Future of 3D

Inition’s “Future of 3D” series encourages work on non-commercial projects which help to push the boundaries of current 3D creative and technology. This was the first time we had seen a project go from sketched concept, through haptic modelling to a physical 3D printed model. Organic designs are not usually immediately associated with computers but with Claytools strength in creating organic shapes and our 3D printer’s ability to print them, we see a great future for this combination of technologies in product design.

The Brief

As part of Inition’s “Future of 3D” series, our 3D printing team agreed to work with BA design student Kristin Katzer from the London College of Communication to realise a packaging design for fruits.


Concept The concept for Kristin’s organic design was based on structures of nature, in particular her research into “tafoni structures” produced during the calcification of porous sandstone.

Freeform Design– Designing these organic structures using a typical 3D CAD package would have proved very difficult, however with Inition’s guidance Kristin realised the design through the intuitive interface of the Sensable Phantom Omni in conjunction with the Claytools software. Claytools is a design package specially tailored towards haptic modelling, allowing the user to directly sculpt, manipulate and feel the surface of a model through a pen-line interface attached to a motorised force-feedback arm.

3D Print– After adding colour to the CAD model, the complex design was prepared for print Paul Armand, one of Inition’s 3D printing specialists. Our full colour 3D ZPrinter 450 printed out the model over-night including two end caps with extruded lettering.


The final design forms part of Kristin’s degree and was shown at the BA Design Show at the London College of Communication in June 2011.

Thanks to Kristin for creating a great piece; the first thing we’ve 3D printed that has been created on a haptic device.

The kit we used:  ZPrinter 450, Phantom Omni with Claytools software