Matteo Dal Lago








Photography: Matteo Dal Lago, Nicole Marnati










©Nicole Marnati  


Fast forward' is a collaboration beetwen a man, a 3D scanner and a 3D printer.




By understanding and grasping the development and evolution of 3D manufacturing technologies, Matteo Dal Lago started an exploration of their language, possibilities, strenghts, limits and aestethics.

He worked with technologies to make their end productions be like casual craftmanship, delivering a new and easy approach with 3D technologies. The aim is to show they can become part of the creative process, and can be used and exploited as just another tool for creation of craft objects.



Wood blocks construction, modularity and potentiality




3D printed close-up





With a real motivation to connect crafts and industrial process, critical thinking seemed to be key for the understanding and development of new and innovative ways.

Starting with smaller experiments (an xbox 360 + a cube), he concluded that he could co-operate 3D scanning technology, being himself the linkage through which it could express it form of language.

Following, a second level of experiment; thought an iPad and an extension; led him to a collection of various vases where every production steps could be traced back by looking at the vase itself.

He then considered to use the main characteristics of those steps to create a full process where collaboration between man and machine would play the main role to create a furniture collection.

Three main phases result from this production and design method: build, scan, print.

©Nicole Marnati 




Any 3 dimensional shape can be created with the use of modular building blocks designed by Matteo. In this step, he can stack blocks together and create temporary shapes as a kind of live prototyping.

This part of the production allows the designer to have a very playful and intuitive approach during the designing process.

Working with physical material at a desk allows him to be fast and free in the construction without forgetting basic principles like gravity, proportions etc.

With this step, the 'inner' shape of the final object is created.






Now the shape is scanned with the help of a 3D scanner, which essentially creates a digital version of the construction.

This step give possibility to quickly save all created of the prototypes in the previous step creating a kind of digital 'library' of shapes and possibilities.

Furthermore, having a digital version of that shape allows to scale it up or down in any direction with a software. Through this step the construction can be now as big as the designer desires.

Here the shape is brought to its final size. A small shelf becomes a real size shelf.






The last part of the process is taken by an XL robot 3D printer. This printer can print large objects at once with many types of plastic, recycled plastic as well. Now the digital file scaled to the right size is sent to the 3D printer which will print it out with astonishing speed.

The result is a functional shelf made of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic. The object, being made out of one material only, is easily recyclable. It needs to be shredded into small pieces and it is ready to be printed again. Also lightweight, as it can be printed with a simple support structure inside which makes it almost fully hollow.

Leaving the object as it comes out of the printer makes it unique. The same file printed once more would look slightly different in the details.

Every shape is unique in its form and structure, any form can be created and sized on desire of the designer or the consumer.







Fast Forward is a designing and production process which reveals the real language of these technologies while being fair to the use of them and their materials.

Nowadays, 3D printing technologies are widely known and used, unfortunately too often they still involve the use of new plastics or even recycled plastics later on polluted with other material for finishes.

The real innovation of this project is that of looking at the present state of these technologies with the goal of designing simple, functional and efficient every day objects.

Environmental impact of this process is minimum, still it is a complex and customizable method. How was the shape assembled? How did the scanner intrepret it? How did the printer materialize it?

The whole production can be tracked down and the answers to those questions found in the look of the final object.