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The Fortum Virén chair

Lasse Virén and the chair designed in his honor.

We are excited to finally announce our part in the production of the new Fortum Virén chair! The chair is inspired by Lasse Virén, a Finnish long-distance runner who fell in the middle of the 10,000-metre final in the Munich Olympics. Like Virén, the chair rises back up when it falls.

The chair has been 3d-printed by us from recycled post-consumer plastic waste,Fortum Circo®, and we have had the privilege to work with a wide variety of professionals during the project.

The weight and bar attached to the bottom lift the chair up when it falls.

By 2019 only 9% of the plastic waste ever generated had been recycled, and in 2019 only 14% was collected for recycling (source: UNEP). Although plastic is an easy target to blame, the real problem lies in the deficient waste management systems, not the material itself. As the consumption of plastic increases, plastic recycling needs to increase at the same pace - or preferably, a lot faster. The Virén chair is just one proof of the many possibilities that large-scale 3d-printing can offer to plastic recycling.

Bloft Mk2 3D-printer printing the legs of the Virén chair.

Bloft Design Lab is developing a unique, large-scale 3D-printer, Bloft Mk2. It’s able to use granulated plastic as printing which made it possible to test the Fortum Circo® recycled plastic granules without extra processing. In the development phase, the Virén chair was first printed in parts and then assembled and post-processed. The finished chair, however, has been printed in one piece as a result of a carefully optimized process. 3D-printing is a very flexible production method for small-scale sets, like this set of Virén chairs, and products can be made from order and delivered within a few days.

The legs of the Virén chair.

The Virén chair assembled and ready for surface finishing.

The CEO of Bloft Design Lab, Atte Linna, and the CEO of Maker3D, Jarkko Lohilahti testing the first two Virén chairs.

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