Dezeen Magazine

Two-tone blue and yellow Ermis chair by The New Raw in an industrial 3D printing facility

The New Raw 3D prints "zero-waste" Ermis chair from studio's own offcuts

Rotterdam studio The New Raw has recycled misprints and prototypes from its previous experiments in additive manufacturing to 3D print a limited edition chair called Ermis.

The mono-material, monobloc seat was born from the desire to find a new purpose for The New Raw's own scrap materials by turning them into durable "zero-waste" objects.

Gradient blue and yellow Ermis chair in an industrial warehouse
The New Raw has created a seating design from its own 3D-printing waste (top and above)

"The New Raw does a lot of research by design, which by nature is very wasteful," said founders Panos Sakkas and Foteini Setaki.

"Failures and their critical evaluation is an integral part of our method."

Close-up of blue and yellow gradient on 3D-printed chair by The New Raw
Each Ermis chair is formed from layers of recycled polypropylene plastic

"Nevertheless at the end, we often leave a lot of material that needs to be managed properly," the duo continued.

"Finding a way to reuse this material and reduce the volume of waste coming from the research and development of the studio became the starting point to create this limited series."

Two yellow and blue Ermis chairs in front of a bag of 3D-printing offcuts
The chair features a gentle colour gradient that fades from blue to yellow

The graphic chair, which has been shortlisted in the seating design category of this year's Dezeen Awards, is made using only one material – recycled polypropylene.

Sakkas and Setaki forewent all the adhesives, resins and additional finishings used in traditional furniture manufacturing, allowing the design to be fully and easily recycled at the end of its life.

Close-up of curved backrest of 3D-printed plastic chat by The New Raw
The furniture piece is both recyclable and made from recycled materials

Since the final product is made from plastic that has already been recycled, this creates what the studio describes as "an infinite loop of plastic waste", assuming that the material does not degrade in quality over time.

The process begins with the designers shredding their 3D-printing waste into granules that are between three to five millimetres in size.

This is fed directly into the studio's advanced 3D printer, which melts the material to create a recycled plastic filament that is then applied layer by layer to form the chair.

Beyond minimising waste, this process also gives the design its distinctive texture and pastel-coloured gradient, which varies slightly from chair to chair.

Close up of 3D printed plastic panels by The New Raw
The chair is made without any adhesives, lacquers or other finishes

Sakkas and Setaki compare the tactile effect of the 3D-printed layers to the rings of a tree or the veins of marble.

"When the recycled plastic enters the 3D-printing process, it turns into a different material with distinctive properties," they explained.

"The orientation and proportions of the 3D-printed lines define the behaviour of the material and provide its distinctive ornaments. These lines are the bits and atoms of the Ermis chair."

Two chairs by The New Raw in an industrial warehouse
The limited-edition piece is printed at The New Raw's own fab lab in Rotterdam

The Ermis Chair won the public vote for seating design of the year at the 2021 Dezeen Awards.

Other public vote winners include an ambient solar light by Marjan van Aubel and Yiannis Ghikas' Soda tables, which are crafted from blown glass.

The photography is by Michèle Margot.

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Plastic pieces in a bag ready for recycling