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Designer Develops a Method for 3D Printing using Wool for Furniture, Acoustics, Insulation

FDT Bureau

Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma recently introduced Flocks Wobot, a revolutionary robot capable of constructing three-dimensional volumes using wool. In collaboration with robotics company TFT, Meindertsma developed a custom robot arm attached to a user-friendly robot, resembling a 3D printer but employing felting to create woven volumes.  Know more about it on FURNITURE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY (FDT).

Flocks Wobot can build robust and soft 3D wool structures industrially, marking a breakthrough without the need for additional materials or water in the felting process. Meindertsma envisions applications in furniture, acoustic products and insulation, particularly with coarse wool varieties like those found on European sheep. The Flocks Wobot is part of Meindertsma’s exploration into wool’s potential, alongside her innovative method for transforming wool into sustainable soft blocks, which was showcased at the Dutch Design Week.

These projects will reportedly be featured in her solo exhibition, Christien Meindertsma: Re-forming Waste, at the V&A in London, where she will unveil a robot-printed sofa, the first large-scale use of this technology. The exhibition is part of the V&A’s Make Good: Rethinking Material Futures programme, emphasizing the circular economy and innovative material applications. Meindertsma’s research into wool’s value, often considered a waste product, highlights the potential of combining traditional artisan techniques with modern manufacturing methods. Her foray into robotics and 3D printing aims to redefine wool’s role, creating durable and innovative structures with sustainable applications.

Image credit: Christien Meindertsma




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