Aera Fabrica by Roos Meerman

Roos Meerman has developed a technique that combines blow moulding, glass blowing and 3D printing.


Details: Meerman uses temperature and air to inflate 3D printed forms. The material is free to transform but limited by the features of the 3D print which Meerman programs in the 3D drawing. The features can be forms printed in a form, like cells, or variations in wall thickness. The result is a series of proposals for forms for products that show the possibilities of the technique.

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“In my laboratory I research the influence of mechanical manipulation of natural phenomena, by experimenting with material. The way natural forces create organic forms is highly intriguing, as are the innate properties materials have. I give space to knots in wood, shades of colour in leather, bubbles in glass and the collapse and contraction of porcelain to create unique materials and products. Machines, which are the complete opposite of natural transformations of material, also fascinate me; a devise that does precisely that which the user wants it tot do and has predictable output.

For me designing starts with experimenting with material: dipping, heating, melting, stretching, breaking or freezing the material. I try to transform the tendencies and characteristics of the material and to provoke specific forms. I try to find interesting characteristics and the limits of the material by playing with it. My goal is to control the material but in such a way that it retains its freedom of movement, so the result is always unique.

For this project I invited science into my laboratory. I investigate how I can develop new forms and production techniques by making machines, which are driven by forces that are natural and invisible to the eye. I aim at creating new experiences of beauty by making hidden dimensions of reality visible. I watched videos of scientific experiments and I was enchanted by the seemingly magical way in which material can change. I did several experiments with for example air pressure and sound waves and materials with which it is possible to expose the processes. The result is a snapshot of a point in a process, the result of the interaction between the laws of science and the freedom of movement of the material.

My machines represent an analytical and fundamental designing process, comparable to scientists wanting to get a grip on a phenomenon and to learn to control it.

Aera Fabrica

I developed a technique that is a combination of blow moulding, glass blowing and 3D printing. From an experiment with stretching plastic, I moved to seeing the plastic form as a balloon that you can blow up. By heating up the balloon, it is made flexible and can be transformed. Cooling it, solidifies the form again. In contrast with the glassblowing technique, with Aera Fabrica I determine the form before the inflating process, which allows me to more influence on the final form. You can use the Aera Fabrica technique for many purposes because with a 3D printer you can print combining forms, colours and sizes endlessly.”

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