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The first 3D-printed office in the world

Imagine that the furniture for your new office is constructed right there in your office space. You get furniture designed directly for your unique needs, and hardly any transport is needed. This is Plyms vision of how offices will get their furniture in the future.

We see that customers buy the copyright for a furniture that is developed for their company specifically. There is already examples of this where companies buy the rights for a furniture that is custom made locally in a CNC-machine instead of ordering/transporting/importing standard furniture. One example where a company’s done this with all their furniture is Greenpeace’s office in Islington, London.

The world’s first 3D-printed office

Imagine that the furniture for your office is manufactured in your office. You get furniture developed for your unique needs and hardly any transportation is needed. This is what Plym sees in the future for office design.

The company buys the copyrights for the design of a furniture. There are already companies doing this today and produce it locally in a CNC-machine instead of ordering/transporting/importing standard furniture from the existing market. One example is Greenpeace’s head office in Islington, London, where 100% of the furniture is made this way, says Louise Plym – CEO and founder of Plym.

  • But also office spaces like Spotify Gaming is 90% furniture that is developed and manufactured especially for that company. We make the design and have a close collaboration with an engineer that creates a STP-file from our 3D drawings, and then is manufactured in local machines.

Now Plym predicts how this concept can develop even more. With today’s 3D printers for different materials you can manufacture the parts for your furniture where ever you are, ready to put together. The furniture is coming to you – not the other way around. Plym is developing unique interior designs and concepts for space efficient blueprints. They have for several years made head offices and store concepts for both national and international successful brands and big chain stores like IKEA, Spotify, Castellum, Smarteyes, Fortnox and Svenssons I Lammhult.

  • When we do the models for a design concept for our customers we start with an interview to map out their needs. It’s almost like we move in to the customers’ office ourselves. Design research is a big part of our work and includes everything from where the office is geographically to a plan for light sources and sound proofing. In this way we get to know the company’s functions, successes as well as plans for the future and therefore we can make efficient, relevant and sustainable concepts for that concern, says Louise.
  • We can absolutely not do our own thing, it’s all about their thing. To originate from what makes that company unique, Louise points out. It’s not unusual that a company moves in to a new office building with a flat-rated layout, where the spaces and offices are created for any company to move in, she says.

When Plym works with a customer they keep the customer up to date on where they are in the process, both with 2D drawings and 3D drawings, and sometimes if the customer is passionate about design and have time for it they participate in the making of the drawings. We then use our 3D drawings and create virtual tours in videos and VR. With this technique customers´ and their employees can visit their future office and turn around eventual concerns they have to something exiting and inspiring.

  • You have to remember that it’s not only a physical move that is happening, some employees might need to make a mental move as well, Louise points out.

Right now we work with a lot of IT companies and see the needs of custom made furniture in this kind of business.

  • We make the furniture the customer need but can’t buy anywhere. We as a company are used to make commercial concepts from basis. Therefore, the step to making unique furniture for offices and then produce them with CNC- and 3D print technique isn’t huge. In fact, is was the opposite, for us it’s an obvious step since we have a background in industrial design and continually work with engineers in our project, Louise says.

Now we are looking in to the future of interior design.

Today we can create shapes you only could dream of earlier. With 3D printing we can for example create light weight hollow furniture and seamless shapes. Every day the technique and materials for 3D printing is developed, Louise says. Their vision is to design a whole office with furniture created with CNC machines and 3D printers. Therefore, Plym is now searching for a company to try this on and together create the world first 3D printed office.

Writer: Anna Bjärenäs
Published: Tematidning SvD “Innovation arbetsplats” 200408

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