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3-D Printable Luggage May Make Schlepping Obsolete

Just e-mail yourself a 3-D printable file of your stuff. Finnish design wiz sees easy times for the future of luggage.

It’s never fun to lug around all your stuff. In lieu of that, we make tech to make traveling easier. But what if you didn’t have to pack things in tiny bags, jam luggage shut, yank zippers closed, and suffer interminable waits at luggage carousels?

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Finnish designer Janne Kyttanen, creative director of 3D Systems, vastly improves on the concept of luggage. He thinks we can just e-mail ourselves 3-D printable files of our stuff. If we go by his new project Lost Luggage, the era of suitcase-schlepping may soon be over.

“Imagine design is just data, and products could travel through the Internet as code, produced on demand at any location,” Kyttanen says in a video explaining the project. Now on view as part of Kyttanen’s solo exhibition at Galerie Vivid in Rotterdam, Lost Luggage is a 3-D printed platform bag that contains a selection of 10 items. The files for these products could be sent in an email and then printed out, all in one operation, once you arrive at your destination–unencumbered by traditional analog suitcases.


Included in this futuristic grab-bag is a pair of Mashup Shoes, rubber wedges Kyttanen designed last year. Then there’s the chain mail-like Le69 Handbag and 4-in-1 Dress, created in 2000 and considered the world’s first functional 3-D printed dress. Accessories include the elegant St. Tropez Cuff, Drivers, Fat Shades, and the Nooka watch.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about these high-tech designs is how flattering they are–each seamlessly blends fashion and cutting-edge technology, a union that many tech nerds fail to get right.

Kyttanen points out that this new approach to manufacturing could usher in not only an era of lighter traveling but a veritable revolution in how we produce and interact with all physical objects. “Will this localization of manufacturing eliminate the need for mass production?” he asks. Those are some far-reaching unintended consequences for 3-D printable luggage. “This future is already within our reach,” Kyttanen says.

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.

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