Oftentimes, the aesthetic quality of 3D-printed objects means—no matter how useful—the products are ultimately unattractive. Of course, much progress has been made over the last few years, and the varying levels of amateur and professional work have improved. Initially, KWAMBIO launched with a tech-driven focus and a view in mind to impact developments in 3D printing. Today, however, they’ve announced a shift in gears and the new offering is two-fold. First, the site functions as an e-commerce platform featuring hand-selected, 3D-printed homewares, jewelry and accessories. Second, it’s an on-demand site that allows the consumer to alter the work they wish to purchase. And working with both metals and ceramics, KWAMBIO’s craft conveys something more handmade than 3D-printed.
Chad Philips, former Director of Retail at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and once a Creative Director for Fab.com (not to mention, an alum of toy design company Kidrobot)—joined KWAMBIO as a creative director. Philips discovers and partners with design talent. As he explains to CH, “We were looking primarily at the design landscape of NY, to all of the great designers here doing interesting things from fashion to homewares, and to offer them a technology and potential to make a product fast with low impact to them. The ability to customize was always a potential but not at the forefront.” From there, the KWAMBIO system functions much like an Instagram filter, allowing consumers to select variations in material, finish, size and even form of designers’ works. The piece is printed on demand in either the US or Europe. Industrial designers Chen Chen & Kai Williams, accessory designer Mir Ett and artist Jim Drain all contribute notable works (among a handful of others). Fortunately, the printing quality is there to deliver worthy, customized iterations of each maker’s vision.
Explore KWAMBIO‘s offerings and the customization process online.
Images courtesy of KWAMBIO