MGX by Materialise

The classic MGX lighting collection now with limited availability -- and collectible

MGX by Materialise OpenCube table light .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,

MGX by Materialise Twister shade


.MGX by Materialise Twister floor and table setthe omi.mgx pendant light,

Omi.mgx Materialise pendant light

and the fourth is metropolis_II.mgx:

Metropolis II .mgx by MaterialiseMetropolis II table light from .MGX by MaterialiseMetropolis .mgx by Materialise detailWe 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...

Lily .MGX by Materialise Janne Kyttanen

and Lotus...

. MGX by Materialise Lotus the mesmerizing Quin, the result of a formula fed into the computer that controls the 3D printer by the mathematician and artist Bathsheba Grossman:

Quin pendant light from .MGX by Materialise

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!

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MGX by Materialise 3D-printed chandeliers

MGX by Materialise Quin chandelier MilanMGX, part of Materialise pioneered the use of  3D printing technologies (primarily stereolithography and selective laser sintering), that are usually used for rapid-prototyping, to make consumer goods. We are delighted that they started with lights! Quin from MGX by MaterialiseFor these technologies allow the creation of objects that previously could never have existed in the real world. Quin (above) starts as a mathematical formula that was fed into the computer controlling the 3D printer. The result is elegant, simple (in that it is a sphere) but complex: even when standing in front of one, it is difficult to see how it all connects up.

If one Quin is good, then more Quins are better!

So a chandelier version of this design, or of other MGX lights, can be amazing! Here is a group of Minishakes, designed for them by Arik Levy.

MGX by Materialise Diacom chandelier

Why does this matter? Obviously, one could buy a lot of Minishakes and fix them all to the ceiling. But each one would need its own power supply and ceiling rose -- potentially messy and certainly expensive to install. So it is a great help when lighting manufacturers create top plates that anticipate quantities. The most common locations for them to be found are when clusters are hung down stairwells (as above), and when groups of three pendants are mounted in a row over a rectangular table, like this group of three of Dan Yeffet's fingerprint-like Details:

MGX by Materialise Detail triple straightCurrently, the full range of options is:

MGX by Materialise chandelier summaryYou can download a PDF of the brochure here.

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