Helsinki based Freedom of Creation (FOC) is a design and research firm that specializes in designing for Rapid Manufacturing, which is basically designing on 3D software, feeding it to your 3D printer and printing out your design. Founder Janne Kyttanen’s underlying philosophy with his design is to break through all constraints that traditional designers deal with. Basically what he can do on his computer, he can make. What sets their products apart from others is that their designs are locally manufactured via 3D software, thus minimizing distribution costs, stocking costs, and need for assembly. While their FOC Collection is mostly lamps and accessories, they have partnered with other companies in designing for commercial products such as bespoke footwear.
Here’s a short interview with Kyttanen on BusinessWeek (mp3) last year which gives a quick overview of what FOC and rapid manufacturing are about. His advice for young design grad students looking to create without limitations? To knock on a lot of doors, make a lot of emails and calls to design firms that have 3D printers. My advice? Sign up as a beta user with Ponoko and design without limitations! And while he says the 3D printers around are at the cheapest US$20,000, we know what affordable open-source fabbers are available now (see previous posts). FOC will launch new products in Milan from April 17 to the 20th.
Thanks to dezeen blog for bringing FOC to my attention.