Blueprint Awards 2019 Winners Announced!

Best Product Design

Winner: Grohe, Germany
Grohe Icon 3D

Judges’ Comments

‘Simple but beautiful and finely detailed products achieved by 3D metal printing.’ Nicholas Grimshaw

With Icon 3D, Grohe integrates 3D metal printing into its production process, creating the first 3D metal-printed taps by a leading European sanitaryware brand. With ultra-thin structures and hollow interiors as key features, Grohe explores how visual illusion and spectacle could influence sanitaryware design in the future. Grohe’s vision to refine the design to its bare minimum helps cut back on material resources whilst providing a new experience with water and tap design. Meanwhile, production lines can be tailored to the demand of each project and client, leaving no excess product unused and reducing harmful emissions generated by mass production.

The components for Icon 3D are produced by printing metal, using a powder-bed laser melting process, a material developed by Grohe’s R&D team. Consisting of approximately 4,700 layers that are each 0.06mm thick, the form of each tap is incredibly strong. Following the printing, each component is mechanically treated on a CNC milling machine, followed by a manual grinding and fine brushing procedure. The use of the highly castable raw corrosion resistant steel comes to the fore in the final product, which offers a brushed steel finish.

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