Your Future Flatware Will Be Forged by 3D Printing
Metal printing brings stunning cutlery to the table
If you’ve been fantasizing about a future where every home has a 3D printer, here’s another picture to add to that daydream. The SETAE flatware set by notable 3D printing wizard Francis Bitonti calls to mind nothing less than supper with supernatural royalty.
The five-piece set was 3D printed through metal printing technology and finished with sterling silver to create a sultry gleam. The design itself is astoundingly precise.
Strands of material start at the end of utensil, then braids itself like a vine to to the other end. For the spoons, it merges into a bowl shaped like an angular teardrop. The forks end with the strands untangling into an organized row.
The knife by itself is a showstopper. The braid merges to become a rather short blade, with a heavy curve that, while in a 15th century royal supper table, would remind the user of a war axe.
Bitonti, on his website, writes of the collection:
Four independent strands cohere and separate creating a landscape of fibers nestled into the hand. The separation and cohesion of these long linear elements is used to produce local difference to beautifully satisfy the demands of a functional set of flatware.
In past projects, including a commercially-viable capsule collection of shoes with intricate 3D-printed heels, Francis Bitonti spoke of using algorithms that decide the shape of his work. These complex number-crunching formulas developed by the ex-architect’s studio offers a deepened level of complexity to the work, as well as an organic brand of spontaneity.
Using this method, Bitonti questions the tenor of 3D printing. From synthesizing physical objects from digital data, the designer makes it a practice on organic growth where the creator is not always in control. Using algorithms as a sort of stand-in for creative artificial intelligence, Bitonti builds objects of a certain creativity one wouldn’t expect from a digital printer.
Other notable 3D-printed works by the artist include the white Bristle Dress and Dita Von Teese’s form-fitting gown. Bitonti in his projects has often used 3D-printing as a focal point but not the exclusive method. He shows that an 3D printing as a mode of creation is still neither the beginning or the end, but a key role in the process.