Artist Janne Kyttanen

Shoes and flowerpots are some of the simple products that roll off 3D printers, but the technology is spreading like wildfire. The first homes are being built using 3D printers and the medical industry is experimenting with the technology. There are even 3D printers that are used to… create 3D printers!

Since the year 2000, Finnish designer Janne Kyttanen has been completely engrossed by this technology, and his work can be seen in galleries and museums all over the world — in Rotterdam, Barcelona, Basel and Vienna, but also in Israel, Miami and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Cutlery, tables, lamps, but also clothes and shoes. All the things he produces using the printer is unbelievable.

150 unique pots

On Orchids Day 2014, this versatile artist created the ‘3D Orchid Cloud’ — a reflective display that is several metres tall and contains 150 unique flowerpots that were created using 3D technology. Those pots were filled with 150 different types of orchids, in honour of the vast wealth of colour provided by the orchid. Janne himself expressed it even more pointedly: “I wanted to create something which would reflect all the varieties of orchids in a powerful colour explosion.”

Three questions

The busy designer didn’t have time to write a column himself, but Art of Life was able to ask him three pressing questions:

What is the effect of 3D printing on our daily lives now and what will the effect be in the next five years?
“It affects most industrially produced products on the planet at some stage of their development, so the effect is huge. And it is only expected to grow about 30% per year.”

When developing the 3D Orchid Cloud, you visited an orchid grower. What was the most interesting thing he showed you?
“How scientifically everything was monitored was very intriguing.”

If you had to choose, would you choose natural flowers or 3D flowers?

“I see everything as a wireframe anyway so there is no difference :-)”

Janne Kyttanen
Janne Kyttanen, born in 1974 in Finland, commenced his design studies at the Escola De Disseny, Elisave in Barcelona in 1996. He moved to the Netherlands to further his studies, graduating from The Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the year 2000. As a pioneer in design for 3D printing, Janne has created award-winning collaborations with brands including Hyundai, Asics, Nivea, NIKE, Philips and L’Oréal. He is now Creative Director for 3D Systems, the largest specialist 3D printing company in the world.

3D designs for orchid pots
Below you will find several links to the orchid pots designed by Janne Kyttanen. If you possess a 3D printer or have access to a 3D printer, you can print and use these models yourself.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

Different technologies and materials for 3D printing
Several 3D printing technologies have been developed, all of which have a slightly different way of building up an object layer by layer. The material that the printer is able to run on also differs depending on the technology. For example, there are machines that are able to print both chocolate and plastic, and others that are only able to build out of a special ceramic powder. The most frequently used materials and technologies are listed below:

nylon (polyamide), recycled wood and polymer, ABS (the material from which Lego is also made), PLA (cornstarch-based biodegradable plastic), gold, silver (lost-wax technology), titanium, stainless steel, bronze, brass (lost-wax technology), ceramic


Stereolithography is a technology that was invented in 1986 by Charles Hull. A laser beam (synthetic resin) hardens the surface of a liquid plastic layer by layer. The hardening takes effect where the laser beam comes into contact with the liquid. Once a layer has been completed, the platform on which the object is standing drops a fraction of a millimetre deeper into the basin. The three-dimensional object is formed by hardening the ultra-thin layers on top of each other.

Fused Deposition Modeling
FDM is a technology where a movable nozzle sprays long, thin lines of thermoplastic material on top of each other. A three-dimensional object is created layer by layer. Most “home” printers use this technology. The company Stratasys develops FDM 3D printers for industrial use.

Selective Laser Sintering
SLS is a technology that builds up plastic objects layer by layer by fusing together a thermoplastic (or metal) powder. A layer of powder is laid on top of another layer of powder each time. After each layer, the powder is melted (sintered) there and then by a laser, hardening it and mixing it with the other layers of powder. This is repeated until an entire 3D object has been created.

The technology of a ZCorp printer is similar to that of SLS. The particles of powder are not fused together by a laser, but bonded together using a binding agent. The difference is that the material used is significantly less strong (it can best be compared to plaster), but the benefit of ZCorp’s 3D printing technology is that you can print in full colour.

Multi Jet Modeling
MJM is a technology where droplets of molten wax are sprayed on top of each other. Designers’ main use of these rather flimsy models is to visualise complex shapes. A wax plotter builds up the object layer by layer. The head of the plotter may consist of 100 individual wax needles.

Polyjet sprays minuscule droplets of liquid polymer material onto a platform, layer by layer. Each layer is set by UV light as soon as it has been laid. As a result, it bonds to other layers and hardens immediately. Where necessary, the product is supported by a plastic support material.

Stay informed with monthly news, promotions and inspiration.