February 2020
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Case Studies

INEDIT has selected four valuable use cases for a DIT approach, each one pushing further the capabilities of the DIT approach, addressing individual preferences and accessibility to production means.

FLEXIBLE WOOD WORK CENTERS

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VERA, as SME partner of INEDIT, will leverage its base of external designers to populate the co-creation digital platform where, together with the involved customers, they will open up the furniture design process. Designers will act as coaches during this phase channeling the creativity and needs of customers into functional and economically-viable products. Production and machine experts inside VERA will follow the process providing support from a technological viewpoint through feasibility checks, hints to align design with production constraints and explaining the potential of materials and production means. Suppliers will be also encouraged to join this agile manufacturing network as key contributors in terms of proposition of new panels, other materials and components that could open new possibilities to cope with the design ideas and customers’ expectations.

3D PRINTING OF WOOD

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Production of furniture is very specific because it is aimed for a mass consumer market, but at the same time it aims to encompass design elements. Very often these design elements have some hand-crafted parts which is quite opposite to the essential principles of mass production. Hence, quite a large part of these products can be classified as artistic creations. Different studies indicate that the Fusion Deposition Modelling (FDM) technology as very suitable for small series productions because it can be used to fabricate small series of different elements with minimum required changes to the system in a very short time. Another advantage is the low price of the machine, enabling small companies to obtain high quality parts for production with low investments in equipment. A modular OMDF for wood 3D printing will be developed and integrated at AIMEN to validate the results of creativity powered by the INEDIT platform. This OMDF will cover the entire value chain from product engineering to the final product and could be easily replicated in different environments, allowing other furniture manufacturers or co-creation environments to integrate the solution in their facilities, expanding the scope of the INEDIT platform.

RECYCLED PLASTIC 3D PRINTING

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The real initial conditions of plastic wastes need to be considered in order to explore a complete closed-loop approach. This could make the notion of secondary raw materials viable, integrated in the plastic strategy of the European Commission for circular economy. The integration of plastic waste from local sources represent an explorable opportunity, but at the same time, it represents a challenge in terms of identification, variability/heterogeneity and initial conditions of plastic waste to be reused. Moreover, implementation costs of the recycling facilities can be seen a barrier to adoption. Therefore, we will develop a recycling demonstrator system considering the OMDFs ecosystem in the INEDIT framework. The development of a distributed recycling approach via additive manufacturing (DRAM) and manual injection processes where recycled materials are used in the co-creation phase allows users to conceive customized objects for furniture. In addition, reparability aspects can contribute to a higher customer satisfaction and loyalty and allow for smart maintenance to prolong the lifecycle of products.

SMARTIFICATION OF FURNITURE

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The environment around us is becoming smart and connected, providing services and solutions to assist us or making life easier. Internet of Things (IoT) is materialized in sensing and communication devices that connect with other devices generating data and information that become useful while analyzed and deployed to services and applications. Smartification makes use of the panoply of available devices to provide awareness of objects and the overall environmental conditions around us. If associated with intelligent systems, as those resulting from AI algorithms, using big data collections to feed machine learning analysis, it becomes supportive and proactive for a person’s benefit. Using an OMDF platform, it becomes possible to use smartification for the furniture industry, providing solutions for manufacturing in a DIT environment by adopting strategies, designed experimentally in a Fab Lab, tested and validated for that purpose. Those smartified furniture pieces are provided with sensors to enable awareness of the environment.