At the start of March, we did an interview with 4 AXYZ’s co-founders Abir Shah and Shikhar Shah, who are working on a way to additively manufacture wooden furniture. They aim to bring their technique to the market by the end of this year. For some time we didn’t hear much from them, but today we found out that their are taking their project to the next level. They’re at crowdfunding site Indiegogo now, trying to get their project funded with as much as 1 million dollars. A million: that’s quite a goal for a start-up, so once again: what is the buzz about?
Well, 4AXYZ claims it has found a way to 3D print furniture made of wood, instead of plastics to 3D print pieces of furniture. Their production process however is a little different from regular ways of 3D printing. 3D printing as most people know it, works with plastics, which are extruded layer-by-layer. Instead of that, 4 AXYZ’s machine combines small, uniformly-cut pieces of wood after which the layers are assembled using a special binding process. Because the company does not use any sorts of liquid ink for its process, they rather call the technique additive manufacturing, instead of 3D printing.
“It has come a full circle from the time when every human being cut down his own tree to make his own furniture,” said Shikhar Shah in our March interview. “Today society might function differently, but we still desire customized furniture. We have been making compromises for many decades, by being forced to buy what is affordable in stores, rather than making what we want. Our process for customized ordering will soon allow people to connect with the past and take furniture making into the future.”
4 AXYZ also wants to introduce a new kind of furniture, namely smart furniture. These are wood pieces, which are suited with sensors. For instance, a smart railing could easily find out when someone is entering the stairs in order to automatically switch on the lights or turn on the heat. Another thing they claim to be able to create is a smart floor that automatically finds out when a stranger is entering the house, after which the authorities or owners could easily be warned.
Abir Shah said about this: “This is truly revolutionary (…). Our customers would be able to design their products accordingly and place orders by providing us the sensors and details of where they should be embedded. Once embedded, the doors and windows could have all those features.”
And they need as much as one million dollars in funds to make it all happen. The company has invested 300,000 dollars itself in research and development. 1,5 million dollars are needed to buy the machine and they need 500,000 dollars for business related things, such as CAD development and materials research and development. They will receive half of the amount from professionals and investors in the industry, and another million needs to be raised via Indiegogo. Quite daring, but they’ve given themselves some time as their project is running until June 22.
Credits image: 4 AXYZ.