Elisava students design outside the box with 3D printing
At Elisava, a school of design and engineering in Barcelona, students use 3D printing to discover various design possibilities and process acceleration.
Located in Barcelona, Elisava is a university specializing in engineering and design. The vision of the university is to equip students with knowledge about a wide range of technologies, including 3D printing, so that after entering the world of work they are aware of the functionality, but also the directions of industry development in the future. The TRUSTTO, Clearwater and 4GRILLS teams implemented 3D printing to construct and create a stretcher, robotic rover and grill.
“3D printing is profoundly changing the way we design and produce. It allows us to try things quickly, and also to envision shapes that we were not able to fabricate before.” – Oscar Tomico, PhD, Head of the Undergraduate Degree in Industrial Design Engineering.
During the last year, the students at Elisava have been working intensively in the field of design.
Emergency services trust TRUSTTO
The increased number of people venturing out into nature during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the frequency of rescue operations. Rescue teams were struggling with problems with the stretcher, which inspired TRUSTTO to start working with them. The cooperation consisted primarily in identifying the source of the emerging problems with a complete focus on the subject of transport.
In order to cope with the harsh conditions of mountain rescue, the TRUSTTO stretcher had to be functional: easy to install, rigid, resistant to weather conditions and light.
3D printing enabled rapid prototyping, and IDEX technology enabled the creation of complex geometries using soluble supports. In the case of a carbon fiber base that combines with a folded aluminum structure, 3D printed parts were used, choosing PLA for its cost-effectiveness and ease of printing. TPU dials were also printed, which would otherwise have been a very costly industrial process. TRUSTTO noticed and appreciated the differences between the 3D manufacturing process and traditional manufacturing. The team also learned how to use the software, which made it possible to optimize the cost of components for their stretchers.
The Clearwater rover cuts down on plastic pollution
The fact that about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year is terrifying. The goal of the Clearwater project was to build an automated rover to free sea areas and ports from plastic pollution.
After analyzing the existing products on the market, the team came to the conclusion that they wanted to find a balance between small, automatic rovers and large ones, requiring a human operator. Their 1: 3 scale design, 1m3 in size, uses a battery powered conveyor belt to remove and store up to 250 liters of rubbish removed from the water.
While other rovers contain metal conveyor belts, the Clearwater team was looking for something lighter. Ultimately, ¾ of the project was 3D printed. ABS was used for hulls, springs and stems for the sake of resistance to sea conditions; TPU for flexible, rubbery bristles; and PLA for some of the more rigid parts.
IDEX technology has undoubtedly saved a huge amount of time, especially on manual cleaning of supports, which easily dissolved in water. 3D printing allowed the team to create large parts that can bear the weight of other components. He gave the opportunity to experiment with various configurations, striving to obtain different compositions and properties of materials.
“The enclosed capsule of the printer allows us to control the temperature and the conditions, so that the final parts are much more professional.” – Alejandro Arasanz, Clearwater project.
4GRILLS speeds up food preparation thanks to Lékué
Meritxell Clarens, for whom the kitchen is a place for exchanging cultures, creativity and improving techniques - decided to find an innovative way to extend Lékué products with a design that refers to happiness, a healthy lifestyle and, above all, simplifies the process of preparing meals.
This is how the 4GRILLS was born - a layered grill, which also functions as a plate, a container with an integrated kneading machine for dough-based products (such as pancakes or pizza).
Metritxell used 3D printing in the prototyping phase. Originally, she printed parts in PLA, experimenting with visual aspects at the same time - finally the choice was red as a symbol of the vitality and energy of the Lékué brand. Mertixell printed the final version of ABS, which ensured the required resistance.
3D printing intensified the entire process using only the necessary amount of material, while allowing for quick testing of flexible and rigid elements as well as the functionality and shape of the product.
Students in each concept used 3D printing technology, thanks to which they realized not only that 3D printing can revolutionize processes from design to production.
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