When the Eames debuted their now-legendary shell chair in 1950, it became the first mass-produced plastic chair in the world. This wasn't just an aesthetic icon—it was also a wonder of manufacturing and engineering. Now, Herman Miller is giving us a glimpse of how it's made.
A short design history of the chair, published by Herman Miller recently, offers a concise breakdown of its recently resurrected manufacturing process. And because this is 2014, the company has used GIFs to outline the various stages of production. Check out a few of the steps below, but be sure to head over to Herman Miller and check out the company's Instagram for more short media on the topic. [Herman Miller]
Herman Miller's modified fiberglass resin coating recipe gets mixed together in vats:
Then the resin is smoothly applied to a preform cradle made of fiberglass strands:
The coated preform is placed in a press where the excess strands are cut off:
The edges of the shell are hand-sanded and then polished with an electric sander:
Machine cut and sown upholstery is attached to the chair and sealed in place with heat: