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Venetian glass gets a 3D printed twist with horizON lamp

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For nearly a thousand years, the Venetian island of Murano has been home to some of the most beautiful and finest glassmaking in the world. Today, the finely honed skills of Venetian glassmakers are still inspiring and in some cases are being combined with new technologies and processes to amazing effect. Such is the case with architects Arturo Tedeschi and DesignMorphine’s Michael Pryor and Pavlina Vardoulaki, who have combined glass craftsmanship with 3D printing to come up with a new and fascinating glass lamp design.

The trio of architects have designed a suspension lamp called horizON, which consists of a freeform 3D printed shape encased within a Venetian glass structure handmade in Murano, Italy. The stunning lighting fixture represents how old and new techniques and materials can be combined in compelling ways.

Horizon lamp Venetian glass

In this case, the architects designed an internal geometry for the glass lamp using nylon 3D printing. The structure is not only built for aesthetic purposes: it is actually designed to diffuse light in a particular way. When lighting from the LED system hits the 3D printed core, it is filtered to create different shapes and patterns on the walls and ceiling. During the day, the core takes on a more sculptural purpose and can be admired from below.

The transparent glass shell, for its part, is made by glassmakers in Murano using CNC-milled molds and manual glassmaking techniques. When the glass is formed, it is placed on a tempra-oven for a day where it can cool without risk of cracking. Once the glass has hardened, it is ground and polished and pierced with diamond tips before being fitted with the 3D printed interior.

The horizON lamp is being presented at Venice Glass Week 2020, which runs until September 12th. The architects say of the work: “Our project horizON is based on the belief that industry of next years won’t only evolve through a constant, technological upgrade of products, but reconsidering and reintegrating values such as uniqueness, hand-making, and even ‘imperfection’. In this iPhone era, people are experiencing a sort of equation where technical perfection accelerates the obsolescence of products and disaffection. Objects are just temporary tools and companions that no longer tell a story and get abandoned at every hardware upgrade.”

The horizON lamp, by contrast, offers a different approach to product making, one that calls back to traditional, highly skilled craftsmanship and state-of-the-art techniques like 3D printing. Together, they really light up a room!

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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