TOMO, CMU grad’s 3D printed homeware brand, combines nature and technology


After losing his job as technical product manager at IBM Watson in Squirrel Hill during the pandemic, Reggie Raye decided to go into business and created TOMO in December 2020.

The design studio combines its 10 years of experience in 3D printing with a master’s degree in product development from Carnegie Mellon University and a degree in architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

“I said, ‘You know what, let me see if I can try this,'” Raye says. and really functional”

Reggie Raye uses 3D printing to create pieces for the home. Photo courtesy of TOMO.

3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but a recent IDTechEx report predicts it will become a $41 billion industry by next year.

Online retailer TOMO includes household and home office items such as bookends, lamps, vases, watering cans and business card holders. Prices range from $40 to $250.

“My latest collection is the result of finding patterns in nature and writing computer programs that can capture those patterns so that I can mimic them with my products,” says Raye.

Cypress lamp. Photo courtesy of TOMO.

One of its recent products is the Cypress lamp, inspired by the way the branches of Mediterranean cypresses twist as they rise higher. Raye’s Cypress Lamp is currently on display at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut. Raye was also a finalist in the 2015 NASA Centennial Challenge which sought ideas for Mars habitation models that could be 3D printed with materials from the Red Planet. For the contest, he created a silo at the bottom of a crater that would theoretically protect humans from radiation.

In addition to his business, Raye also teaches a STEAM class to children ages 9-12 at YMCA Homewood-Brushton.

“We did a lot of CAD and parametric modeling, 3D printing, laser cutting,” says Raye. “I think it’s so helpful for young people to realize that the first version will always be a little crummy. You use your failures and mistakes as learning opportunities. It’s been a huge privilege to work with students from all over the world. the city to create beautiful and useful things.

Raye also teaches a 3D printing course at Protohaven, a makerspace in Wilkinsburg. And he recently received a grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

Desktop organizer. Photo courtesy of TOMO.

TOMO’s upcoming collection will take inspiration from appliances once made in Pittsburgh.

“I’m going to incorporate things like Westinghouse fans, lamps, and heaters,” says Raye. “I kind of want to marry this new technology and this new style, which looks a bit futuristic, with something that is historic and has local roots.”

It’s all part of honoring his adopted hometown.

“I love being in Pittsburgh,” Raye says. “I moved here for CMU in 2016 and I’ve never looked back. The ecosystem here is so supportive. There’s something in the air, there’s a sense of innovation, in the value of craftsmanship, in the value of making things and those factories are gone and only their shells are left, but I think that philosophy lives on.

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