Folding Technology Lets 3D-Printers Produce Objects Larger Than Themselves [Video]

Folding Technology Lets 3D-Printers Produce Objects Larger Than Themselves [Video]

Hyperform is a new way of creating large objects, regardless of the size of the printer bed.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 20 september 2013

One of the limiting factors of 3D-printing is the actual size of the printer. To 3D-print large objects, you’ll either have to divide the object into several parts or find yourself a large 3D-printer.

MIT-based designers and researchers Marcelo Coelho and Skylar Tibbits have developed a way to 3D-print large objects without being limited by the size of the printer bed.

In collaboration with Natan Linder and Yoav Reches of Formlabs and with funding from Ars Electronica, the two researchers came up with Hyperform, a method that uses material folding techniques as a computational design strategy as well as assembly strategies to enable designers to compress large objects into the bed space of any 3D-printer and then lay them out and assemble them after printing.



When the object comes out of the printer, it basically looks like a long string of chain links with multidirectional notches to allow for easy assembly. The chains and notches are created in a way that they will only snap and bend in the direction that they are supposed to.

The researchers demonstrated the method by 3D-printing a 50-foot chain which they hung from the roof of a building. They were also able to create a chandelier to demonstrate the assembly process and show the potential of Hyperform when it comes to creating large items.

The research team intends to open up Hyperform to other designers and architects who may have other ideas on how the method can be used or developed further.

The first video below provides more details about Hyperform. The second video shows Coelho and Tibbits testing Hyperform by 3D-printing a 50-foot chain.

Marcelo Coelho


Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players


Jason Silva

TechFilmmaker & Performance Philosopher

Syndicated Yesterday

What Could The Highway Of The Future Look Like?

As technology for automated vehicles improves, there’s a sharper focus on building a ‘smarter’ infrastructure where they can thrive

Design Yesterday

Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

These French-made turbines are offering a small, aesthetically pleasing approach to affordable personal energy

Home Yesterday

Dyson’s Wi-Fi Connected Fan Purifies, Cools & Heats The Air

The new luxury home appliance aims to be an all-in-one device for the connected home


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Yesterday

Brewing Company Turns Car Emissions Into Ink

Tiger Beer has created a sustainable process to transform air pollution into supplies for street art

Design Yesterday

Space-Saving Sofa Has Extra Furniture Hidden Inside

Living in an apartment with limited space? This three-in-one bed transforms based on your needs

Culture Yesterday

Browser Extension Blocks Any Pages That Make You Unhappy

The software can detect your facial movements and prevent content that brings up negative emotions

Automotive Yesterday

Reserve Your Parking Spot Before You Even Get Behind The Wheel

A new Ford app allows drivers to select and arrange for a space in a garage to be available at the end of their journey, so they can travel worry-free


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Work Yesterday

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Desk Is Becoming An Ecosystem Of Satellite Workstations

Our Future of Work vision is an app that frees employees from the tyranny of a static desk

Food Yesterday

A Tiny Amount Of This Powder Could Block All The Bitterness In Food

A new substance made from mushrooms can bond with taste receptors on your tongue to overcome unpleasant flavors

Asia Yesterday

Whimsical Dental Clinic Design Aims To Calm Patient Fears

Cheerful colors and a nod to the comforts of home are design elements tactfully aimed to help people relax

No search results found.