INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK SPECK
VICE PRESIDENT, LIXIL GLOBAL DESIGN AND CONSUMER EXPERIENCE EMENA
Credits: Grohe AG
Picture 1, Picture 2
Additive manufacturing processes permit designs that wouldn’t be feasible with conventional technologies – products with particularly complex forms, for example, or weight- and load-optimised components. It also provides the possibility of customising products and implementing unprecedented forms. Grohe AG takes the latter approach with these two bathroom tap lines, which are made from a specially developed metal powder using a laser melting process. Each tap consists of 4,700 layers with an individual thickness of 0.06 millimetres; after being removed from the powder bed, it is reworked by a CNC milling machine before being manually ground and brushed. In terms of form, the two tap collections differ considerably – Allure Brilliant is faceted and angular, whereas the slender Atrio line describes an elegant arc. The connecting element between the two is a very filigree structure paired with a velvety surface. Both mixers are operated by means of two handles, which are manufactured using the same process. Produced in small, exclusive editions, every single tap is unique.
A bold, visionary design! Taken as studies, the taps give an idea of the potential inherent in the industrial usage of 3D manufacturing processes. The almost mysterious route taken by the water is particularly interesting and adds a playful touch to the otherwise rather technical overall look.