Product design could be 3d printing oriented?
The answer is yes. Design for Craft has always worked as a partner of the companies providing support, advice and research with the clear objective to integrate the potential of 3D printing practices in design, production and marketing. Our recent works on product design, developed for two different clients; they are two case studies to understand how the digital manufactoring can change the way in which the products can be designed, manufactured and marketed.
UR Independent Sound® was born as an experimental product between personal production and mass production, made for the italian brand Sinfoni. The concept behind it is the translation of a “Made in Italy” Hi-Fi system for cars into your Personal Home Hi-Fi with outstanding performance, integrated with LED lamps.
The shape is inspired by the internal structure of a cactus, which is clearly an example of the uniqueness and not-replicability. This is a real opportunity to hypothesize the use of digital machines, in this case an FDM, for a whole production on demand of “unique pieces”. Thanks to additive manufacturing we are able to create complex and always different shapes in a easy way, as well as achieve an effective reduction of the stock of production and of the waste in terms of environment resources and energy. Today the most critical problem for making products with a 3D printer is to have a final product instead of having a prototype. We demonstrate through UR Independent Sound® that, if we work properly with post-production treatments, an object created with a 3D printer can in effect turn into a real product. So we have coated with multiple metal layers the whole body through a process electrogalvanic, in this case using copper and gold with an astonishing final esthetic.
However the product design made by DFC, goes further the way of an industrial production with classical technologies. It ‘a typical example of hybridization between craft and industry through a proper product design and process engineering in relation to real production and market needs.
The Mood® is a fashion accessory (patented) for the upcoming personal mobile market and developed for the new brand Mooders. With Mood you can talk, chat and listen to music in a more easy, safe and healthy. Design for Craft has developed the product design from the earliest stages of the concept to the final engineering.
The 3d printing has been used in the initial phase of the design for certain components, such as the buckle; they have been prototyped with FDM. In the later stage of product engineering we used the 3d printing SLS (in metal) to realize the mold matrix for the serial production. Not only: the company can decide to offer the service of customization of the component to the customer directly through its e-commerce portal thanks to the production on demand by sintering metal of the buckle. In this way the digital manufacturing becomes a process with a double effect; one concerning the produciton and one about the marketing. It enables the acceleration of the delivery from the final design to the first phase of production and it also allows to diversify the business units thanks to a real serial customization.