Sydney-based SandFlora Lighting, for example, produces decorative luminaires using Selective Laser Sintering, an additive manufacturing process that generates very little material waste. The company’s first luminaires are inspired by the shape of a flower, an intricate geometric design made possible with the use of additive manufacturing. Production of its Waratah Pendant Luminaire uses 700 g of nylon, while generating just 10 g of waste. With additive manufacturing, SandFlora could also use its digital designs to print the luminaires close to markets, reducing resource use associated with transportation.
Noted in the article “Big Advances, Small Packages” by Blaine Brownell in the May/June 2013 issue of Architectural Lighting magazine, LED and OLED advancements are breaking records for lumen per watt efficacy, while 3-D printing techniques are infiltrating the world of luminaire design.