With “by tooling” digital modelling, new opportunities for the development of products with superior aesthetic content. Hence the new scholarships offered by SACMI to students of the "University of Design". The goal is to create new cutting-edge products to be presented at industry events.
In the bathroom fixture and fittings sector, the continuous improvement of digital modelling techniques and the production of porous resin moulds “by tooling” has greatly expanded the opportunities available. An evolution that no longer involves just the (increasing) level of complexity of the moulds that can be created with this method, but also the aesthetic content of the models themselves, and therefore of the range of products that can be produced.
SACMI has developed specific expertise in resin mould milling thanks to which digital graphic patterns (natural stones, abstract patterns etc.) are embedded in the surfaces of the moulds, memorised in the project file and then "sculpted" into the resin mould using CNC machines. This new flow is called ArtTooling, a technique that has already been industrialised with successful pilot projects finalised in 2021 with top customers.
The concept of ArtTooling provides for the possibility of creating different items by replacing some parts of the mould, in practice the opportunity to create different products-textures starting from a single model, thus expanding both the potential and the versatility of application.
Hence SACMI's decision to propose a number of scholarships to ISIA in Faenza (Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche) to research new textured surfaces to be integrated into digital modelling for the production of washbasins, tiles and coordinated furnishing accessories.
A public university specialised in Product Design and Communication, Planning and Ceramic Technology, ISIA Faenza has continuously expanded its research horizons over the years, including through an interdisciplinary and multi-material approach. The students involved in the project will be called upon to produce textured surfaces that will then be evaluated by SACMI's technicians and experts at the Whiteware and Tiles Laboratories.
The title of the project, Sediments_Identity of places, coordinated by Professor Sabrina Sguanci together with the Modelling course held by Professor Mirco Denicoló, refers to research on the expressiveness of universal, physical and abstract places, traceable in the experiences of generations. “Reef”, “Cave”, “Bonfire” and “Metamorphosis” are the four work areas that students of the two-year specialisation in product design have explored, crafting creative colours and textures for the design of integrated collections of bathroom fixtures. The path has led to the development of three-dimensional decorative languages and colour palettes interpreted with a global vision for the industrial ceramic processes proposed by SACMI.
The winning projects will receive a contribution to be shared with the Institute's research fund. The texture-structures will be used for the production of bathroom fixtures, slabs and tiles, with the opportunity to coordinate the various elements and therefore achieve original results both with respect to the individual products and the environments as a whole.
For SACMI, the purpose of the operation is to use the new mould production flow to expand the concept of textured surfaces on various bathroom fixtures and fittings, from shower trays to washbasins, toilets and furnishing accessories, with results capable of competing with products with a high aesthetic content such as natural stone and resins.