Surface designs for 3D printed objects

Natural materials are easily affected by the elements. Time and use leave their marks, introducing narratives and complexity to their surfaces. In contrast, materials for 3D printing tend to be inert and uniform — but allow fine structures to be easily printed.

The project makes use of this potential in order to create surface structures which wear with usage, inviting a different way of relating to objects which are about to become part of our everyday life. The key idea is one geometrical pattern changing into another over time. This can be achieved by making some parts of the initial pattern weakly attached, so that they gradually break off, revealing new geometries. Such surface ‘finish’ can be designed into any printable everyday object.

The concept emphases transformation and refinement, rather than decay, as a function of time. Like a stone polished and molded by the sea, a denser pattern unfolds into a simpler one, making traces of interaction visible.