The Fat Boy is an ultra comfortable, extremely organic, high-end luxury lounge chair. Originally conceptualized by Brad Pitt in 2012, the Fat Boy has been a labor of love throughout the years of its design, fabrication, and final production. Countless design iterations have been put into the Fat Boy, as well as countless innovative fabrication methodologies, that have brought the chair to where it is today.
The Fat boy has been worked on by a plethora of designers and fabricators throughout the years. I worked on the Fat Boy from 2018-2023, doing 3D modeling, design iterations, ergonomic alterations, fabrication exploration and solution, CMF, and a handful of other considerations that went into this true work of art and love.
After initial sketches were provided from Brad, the Fat Boy went into Maya for translating the idea into 3D. Bryan Flaig created the original model, and when I came into the project years later I worked on many design iterations - pulling a point here, sharpening a curve, fattening an area - the Fat Boy went through many, many design tweaks to make it the beautiful and organic chair that it is.
Fabrication - Substructure Exploration
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to mill, very accurate reflection of geometry/design intent
Cons: Lightweight - lacks the "luxury" feel, chance of material degradation over time
Pros: Inexpensive, very accurate reflection of geometry/design intent
Cons: Too heavy
Massivit 1800 Resin Print
Pros: Accurate reflection of geometry, produced in >day, good weight, decently priced
Cons: Not compatible with upholstery techniques, not enough data to determine long term viability, not eco-friendly
Ultimately, a wooden substructure made by hand and CNC was landed on. While the previous materials were tested because they relied heavily on robots, and were able to replicate the very organic geometry of the chair, using this method of production meant we needed to spend more time making sure the fabricators understood the geometry and surfaces.
Fabrication - 1:1 Scale Model
We created a shell of the outer geometry, and cut it into piece that would fit on our small but mighty Ender 3 printers. Using simple peg and hole joints, we printed each piece and assembled them into a 1:1 representation of the chair that was given to the fabricators to ensure geometry of the prototype was correct.
Fabrication - Shop
From muslin to its final fabric, the Fat Boy took a few months to become fully realized once it got in the fabricators hands. The 1:1 scale 3D print model helped greatly, and the final prototype of the chair reflected the original design intent almost perfectly.