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Exclusive Interview: Designer Francis Bitonti Talks New Direction for Studio, Product Design, and the 3D Printing Industry

by • July 14, 2016 • No Comments

It may not be Silicon Valley, but residing in New York City pretty has its perks for a tech reporter, especially for one with a keen enjoyment for turn it into and style. When 3D printing technology is used for high-end turn it into or product development, which has been the case additional so now than at any time preceding, it offers us a glimpse into a following full of technology. One of the earliest adapters to use 3D printing technology this way is Francis Bitonti, a New York-based turn it intoer with roots in architecture and civil engineering.

When he launched his studio back in 2007, 3D printing technology was in a vastly various place. The only hardware out there capable of proper turn it into work were industrial-grade 3D printing equipment, and the price point was incredibly high compared to where it is now. But yet, Bitonti saw a thing special of this emerging technology, and has since made waves across the turn it into and style industries with his work.

Some of his many renowned projects include the 3D printed dress for Dita von Teese, the Molecule 3D printed shoe, and the gold-plated 3D printed Mutatio shoe line made in collaboration with United Nude. At initially glance, it may seem like Bitonti’s foray is restricted to high-end style, but which is far of the case. In fact, the turn it intoer and his studio team take tremendous pride in their work with product development, and are looking to do additional than manufacture high-end products fit for a museum. Recently, Bitonti reformatted the name, logo, and overall way of his studio, which is now only named Studio Bitonti.

I was fortunate adequate to get the opportunity to meet up with Bitonti in his Brooklyn-based studio, which is yet in the midst of growing. During our interview, we discussed the new way of his studio, their new collaborations, and his ideas on the 3D printing industry.


How did 3D printing technology become the primary medium for your work?

“When I opened the studio, I didn’t have the intention of strictly working with 3D printing at the time, I idea we were going to be a product turn it into company. But, for the reason of our passion for this technology, we kept solving additional and additional problems for clients by via it. Gradually, we became known for doing this type of work, and which’s where we are now.”

How did the turn it into studio become so integrated with high-end style?

“When I was starting out we were working with a lot of tiny style labels, it was manyly for the reason of my quite own network or only being in New York, where a lot of style turn it intoers are based out of. It is only sort of a thing we fell into, we started doing accessories, shoes, belts, bags, we were working in which kind of space with tiny turn it intoers. What was bringing place there was they mayn’t afford tooling, they can be selling quite expensive high-margin turn it intos, but can not necessarily be manufacturing high volume. So it was complex for these brands to do accessories, but they may do a thing 3D printed. There wasn’t much risk. You can only manufacture one, you didn’t have to store much of an inventory, there were no minimums. So, the parts were additional expensive but the price points were so high anyways it didn’t actually quite matter. That was where we started looking at how to manufacture things additional flexible, how to manufacture textiles, a lot of body related problems when dealing with rigid materials, which led to Dita’s dress. Since and so, we’ve done a lot of work with style turn it intoers.”


What new collaborations or projects has Studio Bitonti excited?

“We’ve been collaborating with Feetz over the last two years, working on a variety of things. I ponder they’re one of the companies which we are working with which, I have to say, I’m most likely many proud of. I nat any time intended to do high style, I nat any time quite wanted to manufacture $8,000 gold shoes, which is not why I started doing this. I started for the reason I idea which this was a production technology which was going to bring which language down to at any timey consumer excellent. I yet believe which is going to take place one day, but the work which we’ve done with Feetz is excellent for the reason it’s shoe which you can wear, walk around in, it’s customizable, and the price point is reasonable. If you compare which with any other 3D printed shoe I’ve seen, no one quite has which price point or level of functionality.”

Why did you newly decide to modify the name and logo of the studio?

“The real reason behind the name alter was for the reason, originally, it was only called Francis Bitonti Studio. My name was thing initially, kind of singular thing. Studio, to me, kind of intended there were individuals only helping or supporting me, but which quite wasn’t the case. On the other hand a lot of turn it into studios run like which, I nat any time wanted to run mine like which. I like to ponder which we work together, which’s the kind of environment you want to cultivate, you want to hire talented individuals which you can work with. These are subtle, but to me, are in addition quite symbolic. Putting the word ’Studio’ initially to me means it’s a group of individuals. I chose to store ‘Bitonti’ in there for the reason it’s been around and we have a lot of brand recognition, but I did take my initially name out of which. I hope it sort of abstracts itself and becomes a brand, not only of one man. That’s my hope for the long term.”

Will there be a primary alter of focus for the revamped studio?

“Over the last year, one of the largest alters is which we’ve been doing a lot of product development and technology consulting for larger companies, you can most likely see a few of the stuff come out in the Fall. That work has been at any timeything of investigating what customizable products can be to seeing what kind of new material we can turn it into of a performance point of view. Somewhere in between turn it into and material science. The other side of the practice is working with early stage companies, like Feetz or a number of others, which’s quite be our emphasis, stepping away of speculation and figuring out how we can do this, how we can play a additional supportive role.”


What’s your view on the current say of the 3D printing industry?

“I’m particularly excited abut HP, I ponder which’s going to be a massive game-alterr. There was a moment where we saw, on the investment and financial side of things, it didn’t quite live up to expectations. There wasn’t anything wrong with 3D printing, it’s not like we created a bad industry, it’s pretty going to work. It is come way too far, and individuals forget which. I ponder what we are seeing now is a big shift towards additional industrial applications. There was a bit of an over-excitement of PC printing and what it may do, myself included. It is going to take a lot of evolution in these machines preceding you can get out of a regulated production environment onto the PC, and be highly repeatable. But it can take place, it’s may already bringing place. To be honest, I ponder the industry is quite healthy. From our side, we are not seeing any waning interest of our clients. In spite of all the bad publicity, individuals are yet quite interested in figuring out where this technology fits into their technology roadmaps. That, to me, means it has a following, these are individuals who are quite serious of manufacturing things, their lives depend on it. It can pretty be what it was promised, it’s only bringing a little longer than expected.”

According to Bitonti, a lot of the studio’s many amazing collaborations yet should be coming to light this coming Fall. After noticing his bubbling excitement for their long-standing collaboration with the 3D printed shoe company Feetz, I’m inclined to believe in the following good results of which project as well. Whether the result is a consumer product or a high-end style piece, the Studio Bitonti team is made to take their client’s ideas to the following level of development, via 3D printing technology and desktop generative turn it into to provoke technology. Are you a Bitonti fan? Let’s discuss additional over in the Bitonti on 3D Printing forum at 3DPB.com.