“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” (Anonymous)

The project “SUP3R & Co.: SUrface finishing, 3D Printing – Research & Communication” set up by the Veneto Region within the Regional Operational Program F.S.E. 2014-2020 fully reflects this quote. The partner companies of the project, Desamanera, Palladio Concept and Mykra, offer complementary services and aim to seize the opportunities given by a new way of producing design objects. They focus on the effective management of the change linked to the use of 3D stone printing in large size and to MarbleSkin™, an innovative surface finishing that allows the use of marble to cover objects of all kind. These innovations have been thought to be applied to architecture, design and art sectors. Therefore, three departments of the University of Padua, DSEA (Departments of Economics and Management “M. Fanno”), DII (Industrial Engineering) and DEI (Information Engineering) supported the Companies before mentioned in reaching the objectives of the project. The three companies, complementary to the services offered, aim to effectively manage the change linked to the use of large 3D printing, in the architecture, design and art sectors, and of the innovative MarbleSkin™ surface finish, a particular artisanal process that allows use marble to cover all kinds of objects.

GIF with our “Indian Girl”

To reach the objectives of the project, 2 different research grants were activated through the University of Padua. he first one, headed by Desamanera, concerned the development of a smaller 3D printer. The fellow Engineer Matteo Bergonzoni, worked under the supervision of the Machine Design Professor Giovanni Meneghetti of the Department of Industrial Engineering. The other research grant, headed by Desamanera and Palladio Concept, focuses on the study of the reference market and the development of related communication activities. The fellow Dr. (PhD) Mauro Capestro worked under the supervision of Eleonora Di Maria, Professor of Economics and Business Management of the Department of Economics and Management “M. Fanno”, either Professor of the University of Padua. The project also included the activation of a third grant, with Mykra as lead company and the Department of Information Engineering as institutional partner, concerning the development of a software for the management of the 3D design. This grant was not activate, and Mykra handled the development of the software.

Engineer Matteo Bergonzoni designed a powder bed 3D printer with a smaller printing area than the first version. The designed printer – Desa 1 60.60 – presents an innovative print head, with a reduced minimal voxel dimension (unit of volume measurement, three-dimensional counterpart of the two-dimensional pixel and index of greater definition), moving from 5,7 mm to 3 mm, with evident increase of printing precision. Thanks to the greater definition achieved, it will be possible to significantly reduce post-production work and, as consequence, costs.
In conclusion, through this research grant, Desamanera s.r.l. has been able to build the first 3D printer for sale, acquiring further know-how in the design, construction and subsequent CE certification processes.

Desa1 60.60, stone 3D printer

The second research grant paid more attention to the marketing and communication activities. Dr. Mauro Capestro focused his research activity on the analysis of 3D printing technology in sectors as Architecture, Exterior and Interior Home Design. For first, he evaluated the supply solutions already existing on the market, the main competitors and the features of the customers (target), evaluating the segments and the presence of potentially interesting market niches. In addition, he analyzed the features of the offered services, namely 3D printing with natural minerals and the innovative surface MarbleSkin™, in order to highlight the strengths on which base the competitive advantage. The analysis activities was aimed to identify the necessary elements to define the communication, such as typology of messages – textual and multimedia contents – and the right channels, by virtue of the reference target. In this way, a whole series of communication activities were defined and implemented, which mainly focused on online communication and in particular on social network channels.

Facebook post about the creative process

Through the SUP3R&Co. project, now arrived to the end, it was possible to combine research and operational activities carried out in the companies. They allowed to achieve strategically important results. These kind of projects have, therefore, to be supported for the strategic value they assure to the companies and for the great work-experience they represent for the fellows involved.

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