In their Agliana laboratory, architect Giovanni Michelucci and artisan Sergio Fantacci have been working since 1974. Giovanni Michelucci was born in Pistoia in 1891 and dies in Fiesole three days before turning 100. He is a great personality in italian architecture history of the last century, with the first Modern experiences and the disciplinary rethinking of second postwar period.

Sergio Fantacci calls him 'professor'. Michelucci, who also creates an important collection of furniture in italian walnut wood, finds in Sergio Fantacci his trusted artisan, the friend in Agliana. Sergio Fantacci knows very well that Professor's home furnishing creations, as his architectural works, "for all" and "of all", are modern and at the same time rigorously linked to artisan tradition.


PT 1919 chair, designed by Giovanni Michelucci

Since 1982, Professor's house and studio has been the headquarter of Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci, universal heir of Master's heritage. Here architects, students, researchers and artisans are welcomed; it's a place dedicated to studies and research, where the Foundation decided to host and support Archivio Michelucci Artigiano project, a first important contribute come from the re-opening of the trusted joiner's workshop of the great architect, thanks to Gruppo Falegnameria Fantacci Design efforts.

In January, on the occasion of free workshops organized by IED Firenze (Istituto Europeo di Design), MakeTank and Gruppo Fantacci gave life to a valuable collaboration. During these workshops - supported by a strategic cooperation among LIFT-D, MakeTank, Gruppo Fantacci and Studio MP - furniture models were available as a 3D printing test. At the same time, Gruppo Fantacci described to students the Archivio Michelucci Artigiano project which, referring to original drawings and techniques, has its own main goal in reproducing the furnishing works designed by Master Michelucci.

Specifically, they talked about the original projects organization process carried on by Irene Bruni. This process, with Studio MP's contribute, made possible to create the 3D printing models offered to students.


The 3D-printed version of PT 1919

Digitalization process, helped by Sergio Fantacci's valuable advice, will foster the creation of a new archive where to organize information related to dimensions, manufacturing details, materials and much more. For each piece, they proceeded following available information: first studying, transcribing and finishing existing technical drawings, then 3D modeling. When working drawings or other graphical reference weren't available, they started with existing furniture measurements, then with 3D modeling and technical drawings.

First 3D models were then optimized for 3D printing. This process is mainly related to geometries (edges and surfaces) manufacturing details and their orientation in space, in order to generate the lowest possible number of elements when printing, to have no undercuts and to make PLA models (in scale of 1:10) the most accurate possible.

We can say that in this experience artisan tradition was nourished with new technologies, consistently with the vision of Michelucci who, as our friends in Fondazione tell us, would have probably been quite intrigued by 3D printing. MakeTank too is consistent in choosing the first model to be sold on its store: it's the 1919 PT chair, the first renowned work by Michelucci in furnishing design.

irene bruniGraduated in Design at the School of Architecture of Florence, Irene Bruni is fellow researcher at DIDA-Dipartimento di Architettura in the same University. She is focused on innovation design research and on product and furniture design. For Gruppo Fantacci she works on research and development and curates Archivio Michelucci Artigiano project.


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