printing was taken with a thickness of 10 millimeters, demonstrating the potential of applying this innovative technology in large and complex projects in the future. This advanced manufacturing technique allows for unrivaled customization and demonstrates the potential of additive manufacturing in the production of bespoke furniture.
The Thallus Chair uses recycled PETG polymer, demonstrating a sustainable and environmentally responsible way to reuse recycled plastic. Repurposing waste plastic into functional and aesthetically pleasing furniture not only reduces waste but also contributes to the vision of a zero-carbon future. The final product restores the design to a high degree, using a slender curve to support all the weight and showing the astonishing beauty of a growing trend in nature. The combination of computational design on the digital end and state-of-the-art robotic 3D printing technology on the physical end is a meaningful attempt to explore the potential of how furniture or interior space can be designed and fabricated in the future.
Design: Torres Chen (Tuotuo)
Manufacturer: ARM(Beijing) Robotics
Manufacture Team: Torres Chen, Wei Gong
Photos and Animation: Torres Chen