Chair Design Series, Part 1

This is the first of an undetermined number of posts in a chair design series. My goal is to make a completely 3D printed, functional chair based on Enzo Mari’s chair from his book, Enzo Mari – autoprogettazione? My plan is to spend a fair amount of time designing the chair before I begin printing. I will be exploring ways to minimize elements while optimizing a design suitable for printing in a 600 cubic millimeter space. Instructional videos will be included. At the end, I should have a well-designed 3D printed chair and anyone participating should have one as well.

Enzo Mari is an Italian artist and furniture designer. The photograph above is a copy of page 52 from the second edition of his do-it-yourself book; free to everyone except factories and traders. I have three reasons for starting with Enzo Mari’s design instead of starting from scratch: His design is fine and simple; I have attempted making seating before; good chair design is tricky.

I made a hamper stool in 2017 that was in service until Summer 2019, at which time I dismantled it before moving. What I learned from this is that seating looks easy, but requires some engineering to be useful for long periods.

Later the same year, I made what I originally intended to be a bar stool. When I sat on it I realized I missed the mark and it became a table.

YouTuber, Design Squad Global, made a video about employing triangles to provide good support for seating. I have tried adding triangles to designs, hoping to replace material needs, but when I placed parts in Cura for slicing, I found I had not saved much on filament or time.

Plus, I did not like looking at the triangles and I just wanted to cover them. The render to the right shows triangle cubes I imagined could be used as a divider in my living space. It just looks horrible.

In the video below, I show how to put the chair together according to Enzo Mari’s design. When I revisit this, I will experiment with ways of changing the design.

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