Designer chair

Sand casting molds for designer furniture

When it comes to the manufacture of designer furniture in small batches, more and more providers are relying on 3D print technology, which can be used to produce spectacular designs at economic production costs, as evidenced by the Batoidea chair.

Batoidea, or stingray, is the name of a designer chair created by Belgian star designer Peter Donders. One look at this refined piece of furniture reveals the idea behind the name, as the design really does conjure up the image of an elegantly gliding stingray, visualising lightness and airiness, and impressing with its elegance. The production of this chair, which breaks with convention and is made of aluminum casting, would have been virtually impossible in terms of economic aspects without the use of 3D print technology.

Peter Donders was able to implement his unconventional ideas inspired by nature on a technical level using a computer and the well-known Rhino3D modelling program. The great advantage of this progressive work method: The CAD data set required for 3D printing was automatically available upon completion of the work on the computer.

The production of the generously sized chair with its complex stingray design required a total of five sand mold parts, which were manufactured at voxeljet's service centre in Augsburg. The largest mold part measured 1,105 x 713 x 382 millimetres – a size easily handled by voxeljet's high-performance printers. The largest voxeljet 3D print systems can accommodate shapes with a maximum volume of eight cubic metres.

The chair production process places great demands on 3D printing and the cast, as the design consists of a very thin-walled aluminum cast structure. The casting process is followed by grinding and polishing work, before a high-quality varnish is applied to the Batoidea chair.

Technical data

Total size   1,105 x 713 x 382 mm  Total size 100 x 50 x 65 mm
Weight730 kgWeight 12 kg
Indiviual pieces5Material Aluminium
Material SandLead time 3 weeks
Layer thickness  0,3 mm
Lead time 15 days
Build time 36 hours