Aalto University Digital Design Laboratory, }ADD{

Digital Baroque

Digital Baroque

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

The Digital Baroque Program explores the added value inherent in complexity.

Description:

Industrial mass production is best suited for large series production of relatively simple forms. Traditional handicraft on the other hand, was well suited for small series of unique, complex and articulated forms, which empowered for example the Baroque aesthetics. Currently, many of the qualities germain to traditional craft are re-emerging within the digital paradigm, prompting the notion of Digital Baroque. Complexity or variation is not a virtue per se, and industrial production will not disappear with the emergence of the digital. However, complexity does hold considerable potential for added value. There is both expressive potential through uniqueness, ornamentation and sculptural form, and performative potential through structural optimization and ergonomics, for example.

In most cases, both aesthetic and functional, or cultural and engineering, performance is desirable. Think of for example a car seat or a helmet, both of which need to be formally and materially seductive, ergonomically customized, and protective, i.e. energy absorbent. The extraordinary mechanical properties inherent to the chemical structure of nano-cellulose and carbon nanotubes could be combined, and used to additively manufacture energy absorbing geometries in order to create, protective, beautiful, ergonomically customized car seats or helmets.

The Digital Baroque program focuses on exploring and developing products where significant added value is found in complexity, and what it enables both functionally and aesthetically. The research begins by mapping out most exciting technologies, and their possible areas of application, and proceeds by executing a number of case studies through concrete prototypes. The results will be exhibited tested with an audience at the two-year milestone in the form of design prototypes and actual products.

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D2C – Designer to Consumer

D2C – Designer to Consumer

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

The Designer to Consumer, i.e. D2C, program explores the designer to consumer business model, associated products, processes and legal issues.

Description:

The industrial design practice that emerged in the 20th century, and is still prominent today, was a business-tobusiness or designer-to-business service. The designer provided design to a manufacturer who dealt with production and sales. The form of design practice that is emerging now is a designer-to-consumer (D2C) model. Here, via online sales or relationships with traditional distributors, designers have become their own manufacturers, or created something analogous to the independent record label in the music industry.

The emergence of internet-based crowd funding mechanisms, such as Kickstarter, provide a low investment/risk method for small companies to test market response and raise capital. The internet is fundamentally changing the manner and speed at which products are developed, financed and marketed. By providing the infrastructure for small businesses to flourish, the internet is dismantling many of the social and professional structures erected during the industrial era.

The D2C design approach parts with the division of labour, where each operation would be carried out by a specialist trained only for that task. In the past decade we have seen many professions, from the music sector to the book and movie industries, transformed.

The D2C program will proceed through concrete case studies where products and start-up companies are created in order to test market response, examine the emergent value chains, and resolve the latent IPR and logistic issues. The aim is to create large profit from selling small quantities of rare products to many customers, whereas the industrial-era model entrepreneur would sell great quantities of a limited number of best-sellers. The results of the Work Package will be tested and exhibited through concrete online products and test companies at the two-year milestone.

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Hi Tech Sustainable Materials

Hi Tech Sustainable Materials

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

In this program we step beyond the prior-art, we develop a new type of AM processing for nanofibrillar materials and their materials sciences, and allow for new biomimetic strong and lightweight constructs based on nanocellulose, carbon nanotubes, proteins, inorganics, and their hybrids.

Description:

This program looks for new possibilities in AM based on nanoscopically structured nanofibrillar/nanotubular materials, aiming for mechanically excellent materials and feasible AM processing. The work is inspired by the structure of silk, which is a protein with a strength of more than 1.2 GPa (approaching that of steel), still being tough, lightweight and biological, due to the complex interplay of nanoscale hard reinforcing and soft toughening structural nanodomains within its structure. Secondly, unlike classic AM processes, silk fiber is spun in an extended (continuous) “stretched” form by “templating” between supports. This suggests to develop a templated process for continuously spun fibrillar materials for AM.

Here we have the ambitious goal to learn from the structure and processing of silk to develop technically relevant AM approaches. The hard and soft domains of silk suggest to construct hybrid fibers, combining different materials. Due to the sustainability and recently developed processes, we will extensively use nanocellulose, which allows renewable high strength fibers. Its gel spinning has recently been introduced that allows fibers of strength of ca. 300 MPa. It is most encouraging that the process has been transferred to AM processing, allowing templated mesh-like nets. We also use carbon nanotubes, that allow even higher strength, so far ca. 1 GPa. To constuct novel types of hybrid fibers of hard reinforcing and soft toughening constituents, these two materials are used as reinforcements. Also surface modified nanoclays are used to promote the strength. The softer domains within the hybrids are made using proteins, mimicking the structures if silk.

An essential part of the project deals chemically modifying the interactions between the components to allow optimized mechanical properties. The materials and new AM processes will be seamlessly combined with the algorithmic design concepts, to generate new design platforms for meodel applications. The work is also supported by VTT’s multiscale modeling approach optimizing interactions between microstructure and performance.

Hybrid Manufacturing

Hybrid Manufacturing

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

The target of this work package is to develop new product functionalities by novel hybrid structures and technologies.

Description:

In this technical program additive manufacturing is looked widely from both process and material perspective. Combining different technologies such as Direct Write and machining to Additive Manufacturing (Hybrid Manufacturing Cells) will be studied and developed. By Direct Write it is possible to add functionalities, e.g. sensors to components during AM process and to build products with enhanced intelligence. On the other hand from industrial use point of use it is important to know how to combine AM to conventional processes on the floor. On materials side, polymer, metal and ceramic based materials and their composites and hybrids are included. Interaction between materials and various process routes and their process windows are studied.

At VTT the globally recognized competence for manipulation of powders, currently used mainly for thermal spraying, is used as he backbone. Combining different materials, which in some cases may be functional, gives possibilities to totally new type of solutions. Modelling assisted material design is playing a vital role in this WP. Through modelling assisted approach local performance profiles will be designed for the components. AM processes are considered in respect to their flexibility as well as towards creating capabilities for Hybrid Manufacturing Cells and tailored production.

Additive manufacturing enables considerable benefits such as sustainable substitution of the critical raw materials (tungsten and cobalt) or nickel (high price fluctuations) substitution with new structuretailored ferrous materials resulting wide potential of metallic matrix combination to the carbide and oxide mixtures creating multible dispersion structures from nanoscale to microscale or macroscale.

On design side, the beneficial structures calculated, inspired by the nature, are optimized for the specific cases being feeds to application workpackages. After the first two years period the first set of materials have tested and characterized for selected AM processes and the first concepts for Hybrid Manufacturing Cells have been formulated.

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Parametric Customisation

Parametric Customisation

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

The Parametric Customisation program focuses on creating and demonstrating the business concept of serial production of consumer co-designed products, based of pre-existing ’parametric’ templates.

Description:

The parametric customization program focuses on digital production of co-designed, consumer customised products based of pre-existing, highly designed ’parametric’ templates. Customers can produce high quality, tremendously designed products customized according their personal preferences.

Large numbers of Finnish instant customization firms can emerge, specialized in high design, high added value products, which intelligently incorporate end-user participation and input. A good precedent for parametrically customized product is the photo book, where high quality graphic templates are designed, and end-user contributes his/her images after which professional print service manufactures and delivers the product. The combination guarantees professional quality and personal content.

The parametric template approach can be applied to for example to architectural solutions, such as prefabricated housing or deck structures, consumer products such as fashion or furniture. The use of personal, ergonomic data is particularly promising, and will likely open an entire new market segment where products such as shoes, clothing, seats, sunglasses, jewellery are adjusted to individuals body characteristics. The work package will commence by choosing select case studies based on analysis.

These cases will be developed to a point where an accessible software interface can be used by the customer to adjust selected parameters of the product, and the product be produced based on the subsequent data. After the first two years, the process will be demonstrated real time in the exhibition by demonstrating the software interface together with 3D printers, allowing the audience to create personalized products.

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Local Spare Part Production

Local Spare Part Production

One of ADD's main design research topics

Target:

The program focuses on developing and demonstrating a new digital business concept for spare part production.

Description:

Spare and wear part business is the most important service business of original equipment manufacturers (OEM). The concept of 3D digital spare and wear parts has the potential to change the whole business logistics by turning delivery of physical goods into purchasing of digital files through internet. Digital manufacturing of the high performance spare and wear parts takes place on the site, right on demand. No more costly delays related to logistics, warehouse capital and preservation costs, and always the optimized version of the spare or wear part specially designed for the equipment in question. Work will be initiated by analyzing and developing spare part business models, based on digital purchasing concept. This includes the specification of the new digital spare part process and the identification of required partners, roles and services, constituting the value network.

The goal is to determine when and how the new spare part concept is an economically viable and serious alternative to current operation mode, also increasing the attractiveness of the original product through better product lifecycle services and thus contributing to the competitiveness of the OEM. Based on that, LCA and financial calculations are made covering customer´s, OEM´s, and consumable (powders etc.) provider´s point of views. Concept for IPR management is created. Overall concept, technical and economically viability are demonstrated on various levels. After the first two years period new life cycle design concepts, financial calculations, and busness models have been made as well as a concept for IPR management.

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