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Dutch chair designers inspired by Origami

Using the Japanese art of paper folding as inspiration, Dutch designer Douwe Jacobs has folded one large piece of polypropylene to form a new range of chairs.

Jacobs enlisted the help of moulder HSV Technical Moulded Parts and Dutch design consultancy BPO to bring the chair into being. BPO was faced with a need to have more than one injection point, because of very long flow length and thin wall sections at the living hinges. But the company did not want several injection points to result in weakness in the critical hinges due to knitlines where flows from different gates meet.

A single injection gate would have needed a larger clamping force injection moulding machine with, says BPO.

The firm instead decided to use a process of cascade injection, which allowed it to use a lower clamping force injection moulding machine, as well as eliminate knitline weakness problems.

Jacobs first made 1:10 scale models of the chair in September, 2008. The company won a Delft University business plan contest and a Philips Innovation Award the following year, which led to investment from Arno Ruijzenaars, Wiebe Teertstra and Leen van Hoogdalem.

The chair was later presented at the 100% design fair in Rotterdam in June 2009 and a contract with HSV TMP was signed in April 2010.

Jacobs says as well as innovative design, the chair is environmentally friendly as they stack easily, so reduce CO2 emissions during transport. 77 flat Flux chair mouldings are no more than one metre high when stacked, he says.

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