Industrial Manufacturing


Rapid manufacture of molds for customized architectural elements
Pierpaolo Ruttico - Mechanical Engineering Department

In the panorama of contemporary architecture, the creation of unique and personalized architectural elements is increasingly required to meet the geometric complexities of new expressive languages. Hypnosis, a technology patented by the Politecnico di Milano, fits in this context with an innovative and advanced method for the rapid manufacture of elements for hi-tech architectural coatings.

This method is based on a production process that combines the robotic cut of polystyrene through hot tools with thermoforming techniques, allowing the creation of moulds for the production of architectural elements with complex geometries at advantageous costs compared to traditional methods. In particular, the patented methodology involves the hot wire-blade-hook processing of extruded polystyrene, to which a plastic coating is applied by thermoforming sheets, which stiffen the element and give the mechanical and aesthetic properties for subsequent casting of fluids of the latest generation. Smooth plastic can give a mirror finishing feature to the surfaces of the elements, and depend on the type of plastic film loose on the material, it is possible to get embossed embossing or pattern patterns at the bottom of the mould, extending considerably the expressive possibilities of the element.

“The experiments conducted so far allow us to state that the Hypnosis method is up to 100 times faster than those currently on the market” explains Architect-Engineer Pierpaolo Ruttico, inventor of technology and director of the experimental laboratory INDEXLAB – Creativity & Technology. Thanks to this production method it is possible to manage the continuous and systematic variation of the elements and implement the so-called mass-customization process of the components for architecture and design. Using the words of the inventor “Hypnosis is the bridge between the world of designers – who want to create increasingly complex shapes – and companies – which need to adopt competitive processes to adapt to the different needs of designers”.