Sapienza Design Factory Lab
Sapienza Design Factory (SDF) is an applied research centre, a meeting place for university researchers and design entrepreneurs and professionals.
SDF was created in 2003. As the laboratory of the PDTA Department (formerly ITACA) it is used to experiment in all fields of Design (Product Design, Communication Design, Exhibit Design, Transportation Design, Fashion Design, and Eco Design).
In 2007 it became part of the Joint Lab of Sapienza Innovazione promoting exchanges between the world of university research and enterprises; Sapienza Innovazione is a partnership between Sapienza University of Rome, Unicredit Group, FILAS, and BIC Lazio.
As part of the University Laboratory Enhancement Programme set up by the Regione Lazio, in 2010 the Sapienza Design Factory opened an area dedicated specifically to Design Driven Product Innovation, adding state-of-the-art technical skills to its excellent scientific expertise.
In 2011 Sapienza Design factory launched a strategic ongoing partnership with FGTecnopolo and Unoaun; SDF is now located at the FGTecnopolo Headquarter complex situated in the Tiburtino Technopole.
The aim of the SDF workshop is to act as a link between basic research and applied research in order to improve the competitiveness of SMEs and their manufacturing systems.
Its vision places DESIGN at the centre of a system of skills to develop products with innovative and high-quality technical, aesthetic, and performance characteristics. The intent is to increase the competitiveness of enterprises vis-à-vis the new and growing needs of society, now and in the future.
SDFis also an incubator for new talents where researchers, professionals and young designers can carry out non-stop experimentation - an unlimited resource available to institutions and the production system.
Apart from the partnership with FGTecnopolo and Unoauno, and the synergy with the Joint Labs of Sapienza Innovazione, SDF works with researchers and leading professionals on specific projects.
The research, technical and operational competences available in the SDF Laboratory focus primarily on the following fields:
- Process and product innovation in the field of Product Design (including all manufacturing sectors);
- Studies on pre-competitive scenarios and development in the field of Strategic Design.
In particular, the activities are divided into three sectors:
- Analysis of competition and production issues, and the development of Competitive Scenarios
- Pre-industrialisation design and development of innovative products and/or components
- Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing Experiments, especially the study of digital processes of morphological generation and testing new materials.
These technologies are applied in the following fields:
- Precision mechanics
- Components for interactive technological devices.
The technologies present in the workshop are:
- 3D Print using a patented manufacturing method (Fused Deposition Modelling -FDM™); it is possible to use this method to design extremely complex geometries using a wide range of high-performance technical materials without chemical post-processing;
- 3D Print using simultaneous multi-material technology(Digital Materials™ composites) reproducing double-injection processes; use of mixtures created on the fly in 21 different degrees of rigidity; printing with transparent resin (Veroclear); jet layers range from 16μ to 30μ;
- Laser cutting and engraving for 1 to 20 mm sheets of acrylic materials, paper and cardboard, leather and skins, wood and derivatives, glass, non-pvc polymers, natural and (non-pvc) synthetic fabrics, composites made of the above materials;
- FM660 Thermoformer with a 622x622mm forming area, 406mm maximum depth of draw, and a maximum 6mm thick sheet; reducing windows are available for smaller pieces;
- Rapid Milling Machine (CNC), 3-axis, with a 800x1250mm forming area for cutting and engraving any plastic or metal materials, soft metal alloys, woods and derivatives; vertical Z axis ranges from 0 to 200mm;
- Vacuum flow Silicone Moulding MK MINI is an innovative technology to produce silicone moulds and functional prototypes based on the original model; it is cheap and can produce results in 24 hours. Limited series of polyurethane or epoxide resin parts can be manufactured after a “soft-tool” is produced based on the original model. Completely transparent details can also be produced. – Maximum flow weight: 1400 gr – Maximum mould size: 450x470x400mm.
These technologies are accompanied by the expertise and skills of technicians specialised in:
- Laser Scanner Survey;
- Solid modelling of geometries, including complex geometries
- Reverse engineering for precision components