GRAVITYSHAPES means bringing ideas, materials and forms into new dimensions. Discover exclusive and unusual 3D decorations, accessories and useful functional objects. Behind GRAVITYSHAPES is a young Swiss designer who is experimenting with different materials and techniques, shaping his ideas into new dimensions, and this pleases people all over the world. Hopefully you too.

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3D Art & Design - Shaping ideas in new dimensions

3D printing

High-tech 3D printing techniques

With 3D printing layer by layer to the final shape

The design objects of GRAVITYSHAPES are created with 3D printing. This innovative, so-called additive manufacturing process, in which the print material is applied layer by layer up to the finished object, allows not only shapes which would not be possible with classical manufacturing methods (milling, cutting, drilling, grinding etc.), but also has the advantage that practically no waste is produced. This means that the production consumes only as much material as the object effectively has at the end. The printing process and the production of individual objects often last several hours or even days. This process can not be accelerated by “mass production”, so every design object is an elaborately printed lover’s object, which goes to completion by countless expert hands and work steps.

Printing and manufacturing processes at a glance

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

PLA, BDP, Wood, Metals

PROCESS: In the FDM 3D printing process three-dimensional workpieces are layered. The printing is computer-controlled from one or more solid materials according to given dimensions and shapes (CAD). The print material in the form of a wire runs from a material coil into a heated print head. There, the material melts and is applied in layers of 0.1 to 0.4 mm, while the print head runs off the places to be printed. FDM printers may also have multiple print heads and thus also produce multi-color prints or objects from various materials (such as the “Organic stonepots – Landscape builder” by GRAVITYSHAPES). Typical materials for FDM printing include: PLA, ABS, BDP but also wood, sandstone or metal mixture. There is a large and growing number of materials and colors. Disadvantages of the FDM method include: The lower accuracy and the low degree of detail, as well as the necessary use of support material in the case of heavily overhanging parts.

APPLICATION BY GRAVITYSHAPES: This method is used especially for in-house printing (own 3D printer). This is used to create prototypes, experiment with new material (fillaments) and print articles for personal use. The material palette is very diverse. With FDM printers, individual pieces of natural and biological materials such as wood, BDP, PLA and metals are printed on demand for friends, family and customers, since these and other materials are not yet (or hardly) available on externally industrial machines or not available with others printing technics.

Print examples:

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)


PROCESS: Selective laser sintering (SLS) is a generative layer construction process. The print object is also built up layer by layer. In a printer space filled with powdered starting material (for example a polyamide, plastic-coated molding sand, metal or a ceramic powder), a high power laser selectively fuse thin layer by layer of the powdered material and the parts of the object are melted. Almost any three-dimensional geometries can be generated by the action of the laser beams, which can not be produced in conventional mechanical or of casting production. After printing, the remaining powder is removed for reuse, the printed objects are dedusted and further refined as desired. A great advantage in the SLS printing process is that support structures such as those used in many other 3D printing processes, e.g. in the case of FDM with strongly overhanging structures, are not required. The component is during its formation always supported by the surrounding powder.

APPLICATION BY GRAVITYSHAPES: For various reasons many objects on industrial machines can only be printed in Nylon. Filigree design pieces as well as very large objects. This material is also very suitable for various objects. However, because GRAVITYSHAPES prefer other materials from natural raw materials, alternatives are always being searched for this material. From the “A burgeoning capsule planter” e.g. is only the filigree exterior printed with nylon, while the plant pot on the inside is printed with biological PLA or BDP (from sugar cane and corn starch).

Print examples:

Binder Jetting

Porcelain, Metals

PROCESS: The binder jetting is also a generative manufacturing process, in which powdered starting material is applied to a height-adjustable table. At selected points, the powder is bonded with a binder so as to produce the desired objects. After each layer, the table moves down a bit and a new powder layer is applied and the print head again moves back with the binder to the desired printing points. This printing process can also create ceramic, metal or sandstone objects and is very similar to the SLS method, which works with a laser instead of a binder. Porcelain and metal objects can also be printed by means of a wax models. In the first step, a wax model is printed with 3D printing from which a negative form is created. The porcelain or metal can then be cast into the negative mold. The result is then ground and polished or glazed. Porcelain objects are thus produced in different steps over several days and are always hardened again in the kiln.

APPLICATION BY GRAVITYSHAPES: For cast and printed porcelain, sandstone or metal objects, there are higher material-specific requirements than for 3D objects made of PLA or Nylon, so objects have to be adapted to the materials during the design process. The binder jetting process is used for porcelain objects. GRAVITYSHAPES is currently also experimenting with sandstone, which in comparison to the traditional sandcastle construction brings some challenges to the printing objects. In addition, metallic design pieces are also planned for 2017.

Print examples:

There are also many other 3D printing methods which, for example, print other materials or allow highly detailed parts that are not currently used by GRAVITYSHAPES.