.MGX by Materialise tell us that:
.MGX would like to announce that a number of our Principal Collection pieces will move into our new Classics collection.
The Classics collection will consist of designs, including the award-winning Omi.MGX by Assa Ashuach, and Twister.MGX by Janne Kyttanen, which played an influential role in the history of .MGX. Now available only in very limited quantities, these designs are anticipated to become true collector’s items. We invite you to own a piece of design history before it’s too late!
And they are right -- they will become collectors' pieces! Suddenly, the whole world has become aware of 3D printing, with the fuss in America about 3D-printed guns (also a recent story line in NCIS) and a not-to-be-missed episode of The Big bang Theory....
But 3D-printed lights, made by stereolithography or selective laser sintering, have been around for ten years. This is a very good example of how the top end of the lighting market provides an opportunity for makers to try out commercializing, in small runs, new techniques and materials. Yet another reason why the world of fine lighting is so extraordinarily interesting!
We have believed, on the basis of nothing at all, that the original .MGX lights designed by Janne Kyttanen were the first commercially-available 3D printed consumer items, and that they were released by Materialise (one of the most important companies using the techniques to make prototypes) as a marketing exercise.
This means that these iconic lights will become collectors' items, not just because they are beautiful, and no longer made, but because they were the first of what we will all take for granted before long. Someone at BT said in the early 1980s that every office worker would one day have a computer on his or her desk. How we all laughed! Now it is being said that we'll all have our own 3D printers. Instead of buying things in shops, we'll download the program and make them ourselves. .MGX is called .MGX because that is the extension of the files they use in the computer that tells the 3D printer what to do -- and which were included on a disk in the box when you bought a light, so that you could make more of your own. Which actually you couldn't do because 3D printers were huge then, and very, very expensive. But it was a delightful touch that elegantly made the point about what 3D printing would one day be able to do.
So which are getting the Classic treatment? There is open_cube.mgx at the head of this post, and twister.mgx,
and the fourth is metropolis_II.mgx:
We were worried that all these fabulous lights were being retired. Fortunately, many are still in the main collection, including the two first (and finest?) by Janne Kyttanen, Lily...
..plus the mesmerizing Quin, the result of a formula fed into the computer that controls the 3D printer by the mathematician and artist Bathsheba Grossman:
See the full collection here. And snap up those limited editions before you have to pay a fortune for a second hand one at auction!