This piece of furniture was printed (in pieces) on a 3d printer (MakerBot Replicator). The table is 21 inches high and the top is a 24 inch diameter piece of glass. Total weight of the frame is about 500 grams--plastic cost about $25.
This proves that you can design and print your own furniture; choose your own colors and shapes. The top could be cut from plexiglass or cardboard (with cardboard, you could change the shape and color frequently).
I had shrinkage issues with the red plastic, so I wound up joining the pieces with acetone instead of snapping them together. Total print time was about 40 hours.
Printing furniture, lamps, picture frames, art, etc. could elevate the usefulness of 3d printing. A combination of available designs, shrink free printing and downward printer costs could combine to make "in house manufacturing" more desirable.
Here are the files for this table:
I started with an idea on paper, then I printed a small version of the table.
Convinced that it might be possible, I scaled up to larger pieces. The almost hollow structure (10 percent fill in this case), reduces the plastic content while retaining reasonable strength.
Here's all the loose printed pieces, before being snapped and glued.
These are the uprights after being put together.
I couldn't print 12 inch long cross pieces, so I joined two 6 inch ones.
I added the cross supports to the white piece.
After adding the red piece, the table structure is complete. Choose your own top--I selected glass so that the structure would be visible.
Here's the table next to an office chair (for size comparison).
The dog on the table is made from cardboard and felt (full description in my book, Amazing Rubber Band Cars).
Here is the model sitting on the "real thing."