Design Boom recently featured the work of German Designers Marco Hemmerling and Ulrich Nether. The pair used 3D printing to create their Generico Chair which is currently on display in Milan. Instead of simply designing an elegant piece of furniture, additive manufacturing techniques allowed them to optimize both product function and production efficiency by evaluating structural, ergonomic and manufacturing requirements:
"following an iterative design strategy, a material layout calculation resulted in reducing parts of the volume, while still enabling the necessary stiffness, comfort and functional requirements to be met. a 3D computer model was reviewed using FEM-software, to measure deformation and stresses before all the findings were integrated into a final 3D model."
Normally, projects require one to compromise on scope, time or cost yet using additive manufacturing for product development and low-volume production approach allows designers to accelerate development, improve quality, and decrease costs.