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Steel Tube Bending: Thomas Feichtner’s ideas are transformed into reality



Tube Bending

An interesting project on display at the Wohndesign Pure in Vienna, taken up by the furniture designer Thomas Feichtner in collaboration with THONET and BLM GROUP.

When Mart Stam proposed a chair frame made out of hydraulic tubes to Thonet, it gave birth not only to an oscillating chair but to the use of bent metallic tubes in furnitre industry.
Today, almost after 90 years later, we have CNC tube bending machines capable of bending tubes in any shape.

The Austrian Designer Thomas Feichtner, in collaboration with Thonet and BLM GROUP, the CNC Tube Bending machine manufacturer, plays with modern tube bending technology.
It involves transformation of various tubular chair frames designs into real components. Thomas’ designs will be quickly coverted into bending programs and then tubes will be bent accordingly on a bending machine.
Eventhough this technology is suitable for large production quantities, thanks to its flexibility, it is also capable of being used for any batch size, even for one single piece.

And this is the essence of the experiment to be carried out by Thomas Feichtner; it will be a live demonstration of design and manufacturing of a family of different chair designs.

The core of the experiment is not only the resulting chair frames but the entire manufacturing process, starting from the concept development to the final realization of the chair frames. At the same time, the historical context of the tubular frames is also well underlined.

“I was fascinated to see that in spite of not being an artisan, just by inserting the X Y and Z co-ordinates of my designs, in a few seconds we can produce the chair frames!”
It’s a kind of “Rapid Prototyping in Steel” according to Feichtner.


Thomas Feichtner was born in Vitória, Brazil. After attending school in Düsseldorf, Germany, he graduated at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Austria. After completing studies in industrial design, he founded his own design office. Feichtner initially designed industrial goods and numerous products for the Austrian industry, and was honoured with international design awards like the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Design Award, the Josef Binder Award and the Designpreis Schweiz. Besides his activity as a product designer for Head, Tyrolia, Fischer and Blizzard, Feichtner also worked in the area of visual communications for the likes of Swarovski Optik, Adidas Eyewear or the British-Israeli designer Ron Arad. Today, he is an internationally established designer based in Vienna.


Wohndesign Pure Vienna
from 14. to 17. November 2013,
Hofburg, Heldenplatz, 1014 Vienna

Opening hours:
Thursday and Friday 11 am – 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 7 pm