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How We Use 3D Printing and Digital Fabrication

How We Use 3D Printing and Digital Fabrication

Posted by Jillian Northrup on Jun 15th 2020

We develop our designs hand-in-hand with the latest in 3D printing and CNC tools. CNC stands for computer numerical control which means the printing and design tools are operated to very precise tolerances via computer.

It’s this level of precise control that allows you, the customer, to create a vase that is 7.25 inches high, and another vase that is 7.5 inches high and have confidence that both vases will be exactly the height you specified, whether you order one or one hundred.

Our 3D printers are designed in-house to take advantage of this precision, and we have specialized CNC tooling that improves the efficiency in creating each piece. This is the “secret sauce” behind our 2-week shipment policy—our technology streamlines the time from creation to fabrication, so we can ship your pieces to you faster than most off-the-shelf furniture.

And our team doesn’t stop there. We are constantly developing new technology in-house to improve our in-house functionality as well as leverage and contribute to other open-source innovations and technologies from around the world.

How We Use Parametric and Generative Design

Making furniture design “pixel perfect” on-screen is easy. But what happens if you create a design that’s unstable or has an unforeseen weak spot? That’s where our parametric and generative designs come into play.

Parametric design uses a set of design rules that helps to clarify the relationship between design intent, and design output. Generative design takes outputs that fit into certain parameters and refines them to ensure only certain outputs are allowed. For example, generative design can be employed to ensure a design meets constraints for balance and overall stability.

Using parametric and generative design allows us to bring an unprecedented level of customization to our furniture products. Every Model No. design can be customized within your web browser in just a few clicks. Parametric and generative design rules within the online Customizer adjust the diverse shape and size options in real time to ensure a perfect outcome regardless of the adjustments you make.

So no matter which options you choose, the final design will always be beautiful, durable, and perfectly balanced. That is our promise.

Our On-Demand Automated Production

When you order furniture at Model No., we produce it automatically, based on the design parameters you set within our online Customizer. This means that the design you create on our website is exactly the piece you will receive.

Orders flow directly from our website straight to the printers and robots, which quickly begin the work of printing your custom piece. This has two big benefits:

  1. No additional cost to create custom vs. “stock” pieces. This means you save money when designing your own furniture with us.
  2. Minimal waste. No inventory means we aren’t making furniture that requires long term storage or that might not be sold. This is a dramatic waste reduction when compared to traditional furniture companies.

Also, because we don’t hold inventory, we aren’t limited in the designs we can create. In short: more designs for you to choose from as we are able to launch and change our designs rapidly.

Parametric Design Modeling + Digital Manufacturing + Smart People

How we make every Model No. stable, durable and aesthetically pleasing

Technology is an integral part of how we make it easy for you to create the perfect sized piece of furniture that fits your space. But while the technology is the tool we are using to make it all happen, our design and production teams are the real key. We develop our baseline models to support dramatic customization. That thinking beyond the technology into the usability of the pieces and how they will fit with our customers lifestyle, that is the real key. Without our passionate team, we’d be just another 3D printing company!

So, how do we do it?

Intense collaboration, even in this new post COVID landscape where our staff is 95% remote, we are still talking to each other and meeting multiple times a day. We mix parametric design modeling with digital additive and subtractive manufacturing to create our furniture pieces. And we have a great team, working hard to make it all come together. Our team is passionate about optimizing these design and manufacturing technologies to be the company we are building: Model No. is the only company in the world right now that can offer customization of 3D printed furniture.

Keeping it Local

We leverage our US manufacturing and rely on a small facility with dedicated professionals instead of ordering from overseas and warehousing. Our production crew is small and specialized, as one operator is able to manage six 3D printing machines at a time.

And because we’re producing everything right here in the USA, our shipping times are minimal, packaging is reduced, and our product's carbon footprint is tiny.

We’re proud to be putting these technologies to use right here in the Bay Area, and we hope this peek “under the hood” encourages you to take a look at what we have to offer. No matter what product you choose to customize, it’ll be revolutionary, 

Our Approach
Image of an artfully designed chaise lounge

ARTFUL DESIGN

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Sophisticated modern aesthetic developed by industry leaders with backgrounds in architecture, industrial and parametric design who use the latest technology including 3D printing.
Image showing variations within a single product

ON-DEMAND CUSTOMIZATION

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Our first-to-market digital showroom allows you to fully customize items to fit your needs- from shape and color to size and budget. Your custom piece is created on-demand and ships from our studio to your door in just a few weeks.
Image showing some of the sustainable materials we use to produce our products

SUSTAINABLY MADE

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All furnishings are made in the US with 100% renewable materials from sustainably sourced hardwoods to 3D printed plant resins upcycled from unused food crops. On-demand production means we don’t hold any wasteful inventory.