Fractal Table by Platform Wertel Oberfell



Fractal Table by designers Platform Wertel Oberfell with Matthias Bär mimics fractal growth patterns found in nature.


The rapid-prototyped table features trunk-like legs that divide into ever smaller branches and form a patterned top surface.


The project was created in conjunction with rapid manufacturing company Materialise.MGX.


Here's a bit more information from the designers:


Project title : Fractal Table

Client: Materialise.MGX/Belgium


Project Description:

Fractal Table is a table piece which derives from studies into fractal growth patterns. Treelike stems grow into smaller branches until they get very dense towards the top. Fractal Table, developed by Platform Wertel Oberfell together with Matthias Bär, is impossible to manufacture unless rapid prototyped.


Posted on Friday June 13th 2008 at 3:54 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • What a beautiful object.

  • T

    The transition between body and many really holds you attention, interesting work.

  • Perfect use of rapid prototyping!

  • headplow

    Well isn’t this the coolest thing.

  • zuy

    great but you can juxtapose Patrick jouin’s stools to make a table
    (same manufacturer)

  • Lite

    just beautiful!

  • Jelle

    have fun cleaning up that bit of coffee …

  • andresr

    very nice, quite striking. Im just wondering what the actual surface will do in regards to function

  • gaque

    How exactly was this produced? Is it a typical 3D printing of stacked layers? (If so, must have taken forever to build!) I guess…as an object it’s pleasing to the eyes. Probably hurts to the touch, though.

  • charles

    so how do i clean this thing?

  • bald skull

    would be nice to know the material… polyjet, SLS, plaster, etc etc…

    but yeah, it’s striking!


    my knee hurts!
    beautifull object though.. perhaps they should not call it a table?
    or they will put glass on top of it.. helps you with the cleaning problem too..

  • zuy

    if you are rich or hyper rich you and buy it, no pb to clean it…

  • cpcp

    this looks like glass filled SLS, and if you look closely you can just make out the layers in pic 5.
    This is also too big to have been made in a single RP build, so the designer has split the structure nicely into pieces and built them all seperately. If you look closely in pic 3 you can see the split lines in the top layer.

    FYI: Materialise.MGX specialise in developing/manufacturing furniture and product designs which showcase the flexibility and design freedom afforded with using RP as a manufacturing process.

  • jeff K

    Yay! the future is here and its completely f@%*king usleless!

    Just becuase something can be made….doesn’t mean it should be.
    and yes yes, we got it a long time ago, rapid prototyping can make tiny things from CAD data that can’t be moulded…..GET OVER IT!

    (ps I personally think the ‘perfect’ use of the technology is to make custom hearing aids that fit better than mass produced ones, which is happening now- too bad it doesn’t look ‘cool’)

  • Jeff K seems a bit angry…. and I think I know why.

    Beware anything with facets in this modern day.

  • cpcp

    I wonder if Jeff K will still be this pissed when he’s printing his own custom hearing aid earpiece on his own 3d printer in his own home in 20years time. The future is coming and its awesome Jeff

  • zuy

    the future is here and there…In the future as we see it now, the richest could buy many rapid prototyping product.s.. and the poorest not Ikea products

  • rebecca

    I know where Jeff K is coming from-

    I love the idea of the technology, but at this point I want to see things that are hot, WET, animal, vital, coming from these machines; and maybe more importantly, from the hands of the designers who control them.

  • sam

    nice one.
    i like a lot.

  • Viktor Mari

    WOW….. no chair will look good with it because it would most likely be the most beautiful thing in the home

  • marc

    This part is produced in 1 element (without cut&glu)
    The material is Epoxy from a home-made Materialise SLA machine ( the biggest in the world !)

  • zuy

    thanks Marc : is it Ok to put food on it?

  • God

    Nice work Platform but I will have to say that this is utterly wrong.
    Calling this object a table is wrong.
    Using this technology to produce such scale object is wrong.
    It is not because you can do it that you should do it.
    You should not educate people to see such misuse of a technology.
    Even if it is for self PRing.
    It is as wrong as oversized shoulder-pads were in the late 80’s. Everyone thought it was hot… but Time proved it was just not.

    Rapide Prototyping is an interesting technology.
    Despite the fact that it is absolutely not cost-efficient, given that it will never be a way to “mass-produce” object, it is a way for the designer to produce scaled models and have a threedimensional visualisation of their project.

    I think saying that “in the future” you will have personal 3D printers is stupid and dangerous.
    Humans are projecting their dreams of omnipotency.
    The world is fucked-up enough without having wannabe creative people adding more useless, poluting objects in the wilderness. Designers are already doing a great job at this.
    Such technology will exist but should not be accessible to the mass.

    People should learn to cut down on useless things and enjoy simple
    pleasures. Technology is not the answeer to lonelyness, Death and will not make you live forever.

  • oh, please

    Creating something beautiful is not a misuse of technology. Making this table doesn’t mean there’s going to be less rapid prototyping around for other people. I can’t believe you’re getting steamed over someone making a funky piece of furniture – it’s not like it’s carved out of elephant bones or anything unethical. It’s a table.

  • mauro paparo filomarino

    very interesting….yes like it

  • dsgnr

    Is not clear from the article the scale of the table, if you haven’t got the chance to see it live you probably don’t understand this is a coffee table.

  • harry

    cool structure, but where to put the legs under it?

  • antichrist

    I love shoulder-pads and still think they re sexy!
    and why not use technology for art!?
    whats so wrong in that?!
    i think that this is really nice