If you loathe Ikea lighting but don’t want to drop $1,000 on a new lamp, I have some good news. Ammunition, the product design studio known for consumer products like Beats by Dre and the Ember mug, is releasing three new floor, wall, and table light fixture collections using 3D printing in collaboration with the industrial design development platform Gantri.
The lights start at $148 and speak to a variety of design-savvy tastes. There’s the Carve collection, which looks as if it were “carved out of marble,” says Victoria Slaker, vice president of industrial design at Ammunition. There’s the Signal collection, which has an industrial vibe. And there’s the Gio collection, a modernist take on 1970s-era Italian lighting design (my personal favorite).
All three collections have one design element in common: They’re seamless. That’s because they were manufactured with 3D printing. In a typical manufacturing process, plastic would be injected into a mold that has to be broken apart. That equals seams. In 3D printing, you fabricate a complete object, layer by layer, then pull it out of the printer, and it’s ready to go. One question the design team asked themselves when exploring how they could bring unique design ideas to a saturated market was, “Is it something that couldn’t be made in another way?” Slaker says. The designs Ammunition came up with here were only possible with 3D printing. “We participated in this because we think it’s the future, and we really wanted to start influencing that and participating in it,” Slaker says. “But in the end, we’re hoping that it won’t really be about how it was made—it was 3D-printed—just that it’s great design.”
Gantri has been helping independent designers bring their designs to life using 3D printing since 2017. The company has even patented its own 3D printer, so that designers can focus on what they do best, designing, rather than finding manufacturers or vendors. This 3D-printing process can allow industrial designers to break out of the “Ikea cookie cutter” mold, says Ian Yang, Gantri’s CEO.
The latest collaboration with Ammunition is Gantri’s first expansion into new lighting categories. (Previously, Gantri only produced table lights.) The partnership afforded both Ammunition and Gantri to work through new challenges: Gantri helped Ammunition explore 3D printing for future large-scale opportunities. Ammunition, for its part, produced a set of standard components for the product line, such as dimmer switches, weights, and single screw wall mounts, that gives future Gantri designers a foundation to work from and makes the products easy to use for consumers at home.