British designer Gareth Neal and Dutch studio The New Raw have developed a 3D printing technique that mimics craft techniques such as braiding and weaving. It involves extruding loops and weaves of plastic instead of the usual layers.
Neal’s design of a pink loop chair and three woven vessels were recently unveiled at the London Design Festival. Normally Neal works with wood, The New Raw specializes in recycled plastic. Their goal was to transfer the imperfections of handmade into 3D printing and reduce waste from misprints.
Using hand-drawn print trajectories, they mimic traditional tools and movements. The interweaving technique yields resilient, lightweight structures using minimal materials. Even triple-recycled plastic, often considered too unstable, can be processed.
Neal says the EU-funded project was a steep learning curve for both partners. It shows how designers can inspire manufacturers to take new approaches through experimentation, he says. Neal is now looking to expand the product range. The Loop Chair can be printed to order in custom colors.