The Edge: Janne Kyttanen, The Master of 3D Printing
August 20, 20154 min read
Novedge: Tell us about yourself and your 3D journey. Janne Kyttanen: I was programming my first games when I was 7 years old so I had a good fundamental understanding of 0s and 1s. My older brother was into 3D animation from a very young age, so I had the best foundation to focus on digital creation. I started working with 3D printing in the mid 90s. When I first discovered 3D printing I immediately saw everything around me in wireframe and I was completely overwhelmed by the possibilities. I saw all of the potential of the technology and I didn’t see any reason to go into a workshop and cut wood, or bend metal or weld – I immediately submerged myself into the computer and I never let go. I realized that every object I looked at could be stored virtually and produced anywhere with very little environmental impact, and no investment, assembly or shipping charges. I just wanted to make things in 3D because the possibilities are infinite.
Novedge: You just designed and 3D printed a sofa. Can you talk about it?
JK:Sofa So Good is a full sized, fully functional lounger coated in high polish copper and chrome. The lounger measures 150 x 75 x 55 centimeters, yet weighs only 2.5 kilos and was created using just 2.5 liters of material. Sofa So Good has been 3D printed in 6000 layers, each just 0.0099 centimeters thick. The unique diamond geometry creates a super strong structure that can support a person weighing up to 100 kilos. This design pushes the limits of weight reduction, which I see as an invaluable development that can be utilized for countless applications. In making this piece I wanted to explore optimized structures. I was inspired by the formation of silkworm cocoons and spider webs; how can these kinds of geometries be used to save material used in production and in building materials? If we are able to apply these principles of structure optimization to manufacturing, transport costs will be marginal, energy consumption will be significantly less – there is a whole range of benefits in our future that we can’t even fathom today. Sofa So Good is the largest and most complex end use product ever made using a 3D Systems ProX 950 super wide 3D printing system. Novedge: What software do you use?
JK: For me, only one thing is certain – 3D printing will keep on giving people limitless freedom of creation. How? I honestly don’t know anymore. Everyday I see new things that make me think ‘I wish I had thought of that’, and that puts a big smile on my face. It’s difficult to predict how it will all fall into place, when we have just started the journey.
Novedge: What kind of materials are you experimenting with lately?
JK: Lately I’ve been experimenting with our new CubePro – a multi material, multi color printer. I’ve also been working with metal plating 3D printed forms. Novedge: Is there something you would like to Design but you haven't had a chance yet?
JK: I’m currently working on a project to explore how 3D printing can be used as a communication device. This project requires an understanding of quantum physics, so it’s keeping my brain very active these days.
Novedge; Which artist of the past (or present) would you like to have dinner with?
JK: Leonardo da Vinci.
Novedge: What would you talk about?
JK: I’m most interested in how he came to be so multitalented and diversified. There was a period in time in which Design was considered to be a single-‐activity profession. Now I see that the most exciting work is created by people who are masters in countless disciplines; Fashion Designers become Architects, Interior Designers become Coders and Ballerinas become Engineers. The very best are able to seamlessly swim from one discipline to the other. The magic happens in the cross roads of different disciplines, and I see that Leonardo da Vinci was the original polymath.
Novedge: Your work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, do you have a favorite piece?
JK: For me, the latest is always my favorite – I never look back. So let’s say that that Sofa So Good is my favorite now, next week a new Design.
Novedge: What comes first, Form or Function?
JK: Neither – the best new discoveries seldom follow a straight line.
Novedge: Is "Freedom of Creation" the best definition for 3D Printing?
JK: I’ve found that every production technique has strengths and weaknesses, but so far 3D printing has come the closest to providing freedom of creation for me. Janne Kyttanen is a prolific 3D artist/Designer and the Creative Director for 3D Systems, the biggest 3D Printing company in the world. Check out Janne's website and follow him on Twitter . We know there are many artists out there that would pick Janne Kyttanen as a dinner companion (3D printed silverware included). No offense Leonardo.