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2024 | Book

Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering III

Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering, ADM 2023, September 6–8, 2023, Florence, Italy, Volume 1

Editors: Monica Carfagni, Rocco Furferi, Paolo Di Stefano, Lapo Governi, Francesco Gherardini

Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland

Book Series : Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering


About this book

This book gathers original peer-reviewed papers reporting on innovative methods and tools in design, modeling, simulation and optimization, and their applications in engineering design, manufacturing, and other relevant industrial sectors. Based on contributions to the Third International Conference on Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering, ADM 2023, held on September 6–8, 2023, in Florence, Italy, and organized by the Italian Association of Design Methods and Tools for Industrial Engineering, and the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence, this first volume of a 2-volume set focuses on advances in design for additive manufacturing, engineering methods in medicine, user-centred design, and industrial design and ergonomics. Further topics include design for sustainability, engineering education, experimental methods for product development, and advanced methods for product and process design. This book provides academics and professionals with a timely overview and extensive information on trends and technologies in industrial design and manufacturing.

Table of Contents


Design for Additive Manufacturing

FDM Printing Time Prediction Tuning Through a DOE Approach

Additive Manufacturing is widely applied in aerospace, automotive and marine engineering. Indeed, large-scale components are often required in these applications, such as for non-structural parts of aircraft, spare parts or small lots of cars or marine components. Fused Deposition Modelling is one of the Additive Manufacturing processes used to affordably convert digital models into mockups, prototypes, and functional parts: a slicing software converts the object’s digital model into a list of instructions for the machine. However, commercial slicing software packages often fail to accurately estimate the time required to produce models, especially when their size is significant: the errors could be up to several hours, which cannot be adequate in a real-life industrial context where production must be scheduled in a precise way. This manuscript compares the build time estimation of several commercial slicing software considering a real-life part. Furthermore, the evaluation of the manufacturing setting mainly affects the error in estimating the build time achieved through a Design of Experiment approach. The more time-impacting printing parameters have been detected, allowing fine helpful tuning to increase the accuracy of the build time in commercial slicing software. A case study included in the manuscript supports the analyses. Proper setting of the commercial slicing software can significantly improve the accuracy of the printing time.

Antonio Bacciaglia, Alessandro Ceruti, Francesco Ciccone, Alfredo Liverani
Comparative Assessment of Simulation Tools in Design for Additive Manufacturing Process

Additive manufacturing (AM) is a flexible technology allowing designers to produce highly customized and complex shapes. The design phase can be supported by Design for AM (DfAM) tools in order to reduce material waste, design time and economic resources. This paper aims to evaluate the functionality of four commercial tools for simulating the powder bed fusion (PBF) deposition process using quantitative and qualitative evaluation metrics. An AM process simulation workflow has been defined to facilitate the tools evaluation. For a complete evaluation, three different case studies were analyzed. Simulation carried out with the tools have the same critical zones relative to the three mechanical components, but with different maximum distortion values. Qualitative metrics show differences in workflow complexity and support provided by tools during the simulation setup phase. In the industrial field, these aspects can affect the choice of one tool over another.

Alessio Zanini, Marco Marconi, Marco Mandolini
Investigation About the Impact of Nozzle and Chamber Temperatures and Infill Orientation on the Mechanical Behavior of 3D Printed PEEK Specimens

Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) is a high-performance polymer widely used in several fields due to its excellent material and chemical strength properties also at high operating temperatures. The processing conditions used to fabricate PEEK parts can significantly influence the crystallinity and, hence, mechanical properties. Manufacturing difficulties are further amplified when PEEK is produced by Additive Manufacturing (AM), since it requires high processing temperatures, which only a few 3D printers available on the market can guarantee.In this paper, a Design of Experiment (DoE) was employed to investigate the mechanical properties of PEEK produced by Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Nozzle Temperature (390 ℃ and 420 ℃), Chamber Temperature (80 ℃ and 100 ℃) and Infill orientations (0° and 45°) were involved in the experiment through a 2-level full factorial DoE. Young’s modulus, Yield Stress, Ultimate Tensile Stress and elongation at fracture were investigated.Through ANOVA analysis it was found that the three parameters do not influence Young modulus (2.6 ÷ 3.2 GPa), while their combinations influence yield stress (36 ÷ 46 MPa), tensile strength (45 ÷ 74 MPa) and elongation at fracture (2.1 ÷ 16%). As expected, the optimal values for the best mechanical properties are the highest levels of nozzle and chamber temperatures and 0° infill orientation.

Alessandro Greco, Raffaele Sepe, Salvatore Gerbino
Assessment of the Achievable Dimensional Tolerances in 17-4PH Stainless Steel Parts Fabricated by Metal Binder Jetting

This work aims at evaluating the dimensional precision and the accuracy achievable through the Metal Binder Jetting Additive Manufacturing process. An artifact was designed, and 36 replicates were produced using a 17-4PH stainless steel powder aiming at evaluating different feature sizes. The dimensions of the samples were measured by a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) before and after sintering.At green state, the distribution of measured dimensions parallel to the building direction was centered on the nominal dimension, while the distribution of measured dimensions parallel to the building plane was shifted from the nominal ones. Dimensions of cavities were found to be significantly smaller than nominal ones (Z position for fundamental deviation), whereas the dimensions of outer features were larger than the nominal sizes probably on the reason of excessive binder saturation. The dimensional precision ranged from IT9 to IT11.After sintering, the inaccuracy increased with the distance of samples from the building plane, in turn related to non-uniform shrinkage on sintering. Additionally, sintering determined worsening in the dimensional precision, which ranged from IT11 to IT15.

M. Zago, I. Cristofolini
Effects of Printing Speed and Thermal Post-processing Treatments on the Mechanical Properties of PEEK Processed by Fused Deposition Modeling

Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is a thermoplastic polymer that presents notable thermal resistance, high mechanical strength, biocompatibility, durability, chemical resistance, and low density. PEEK can be additively manufactured by Power Bed Fusion (PBF) and Material Extrusion (ME) techniques. However, the latter is easier to operate and less expensive than the first solution. Printing parameters and thermal post-processing are fundamental aspects to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of the printed part. In the present study, the effects of two distinct thermal post-processing treatments and three different printing speeds on the mechanical properties of PEEK samples produced by ME were investigated. 45 specimens were manufactured, 15 for each printing speed and 5 for each thermal treatment. The results demonstrated that for the as-printed condition, higher printing speeds produced the greatest outcomes in terms of ultimate tensile strength and elastic modulus, whereas the lowest printing speed produced the maximum strain at break. The thermal post-processing treatments revealed that the one carried out at lower temperatures resulted in negligible changes, while the other significantly improved the mechanical performance of the material. The study's findings provide a solid foundation for printing and post-processing a cutting-edge polymer like PEEK to maximize its potential.

Francesco Tamburrino, Beatrice Aruanno, Alessandro Paoli, Armando Viviano Razionale
Designing a 3D Printed Personal Protective Equipment for a Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy

This research addresses the need for a protective device during binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy (BIO) exams, where traditional face shields cannot be used due to the presence of the instrument and the need for continuous manual interaction. The study aimed to design a device that is easy to fabricate using a 3D printer, usable with different models of ophthalmoscopes, and easy to apply and use. Three possible designs were produced, and the most promising one was further developed into a prototypal level. The article describes the design phase, testing of the prototype, and possible applications of design for additive principles to improve manufacturability. The study is part of the SafEye project, financed by the Tuscany Region with the Covid-19 Tuscany Research Grant, which fostered actions towards the prevention of the spread of the pandemic at all levels. The resulting device is a general-purpose personal protective equipment (PPE) for BIO that can be easily 3D printed and used worldwide, even in underdeveloped countries.

Puggelli Luca, Giansanti Fabrizio, Volpe Yary, Buonamici Francesco
FDM Technology: Overhangs versus Layer Height Printability Performance Correlation

FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) is the most popular 3D printing technology worldwide due to its simplicity and low costs. One of the key points of FDM is the need for supporting material to realize the overhanging features. In general, however, both in the case of printing supports with the same material as the part and in the case of printing with soluble supports, there is a high waste of material and a significant increase in the printing time to get the finished part.One of the fundamental parameters for generating supports within the slicer software is the so-called “support overhang angle”, which consists of the maximum achievable angle beyond which the slicer generates supports. The other key parameter in FDM printing is the “layer height”, which directly determines both the quality of the final part, its strength, and the printing time itself.This paper will therefore attempt to investigate the relationship present between “layer height” and “support overhang angle”, bringing some examples of how with proper layer height one can significantly reduce support generation, wasted material and in some cases also printing time.

Giampiero Donnici, P. Ferretti, A. Montalti, D. Francia, Alfredo Liverani
Prototyping a Mechanical Mounting System for the Photogrammetric Use of USB Microscopes

The widespread and diversified use of portable devices with high magnification power at relatively low-cost, i.e., the so-called USB digital microscopes, has revealed the possibility of employing their photographic output in Structure from Motion processes for sub-millimetric digitisation. However, USB microscopes, born for two-dimensional inspection – if used without specific accessories, designed ad-hoc for the photogrammetric capture phase – can pose some difficulties for the surveyor in managing capture operations. Thus, this study suggests prototyping a low-cost, complete, and portable mounting compatible with the most common USB microscopes for image scanning. This system makes it possible to use portable USB microscopes for three-dimensional modelling at a low-cost, as it is easy to replicate both in terms of construction and the materials used. Therefore, through the interaction of several skills, the work shows how the photogrammetric process can also be made accessible to devices that were not initially designed for such application, paving the way for new paths in representation engineering research.

Sara Antinozzi, Andrea di Filippo, Sara Morena, Anna Sanseverino, Francesco Villecco
Design of Additive Manufactured Devices with Tailored Properties: Tackling Biomedical Challenges

The design of advanced devices is a paramount goal in the biomedical field. Current challenges include the development of customized devices with improved and tailored properties according to the specific application. Accordingly, the aim of the study was to report some recent efforts in the design of advanced biomedical devices, especially focusing on dental implants and hybrid structures for cranioplasty.

Ida Papallo, Antonio Gloria, Massimo Martorelli
Additively Manufactured Lattice-Based Structures for Aeronautical Applications

Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies are widely spreading into multiple engineering sectors thanks to their flexibility to create complex geometries with virtual no material waste. AM technologies capabilities can be fully exploited when working with periodic lattices, creating topology-optimized structures through different cell types with different dimensions and volume fractions. Several factors (i.e., process parameters, quality and type of raw materials) can modify the mechanical properties of printed components and can be exploited to selectively create functionally graded materials or conventional laminated hybrid materials structures.This paper analyses and compares the mechanical properties of different additively manufactured lattice BCC structures through experimental and numerical means. At first, the manufacturing procedure followed by experimental tests is presented. The retrieved mechanical properties are then used as a benchmark for the numerical Finite Element Analyses and compared with analytical models available in the literature. The numerical simulation campaign includes the comparison of a full 3D model and a 1D/2D beam/shell formulation model. The research findings demonstrate a good correlation between the experimental tests and the numerical simulation results, indicating the potential for the proposed methodologies to be broadly implemented within various domains of structures and materials.

D. Tumino, G. Mantegna, C. R. Vindigni, C. Orlando, A. Alaimo
Concurrent Product and Process Design of an Additively Manufactured Engine Piston

Additive Manufacturing (AM) Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) metal processes enable significant design freedom, addressing design complexity in high-end sectors. To build performant products, several Design for Additive Manufacturing guidelines must be considered. Nevertheless, it is still noticeable a lack of reliability for AM processes, which is a key factor to guarantee both the expected enhanced product requirements and the manufacturability. Even though few rules and best practices to mitigate defects are provided either by standards or equipment suppliers, they are still missing approaches to predict build failures and process flaws, and therefore achieve faultless build processes. This work suggests a concurrent product and process design approach, in which Computer Aided Engineering tools are involved in both product and process design to identify the components’ shapes that match the expected performance and a feasible PBF build layout. An automotive component is the use case, whose design based on topology optimization and product validation is enriched by integrating the associated process simulation. The build process is modeled by (a) the additive manufacturing simulation to identify flaws and resources usage, and (b) the thermo-mechanical finite element -based simulation to predict residual stress and distortions. The approach based on CAD platforms integrates product and process design to reduce design iterations, trial-error practices, and build failures.

Enrico Dalpadulo, Fabio Pini, Francesco Leali
Surface Roughness Prediction in Fused Deposition Modeling: An Engineered Model

Additive manufacturing (AM) allows to create complex shapes and to improve the performance of critical components in different fields. The characteristics of the as-built parts can be an obstacle in terms of satisfaction of the parts’ quality requirements. Concerning the manufacturing process, the relationship among the process parameters, microstructure and mechanical properties is crucial in different areas and involves innovative and traditional fabrication techniques. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is widely employed to fabricate devices with tailored and enhanced properties.In this context, the process parameters clearly influence the quality of devices fabricated from different polymer-based materials, according to the specific AM technology. As reported in the literature, many theoretical models for the prediction of the surface quality focus on the concept of roughness. Furthermore, several parameters have also been proposed to assess the surface quality.Benefiting from advances in design strategies and methodologies of analysis, the aim of the current research was to provide further insight into the development of models for surface roughness prediction in FDM.The relationship among the layer height, printing speed, flow rate and extrusion width was considered and implemented in the model. Preliminary experimental analyses were also performed.

Chiara de Crescenzo, Maria Richetta, Ida Papallo, Pierpaolo Fucile, Massimo Martorelli, Antonio Gloria, Antonio Lanzotti
Machine Learning Trends in Design for Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing is becoming a widespread manufacturing system in several industrial fields such as automotive, aerospace, biomedical, etc. Design for Additive Manufacturing represents the branch of research that considers the technological constraints from the early stages of design, arriving at a geometrical model to be exported in G-code. The limitations of additive manufacturing are related to the complexity of the process, the high costs, the processing time, and the difficulties of ensuring adequate geometric and dimensional tolerances. A data-driven approach can be a solution to improve the Design for Additive Manufacturing. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning methods are employed in the literature to shorten the time for assessing the optimal combination of parameters and supporting decision-making. The current state of the art shows three macro-areas to apply Machine Learning methods in Design for Additive Manufacturing. These applications concern Geometrical Design Level, Process Configuration Level, and Process Monitoring Level. This paper aims to identify and classify the Machine Learning methods and algorithms most used in Design for Additive Manufacturing practices, analyzing parameters, results, processes, and materials involved.

Michele Trovato, Luca Belluomo, Michele Bici, Francesca Campana, Paolo Cicconi

Engineering Methods in Medicine

A Fully Automated Procedure for the Creation of Digital Patient-Specific Surgical Guides for Ear Reconstruction

Autologous ear reconstruction is a surgical procedure aimed at total or partial reconstruction of the ear of patients with microtia, which is a malformation or absence of the anatomical element. This procedure involves harvesting cartilage material from the patient at the costal level, cut and sculpt the tissue to create the skeleton of the ear, which is then inserted into a subcutaneous pocket in the malformed region. The sculping procedure takes inspiration from the geometry of the patient’s contralateral healthy ear and can be very complex given the particularity of the elements to be reconstructed. Taking advantage of Reverse Engineering and Additive Manufacturing technologies, the authors, in collaboration with hospital staff, proposed patient-specific three-dimensional cutting guides that can facilitate the surgeon in sculpting the ear structure. In this work, a fully automated procedure for creating the printable digital model of such guides is proposed: at first is performed the segmentation of ear elements, which represent the starting data for the automated CAD modelling of the surgical guides. The automatic CAD modelling procedure was tested and validated by medical personnel.

Elisa Mussi, Michaela Servi, Flavio Facchini
Manufacturing of Multilayer Replicas of Human Costal Cartilage for Realistic Medical Planning

Autologous ear reconstruction is a surgical procedure which aims to restore the anatomy of the outer ear whenever there are malformations due to congenital defects (microtia) or as a result of trauma and burns. Reconstruction involves the cutting, carving, and modeling of a portion of costal cartilage harvested from the patient. The aesthetic results of the surgery are highly dependent on the manual skill of the surgeon, which therefore needs a wide range of surgical experience. Appropriate simulation and training tools are essential to acquire adequate familiarity with the procedure without compromising the patient’s aesthetic appearance. In such a context, the present work aims to create replicas of the costal cartilage that allow a realistic simulation of the surgery, thus taking into account important characteristics of the cartilage tissue such as the behavior to cut and suture, hardness, etc. The problem is approached with well-established Additive Manufacturing and Reverse Engineering techniques, which are increasingly being used in the medical field, addressing both the problem of identifying the most suitable materials and the possibility of providing medical personnel with simple interactive procedures for the fabrication of multilayer replicas, without the need to turn to expert CAD modelers.

Michaela Servi, Elisa Mussi, Monica Carfagni, Kathleen McGreevy, Flavio Facchini
3D Printing Methods in Medicine: The Case of an Aortic Section

The paper focuses on the application of 3D printing technology in the medical field, particularly in cardiac surgery. Unlike traditional imaging techniques such as CT, MRI, and ultrasound, 3D printing offers a more detailed understanding and analysis of clinical cases. By using 3D printing, it becomes possible to study a patient’s specific cardiac anatomy, manipulate objects before surgery, and accurately determine the surgical site. This reduces both the time required for the operation and the patient’s recovery period.This study presents a methodology for creating 3D-printed models of aortic arch sections affected by aortic dissection. The aim is to produce anatomical models with varying levels of quality and accuracy. The research goal is to assess the differences in 3D printing materials and technologies for creating complex anatomical models like the aorta. The process involves segmenting medical images obtained from Computed Tomographic Angiography (CTA) and then 3D printing digital models using different materials (such as PLA, TPU, and resin) and technologies (like FDM and SLA). The resulting 3D printed models are low-cost and demonstrate good accuracy in reproducing human anatomy.

Giulia Alessandri, Gian Maria Santi, Leonardo Frizziero, Alfredo Liverani
Preliminary Study of a 3D-Printed High-Fidelity Simulator for the Training on the EBUS TBNA Procedure

Lung cancer is the second neoplasia for incidence and the leading cause of death from neoplasia in the world. A consolidated practice for lung cancer early diagnosis and staging is EBUS TBNA (EndoBronchial UltraSound-guided TransBronchial Needle Aspiration).Despite being a low-risk procedure, its success highly depends on the medical staff’s skills, who therefore require appropriate training.With the future aim of developing a novel realistic EBUS TBNA simulator that also allows tissue sampling, in this paper, the authors propose a simplified representation of the mediastinum to define a suitable layout.As far as the authors know, the physical commercially-available simulators have poor echogenic properties, do not allow tissue sampling, and can be quite expensive.The project was carried out within Custom3D, a joint laboratory between Careggi Hospital of Florence and the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence, under the request of the interventional pneumology ward. The model was validated by an expert medical doctor who assessed its anatomical accuracy and the suitability of its mechanical and acoustic properties.Moreover, the possibility of performing lymph node needle aspiration is an added value that promises to bring the EBUS TBNA simulation to a new level of realism.

Marta Mencarelli, Luca Puggelli, Rocco Furferi, Antonio Marzola
Design and Development of Patient-Specific Medical Devices for Maxillofacial Surgery Through 3D Modeling, Topology Optimization, and Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing presents unique opportunities for developing patient-specific medical devices and tools in orthognathic surgery. Devices used in maxillofacial surgery present several constraints which refer to the specific characteristics of the patient and the stress conditions that are in place during the surgery. This paper describes an integrated workflow used for the identification, design, optimization, and production of patient-specific devices while promoting synergy among specialists of vastly different backgrounds. Medical specialist interprets Computed Tomography scans with three-dimensional reconstruction of the patient and, supported by a CAD specialist design the required tools to restore the patient functionality. Preliminary tooling designs are checked for strength and stiffness by a structural engineer considering the mechanical properties of the perspective AM materials and passed in digital form to the AM technologist who will be responsible of the 3D printing. The medical specialist uses the devices through physical prototypes to assess effectiveness and usability. The integrated workflow allows to increase accuracy while reducing surgical time and costs.

Claudio Favi, Enrica Riva, Giovanni Fortese, Andrea Varazzani
Guidelines for Finite Element Modeling of Cell Adhesion Process

Cell adhesion is a phenomenon characterizing cell-environment interactions and affects cellular behavior. Cell-substrate adhesion is ensured by focal adhesions (FAs), which are multilayer protein complexes. External mechanical stimulus perceived by FAs is rapidly transmitted first to cytoskeleton load-bearing structures and finally to the nucleus thanks to an interlinked cellular architecture, thus inducing transcription mechanisms and changes in cell functionality. Prestress of cytoskeletal filaments allows mechanical information to be transferred along these stiffer transportation channels with respect to neighboring cell regions, thus avoiding the energy dissipation typical of soft matter. Peculiar items concerning adhesion mechanisms, i.e., stiffness inhomogeneity in cell architecture, and auto-supporting tension-based cell structure, can be effectively handled thanks to modeling strategies provided by finite element method (FEM), which represents a valid tool for simulating cell adhesion. With the aim of replicating experimental results and predicting cell behavior, useful guidelines for simulating cellular adhesion will be outlined in the proposed work.

Lorenzo Santoro, Luciano Lamberti, Lorenzo Vaiani, Antonio Emmanuele Uva, Antonio Boccaccio
Metrological Protocol for Comparison of Digital and Analogic Articulators for Complete Dentures

This paper proposes a methodology to compare the trajectories from different articulators - both physical and digital - during lateral and protusive movements. In the case of digital articulators, the articulated models are digitally moved and exported in position; in the case of mechanical articulators, the models are locked into position and 3D scanned. The digital models in position, both digital and scanned, are aligned to a common reference system and a maxilla-based reference system is tracked. The trajectories are defined as interpolating splines through the maxilla-based reference system origins. A Gerber mechanical articulator and an “Artex CR adjustable” virtual articulator were compared. The repeatability of the mechanical trajectory is found to be less than 184 microns. The resting position of the two articulators is found significantly different meaning that a bias is introduced by the operator in the analogic protocol. The trajectories have significantly different shapes as expected coming from two different articulator models. The proposed methodology proved to be a valid means to compare different articulators.

Mattia Maltauro, Lorenzo Menarini, Roberto Meneghello, Leonardo Ciocca
A Methodology for the Dimensional and Mechanical Analysis of Surgical Guides

The use of CAD and 3D printing of surgical guides (SGs) for osteotomies is a widely developed practice in orthopaedic surgery, and particularly in maxillo-facial interventions, but validation studies rarely occur in literature. The present study defines a methodology to validate SGs dimensionally and mechanically through geometrical analysis, tensile testing, contact simulations, and abrasion testing. Distortions between the 3D printed SGs and the CAD model are quantified and an average deviation error for each production process step is obtained. Mechanical analysis identifies a way of applying the load on the SG to measure their equivalent linear stiffness (N/mm), maximum displacement (mm) and corresponding tolerable load (N) by varying some dimensional parameters. The stress state was assessed by finite element method (FEM) analysis, then the numerical results were compared with experimental ones using tensile tests: stiffness, maximum displacement and the corresponding loads were evaluated. The distribution of contact pressure on soft tissues was obtained numerically by FEM analysis. Finally, an ad hoc machine has been specially built to engrave discoidal specimens with typical operating room conditions. The methodology has been validated using 11 SG fibular and mandibular specimens and reporting the obtained results of each procedure step.

Federico Salerno, Sandro Moos, Luca Ulrich, Andrea Novaresio, Enrico Vezzetti
Short Overview on Trans-Septal Puncture Phantoms Materials and Manufacturing Technologies

The growing cooperation between physicians and engineers have been producing increasingly sophisticated anatomical phantoms for the training and planning of Structural Heart Surgery. Trans-Septal Puncture (TP) is a percutaneous, non-invasive cardio chirurgical procedure used to access the heart Left Atrium from the Right Atrium through the Fossa Ovalis (FO), a region of the Inter Atrial Septum with reduced thickness. TP is technically challenging and requires dedicated teaching and a skillful operator; as a result, application of phantoms to TP training have been gaining increasing interest. The aim of the present work is to investigate the current state of the art in TP simulators. The Scopus and PubMed databases were analyzed and the bibliography of the most impacting articles was reviewed. The results can be summarized as follows: i) mold casting and additive manufacturing (AM) are the only technologies documented for phantoms creation; ii) silicone rubbers and Polyvinyl Alcohol Cryogel are the most used materials for mold casting while Polyjet polymers are the most used material for AM; iii) quantitative data on force and haptic feedback from IAS and FO simulacra is scarcely documented; iv) procedure image guidance can be simulated during the training.

Tommaso Stomaci, Francesco Buonamici
A New Tool for Preoperative Planning of Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

The Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (RTSA) is a complex surgical procedure also due to the difficulty in correctly positioning all the components of the prosthesis. Malpositioning of the prosthesis, in fact, can lead to various complications such as scapular notching, early mobilization, instability and reducing of the range of movement (ROM). Preoperative planning with 3D imaging and patient specific instruments can be very useful tools to help surgeon in selecting the optimal position of implant components.Aim of this work is to develop a procedure based on a fully parametric CAD system that simulates the shoulder joint to identify the optimal positioning of the humeral and glenoid components of the prosthesis. In particular, the proposed system allows to find the optimal cutting angles of the humerus head and the glenoid cavity so to best fit the patient's bone structure and the prosthesis components and, consequently, to improve the range of movement.The system allows to create, in a semi-automatic way, CAD assembly models composed of the patient shoulder bones and different reverse shoulder prostheses. For each assembly different positions of the components of the prosthesis can be evaluated and various scenarios of movements can be simulated. In this way it is possible to identify the optimal positioning of the prosthesis for each patient in the preoperative stage.The proposed procedure has been tested with two types of prosthesis and two patients. Obtained results demonstrated that an optimal positioning of prosthesis an improve ROM up to 27%.

Tommaso Ingrassia, Vincenzo Nigrelli, V. Ricotta, M. Tantillo
Statistical Shape Modelling as a Tool for Medical Reverse Engineering

Manipulating patient data acquired by Computer tomography (CT), e.g., anatomical shape and geometry, as well as studying the biomedical devices used in patient care, is certainly of remarkable importance. Here, Medical Re- verse Engineering (MRE) and Rapid Prototyping (RP) play a key role in the 3D models reconstruction of patient anatomy, that can be exploit to make patient- specific, custom-made devices. The inherent variability of the human anatomy can be a problem, which is why the concept of custom-made devices is men- tioned. In this field, MRE exploits the computational tools provided by Statistical Shape Modelling (SSM) and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to achieve computer modelling of 3D data from real models. The PCA is a statistical tool for reducing the number of variables in a population, while the SSM enables the development of an infinite digital population of a given anatomy. This paper aims to show the potential of SSM in the field of the MRE. The study will focus on the pathological lumbar spine. Here, SSM provides new pathological geometries of the lumbar spine, which can be extrapolated and used to produce customized biomedical devices for that given pathological deformation, as well as to perform Finite Element (FE) simulations. Therefore, utilising SSM can bring an addi- tional edge to MRE, due to the infinite population of CAD models of patient anatomy, which can be useful in the medical industry, as already pointed out.

Vincenza Sciortino, Tommaso Ingrassia, Donatella Cerniglia, Salvatore Pasta
Towards Kinematic Assessment of Trendelenburg Gait After Total Hip Arthroplasty Using Mocap Systems

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) is a surgical procedure advised to treat end-stage osteoarthritis. There are several surgical approaches involving different biomechanical effects, potentially affecting the outcome. A possible consequence of THA is the Trendelenburg gait, which consists of a pelvis drop and trunk lean during walking due to a unilateral weakness of the hip abductors. Gait analysis can be useful in assessing the disorder. The purpose of the present research is twofold: i) to assess the Trendelenburg disease in patients undergoing THA through gait analysis; ii) to investigate the relationship between the disorder and surgical approaches. Patients’ gaits were recorded 7 days after THA surgery, using two Microsoft Kinect V2 sensors and virtual skeletons were reconstructed by iPi Soft software. A customized tool was developed to automatically identify walking phases and recognize characteristics compatible with the Trendelenburg gait. In addition to pelvic drop and trunk lean in the frontal plane, kinematic measurements are proposed for a more complete assessment of the Trendelenburg gait. These variables are found to be effective in highlighting the differences between surgical approaches.

Anna Ghidotti, Andrea Cattaneo, Andrea Vitali, Daniele Regazzoni, Caterina Rizzi, Gennaro Fiorentino
Study of Stress Distribution in Press-Fit Transfemoral Implants: Standard Versus Patient-Specific Design

Osseointegrated implant is a promising solution for limb amputations, but its widespread use is limited by risks such as bone resorption, infections, and strict patient requirements. Typically, the bone and prosthesis are coupled using a press-fit condition, providing short-term stability, or primary stability (PS), which leads to bone in-growth and long-term stability, or secondary stability (SS). However, the greater stiffness of the implant compared to the bone is a concern for SS. Currently, osseointegrated implants are commercially available only in fixed configurations, with a limited use of customization. This study aims to compare the contact effectiveness of three press-fitted intramedullary stems for femoral amputations, developed using three designs (straight, standard curvature, and patient-specific curvature). Moreover, a novel implant design methodology is reported, such is an easy way to develop a patient-specific design. The von Mises stress distribution at the bone-implant interface was analyzed. The study uses CAD models of a femur acquired through CT scans. A FEA was conducted to evaluate the elastic behavior of the bone when the implant is press-fitted with an interference of 0.1 mm. The outcomes show how the patient-specific implant result in a more physiological distribution of the load in the bone. This study could be used as a starting point for further studies on primary and secondary stabilities.

Tommaso Ingrassia, Giuseppe Marannano, Agostino Igor Mirulla, Vincenzo Nigrelli, Andrea Valenti
CNN-based Pose Estimation to Assist Medical Imaging

The correct execution of scanning protocols is crucial to ensure the quality of radiographic examinations. Recent advances in machine learning methods have opened up new possibilities for medical imaging. However, the potential of pose estimation models in this field is still largely unexplored. This study aims to address this gap by investigating the performance and an application of pose estimation in the context of X-ray image acquisition. To this goal, a pose estimation model was selected from a pool of state-of-the-art models. It was then trained on a dataset of 213 images of humans undergoing X-ray imaging. Despite the limited size of the dataset, the model achieved an AP of 0.902 and a near real-time inference speed of 7 FPS on CPU. The detection of landmarks through pose estimation enables the automatic assessment of pose adherence to prescribed imaging protocols. This automation can reduce human errors and alleviate the mental workload on radiologists. The results of this study highlight the potential of convolutional neural network-based pose estimation models to assist radiologists in performing X-ray imaging tasks effectively.

Andrea Cattaneo, Alessia Zanni, Daniele Regazzoni
Environmental Sustainability of a Televisit Process: Definition of Parameters and Preliminary Results

Healthcare sector has a significant impact on the environment. While telemedicine techniques could be a solution to increase its sustainability, the methods for a quantitative evaluation are poorly applied and often generate a partial assessment. Therefore, the main aim of the present research is the definition of a methodology for a preliminary quantification of the environmental impact generated by the process to perform a televisit. The methodology has been structured in 4 phases: process identification, impacts detection, data elaboration and results analysis. A real case study was performed including follow-up televisits for cardiopathic patients. After having defined the setting of the study, a list of tasks was prepared. For each task physical wastes, devices energy consumption, telecommunications and transportation were investigated. Equivalent CO2 (CO2 eq) was calculated involving sources from studies in literature and official websites. Although televisit reduces the impacts caused by patient travel, the use of telecommunications during supporting activities caused a significant amount of CO2 eq. Therefore, a complete assessment has to include the entire process of televisit. Despite the average input data, the methodology offers a base that could be improved with other impact indicators.

Anna Savoldelli, Daniele Landi, Caterina Rizzi

Human-Related and User-Centered Design

A Personalized Expert Guide for the Hybrid Museums of the Future

The increasing interest in technologies such as Metaverse, Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) opens up numerous possibilities that have the potential to shape our daily experiences in the future. We investigated how integrating today’s popular chatbots and multisensory AR technologies can create personalized museum visiting experiences. The paper outlines the concept of a digital assistant-based application for museum visits. The visitor, equipped with AR technology, can ask questions about the exhibits and receive precise and contextually relevant answers from the digital assistant who can virtually appear as an avatar with accompanying multimedia AR information. In the paper, we describe the implementation of a prototype of the application.

Elena Spadoni, Riccardo Giussani, Marina Carulli, Nicolò Dozio, Francesco Ferrise, Monica Bordegoni
An Active Noise Control System for Reducing Siren Noise Inside the Ambulance

Siren noise constitutes a nuisance and could be harmful for ambulance personnel and patients. Several studies proposed simulated Active Noise Control (ANC) solutions to attenuate siren noise inside an ambulance. In this paper an implementation of a feedforward ANC system based on the classic FxLMS algorithm is presented, running it on a real-time hardware platform to test the efficacy of such solution in a laboratory environment. Algorithms are developed in MATLAB Simulink environment, and run on Speedgoat target hardware. The results of these experiments are presented, and while discussing our findings, the experienced limitations are described, and further work is suggested.

Massimo G. Buttarazzi, Francesco Borchi, Alessandro Mambelli, Monica Carfagni, Lapo Governi, Luca Puggelli
Assistive Products for Accessible Tourism: Focus on Beach Wheelchairs

The idea presented in this contribution stems from the authors’ interest and previous experience in designing aids for individuals with disabilities in the field of Accessible Tourism - AT. Specifically, the focus has been directed towards devices utilized in the seaside sector, with an analysis conducted on beach wheelchairs. The study involved both a market analysis and an examination of the regulatory framework. Two main results were obtained. Firstly, the analysis of the regulatory framework revealed potential challenges in interpreting rules and regulations, particularly regarding design, safety, and testing requirements. Secondly, the market analysis demonstrated that all currently available devices necessitate users switching from their personal wheelchairs to beach wheelchairs. Considering these findings, a conceptual solution is proposed to adapt one’s personal wheelchair for movement on sandy terrains. This solution entails a kit comprising beach wheels mounted on a lightweight frame, potentially incorporating a self-propelled device to replace the manual wheelchair’s existing wheels. It is important to note that this solution is intended to supplement existing beach wheelchairs rather than replace them, thereby broadening the options available to individuals with mobility impairments.

Barbara Motyl, Ileana Bodini, Stefano Filippi, Alberto Girotto, Diego Paderno, Stefano Uberti, Valerio Villa, Gabriele Baronio
A Cataloging Matrix-based Approach to Unify the Classification of Digital Games

The paper proposes a novel unified classification of digital games, i.e., video games and serious games, due to the recent interest of academia and industry for their use to achieve several educational purposes. The paper reviews existing cataloging systems and proposes a five-definition based matrix cataloging including a set of key digital game metadata, unifying existing knowledge and highlighting commonalities between cataloging systems. It offers a higher-level categorization of digital games that retain distinctions where necessary, thus unifying both categories of digital games. Such taxonomy enables the creation of a correlation matrix that will provide a theoretical basis necessary to specify guidelines for the concept design phase of digital games.

Laura Cormio, Thomas Agostinelli, Silvia Ceccacci, José Y. Villafan, Maura Mengoni

Industrial Design and Ergonomics

Virtual Reality in Design Methods: Case Study of an Automotive Design Product

The design of a product consists of several stages to be carried out in sequence until the result is achieved, some of them are performed trough the help of CAD software. This design step is very rigorous with as little margin for error as possible, and it often goes to make a clean break from other stages that precede it. On the other hand, virtual reality technology is certainly an element of interest within various design areas. One of the most promising uses of this type of technology is in the visualization and review of products in the design process. But in this paper we will see a next step compared to this just described, that is, the application of virtual reality within the design making itself. By delving into the design timeline, we will then go on to explore how this technology can provide support not limited to visualization alone, but extended to modeling, what possibilities can be offered by the realization of three-dimensional surfaces, modeled already at the correct scale, and how these aspects can be efficiently integrated within a methodology, assessing variations in timing and quality of work. We will also try to intercept any downsides to try to get a clear understanding of what possibilities could be offered soon by this technology and whether indeed these types of processes can replace current methods, established for years.

Giulio Galiè, Marco Freddi, Edoardo Pignatelli, Giampiero Donnici, Leonardo Frizziero
Exploiting Immersive Virtual Reality for Investigating the Effects of Industrial Noise on Cognitive Performance and Perceived Workload

The Industry 5.0 paradigm emphasizes the importance of the operator’s well-being by seeing human-centricity as one of its cardinal principles. This enables a twofold benefit, improving the sustainability of the production process and enhancing performance.Improving performance and increasing operators’ safety is often related to cognitive load optimization. Confined spaces are working environments where elements of distraction, such as noise, can cause accidents with major, even fatal, consequences. Studies on the effects of noise on cognitive abilities present mixed results, and those concerning confined spaces are limited as they require an expensive experimental setup replicating the working scenario. Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) technology enables overcoming this gap by replicating the experimental conditions in a synthetic environment. We exploited IVR to study noise’s impact on cognitive performance in confined spaces. We compared the impact of a stationary continuous noise source with an intermittent non-periodic one by administering the Stroop Color and Word Test. We also assessed the perceived cognitive effort by administering the modified noise-induced task load index questionnaire. We also compared the effects on the operator’s physiological activity through Heart Rate Variability (HRV) analysis. Results show that by keeping the equivalent noise level lower than 85 dB, noise has no statistically significant effects on cognitive performance and Heart Rate.

Alessandro Evangelista, Vito M. Manghisi, Vito De Giglio, Francesco Martellotta, Claudia Giliberti, Raffaele Mariconte, Antonio Emmanuele Uva
Semi-immersive Virtual Environment to Evaluate Working Conditions in Logistic Tasks Using NIOSH Method

The logistics industry involves various processes in the warehouse work environment on a daily basis, such as handling, storage, and packing. Therefore, workers are often engaged in manual activities such as pushing, pulling and lifting loads. These types of movements are repetitive and, together with adverse physical factors of the environment, they affect employees’ health condition. The aim of this study is to test a proactive evaluation approach exploiting the potential of a professional virtual wall to simulate specific tasks performed in a warehouse to find the better solution in terms of working condition and productivity. The proposed framework includes the following steps: at first, it is required to design the virtual environment by means of 3D modelling tools; afterwards, simulation tests are performed by objectively assessing the physical working condition of the operator; finally, the valuable information are provided to improve the design of the workstation, based on the operator’s ergonomics. The framework is modular and can be scaled to complex industrial environments.

Daniel Lanzoni, Andrea Vitali, Daniele Regazzoni, Caterina Rizzi

Design for Sustainability and EcoDesign

Prospective Life Cycle Assessment Based on Patent Analysis to Support Eco-design

Eco-design has increasingly become a necessity to safeguard the eco-system. However, eco-assessment methodologies, e.g. the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), fail to rigorously and reliably support the evaluation of future products, as well as emerging technologies, ideas and concepts in eco-design. This study lays some theoretical foundations for the development of a step-divided systematic method to support Prospective LCA based on a structured patent analysis. In order to answer the prescribed requirements, for each of them, some specific strategies of patents analysis have been collected and systematically organized. The aim of the proposed method is to compare technologies with a different level of maturity, contrary to the traditional LCA which overestimates the existing ones only because are more optimized. The proposed method was applied to a real case study about the production of titanium powder to perform the prospective LCA of the patented future developments of the components of this process. The results showed that, patent analysis, systematized through the proposed method, can be used to forecast the environmental impact of a future product. The scale-up of the performances can be esteemed, by ensuring at the same time the comparability and the reliability and the results, as prescribed by reference standards.

Christian Spreafico, Daniele Landi, Davide Russo
Hydrofoil Technology: Current Applications and Future Developments for Sustainable Boating

Submerged lifting surfaces technology, born in the early 1900s, allows boats to lift the hull above the water and, in some cases, halves the resistance compared to dislocated and planning boats.This paper illustrates the state-of-the-art on hydrofoil technology, highlighting the fundamental aspects of the study of submerged wings and focusing on the problems that this technology presents, evaluating the solutions currently used to optimize its work.Key aspects of hydrofoil design are addressed, such as the choice of geometric configurations and two-dimensional profiles suitable for each type of mission. This results in addressing issues associated with cavitation and ventilation and emphasizing structural solutions that reduce these phenomena, thus improving hydrofoil efficiency.The study analyses and discusses the problems of wing systems used in existing applications, with the aim of developing a sustainable transport technology compatible with ecological propulsions such as hydrogen and electric.

Domenico Speranza, Stefano Papa, Claudio Pensa, Romolo Di Bernardo
Customization in Inventory Datasets: Effects on Life Cycle Assessment Results

The present paper aims to analyze the influence on Life Cycle Assessment results of the inventory datasets selected, considering their recentness and their customization operated by practitioners, also including the modeling of certain parameter temporal evolution (e.g., electricity grid mix). The source of uncertainty still needs to be treated in detail and quantitatively analyzed, especially regarding the practitioners’ choices. These can significantly affect the final results, so evaluating their impacts and effects is needed. This paper would like to contribute to this sector, by investigating energy-using products. The product selected as the case study is a professional coffee machine, an energy-using product category, produced by an Italian manufacturing company in the Marche region. A Life Cycle Assessment analysis for one reference product is realized, based on ISO 14040/44 standards, using different inventory datasets, all suitable to model the product but characterized by different levels of customization. The quantification of the result range allows producing supporting guidelines for inventory data selection and arbitrary customization, but also correct results interpretation and external communication of product life cycle environmental profile. The comparison of different modeling scenarios shows that the customization of the electricity datasets determines a reduction of impact in the Climate Change indicator of about 31%, while the inclusion of the elec-tricity evolution over time determines a reduction of about 41% compared with the reference LCA results.

Marta Rossi, Federica Cappelletti, Luca Manuguerra, Michele Germani
An Analytical Tool to Support Decision-Making in the Design Phase

The high consumption of energy and materials during their life cycle makes buildings among the most significant contributors to environmental impacts. Choosing sustainable materials and their reuse is crucial to positively decreasing their environmental impact. The design phase is essential throughout the lifecycle, where designers and customers are called to make informed decisions. Those are easier as more quantitative data are available. The present work presents the extension of a tool previously developed intended to introduce the topic of environmental sustainability in the design phase. It allows quantitatively assessing the goodness of reusing construction materials in terms of environmental avoided impact. The primary potentiality is represented by the possibility of executing sustainability assessment already in the early stages of building design when design choices significantly contribute to the global environmental impact of solutions. An application related to choosing and evaluating the use of second-life materials whose End of Life management is highly complex is shown. The case study is associated with the reuse of composite materials for indoor furniture. The results show how important it may be to re-employ materials because, from one side, it prevents the need for additional virgin resources and avoids the complex management of End of Life phase.

Federica Cappelletti, Luca Manuguerra, Michele Germani
The Application of Circular Economy Principles Through Re-design, Scraps De-manufacturing, and Value Chains Merge

Nowaday the industrial interest, as well as the academic one, on the development and implementation of circular approaches is growing. In parallel, the use of composite materials steeply increased in the last decades which are hardly disposable. The present work proposes an eco-design method that guides the reuse and remanufacturing of scraps. The core is the re-design of processes that introduce materials derived from scraps from other value chains. Two cases are investigated: the first concerns the production of panels for the wind sector. Using scraps from the wind blades’ trimming almost eliminates the emissions derived from the panel production. Also, the material of a component of an espresso coffee machine has been replaced by scraps from kitchen sinks; this process requires resources only for shredding. The case study allows to highlight also the importance of sharing information and networking among the actors of the supply chains and the relative distance of cooperating organizations.

Federica Cappelletti, Luca Manuguerra, Marta Rossi, Michele Germani

Engineering Education

Educational Test Bench for Full Field Vibration Measurements

Full-field methods can significantly improve measurement quality in experimental dynamic analysis, which is a critical issue in the industry. Optical methods based on digital image correlation (DIC) are widely used in this regard. This paper aims to present an experimental setup to perform full-field vibration measurements using off-the-shelf components costing tens or hundreds of euros rather than thousands. This allows for the construction of multiple measurement systems with a small investment, giving students hands-on experience. The system’s inherent low cost, ease of assembly, and ease of use ensure that the student can handle the system from the design stage to the setup stage, and finally to the testing stage. A simple Matlab app was developed to set up and control the test, analyze data and display the results. The system’s modularity allows it to further extend measurement capabilities over time, performing 2D measurements or more complex 3D measurements under single or multiple inputs. A prototype of the proposed system was assembled and tested on a planar specimen for 2D DIC measurements. The total cost of the equipment was less than 250 €. The setup was validated for geometrically complex torsional deformed shapes up to 660 Hz.

Paolo Neri, Alessandro Paoli, Armando Viviano Razionale, Sandro Barone
Holistic Scientific-Technical Communication: A Teaching Proposal

Technical-scientific communication is essential, particularly for engineers, because they work in interrelationships with others. Such communication is characterized by three fundamental aspects: graphical, written, and oral transmission. In addition, each communication includes a system of signs and rules, some defined by standards, others adopted in a specific context, allowing information transmission. Finally, essential requirements of any communication are completeness, immediacy, and non-ambiguity. In general, most information exchanges integrate these forms and requirements. Still, they must also consider many aspects that lead to thinking of technical communication as “holistic communication”. Considering the importance of technical-scientific communication in the professional career of engineers, the teaching programs in Engineering schools have begun to include specific activities and experiences to improve the students’ communications skills. Authors think it is necessary to consider these experiences holistically to allow the students to select the kinds of media concerning the information content and reflecting the audience’s needs. This approach could be similar to the design for X approach and may be considered a “communication for X” approach.

Edoardo Rovida, Roberto Viganò
VR Lab: An Engaging Way for Learning Engineering and Material Science

In recent years, virtual reality technology has grown more widely available. This creates new opportunities and methods in the field of education, particularly for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. This study describes the design and the development of an immersive virtual reality laboratory (VR Lab) that aims to introduce novel activities and practical experiments in the field of industrial engineering and material science that can be highly beneficial for students. The laboratory enables students to experience and learn the macro and micro behavior of various engineering materials. The VR Lab is designed as an open-space room that is digitally divided into multiple learning stations, each of which is dedicated to a specific aspect of the subject. A virtual mechanical tensile test machine may operate with various materials and display the results by combining finite element analysis simulations and stress-strain curve. In another station, students can be transported inside atomic and molecular structures of various materials and can investigate how dislocations and slipping planes influence the mechanical behavior of metals or how the alignment of molecular chains affects the strength of polymers. Immersive VR Lab showed great potential for education. The developed virtual learning stations can be used to complement learning activities and physical experiments that are generally too risky, too expensive, or simply too time-consuming to be carried out in a real classroom, particularly in the STEM area.

Beatrice Aruanno, Francesco Tamburrino, Paolo Neri, Sandro Barone
VR Technical Drawing Learning Activity for College Engineering Students: Design, Development and Evaluation

Virtual Reality (VR) research has shown promising benefits in several educational areas, particularly those necessitating interaction with spatial information - a key element in teaching engineering skills such as technical drawing. This paper presents a broad process for designing and developing VR-based instructional activities, ultimately producing a VR application that employs immersive visualization and interaction. An evaluation of the application’s effectiveness revealed that engineering students using the VR application performed comparably to those using conventional methods, such as analog drawing, on course exercises. The study also explored cognitive load, comparing the VR group with a control group and a glass box animation group. While the glass box group showed an advantage over the VR group in cognitive load, no significant difference in aggregate scores between the VR and control groups was found. This is notable, given the increased interaction required by the VR exercise. These results provide initial evidence that traditional learning activities can be effectively translated into an immersive VR context and strengthen the case for VR as a viable medium for remote learning. However, it also points to the need for further research which improves the VR exercise and identifies the factors contributing to the management of cognitive load.

Jordan Henstrom, Raffaele De Amicis, Christopher Sanchez, Onan Demirel
A Study on Educators’ Requirements for Integrating VR in Post-secondary Classes

The acceleration in affordable hardware has fueled a tremendous increase in the number of Virtual Reality (VR) applications in the learning domain. However, understanding the extent to which existing VR products satisfy instructors’ expectations in teaching university-level classes is crucial to streamlining future design endeavors. We conducted a study with 16 university-level instructors to understand their outlook toward VR technology and selected off-the-shelf applications. Through qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews and observations across multiple stages, we present trends in instructors’ requirements. Additionally, we collected information about the instructors’ expectations and preferences for teaching a VR-led course, along with a general assessment of the aptitude of the selected applications through their lens. The results identify the opportunities and challenges surrounding the adoption of VR technology in higher education and help define the needs for future software design as well as curriculum planning efforts.

Vaishnavi Rangarajan, Arash Shahbaz Badr, Christopher Sanchez, Raffaele De Amicis
Virtual Reality Workshop for Massive Laboratory Learning Experience of Engineering Students

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the potential to revolutionize engineering education by providing students with real-world simulation scenarios. This paper presents a user study to measure the effectiveness of VR applications in teaching technical representation and machine elements to first-year mechanical, energy, and aerospace engineering students. The VR application was designed to immerse the students in a virtual mechanical workshop where they could interact with a 3D model of a gearbox and access task instructions and technical drawings through an interactive whiteboard. A total of 448 students voluntarily participated in the one-hour lecture and were divided into groups of two to use the available 15 headsets. The study was assessed by analyzing the log files and their answers to a satisfaction and usability questionnaire. The results indicated that the VR application was an effective supplement to traditional instruction, as the students reported that it helped them better understand technical representation concepts and made the learning experience more enjoyable.

Federico Morosi, Gaetano Cascini

Experimental Methods in Product Development

Directly Cooled Silicon Carbide Power Module: Pin-Fins Roughness Effect on Pressure Drop

The use of silicon carbide (SiC) in power semiconductor modules has led to higher power density, increased maximum junction temperature, high voltage application, and more compact devices, which require efficient cooling systems. This study was to investigate the influence of the surface roughness on the pressure drop of ACEPACK $$^{TM}$$ TM DRIVE, a commercial SiC-based power module for traction inverter. This power module has a cylindrical pin-finned baseplate that is mounted on a dedicated cooling device (water jacket) in which coolant media flows. The analysis aimed to characterize the pressure drop between the inlet and exhaust sections of the water jacket, with the objective of optimising the coolant flow for an efficient module cooling, avoiding both excessive resistance and insufficient flow. Confocal laser scanning microscope was used to measure roughness on two different pin-fins with the same geometric characteristics but different surface roughness. Pressure drop measurements were taken at different coolant temperatures and flow rates using a hydraulic test bench. Results indicate that the pressure drop of the higher roughness configuration is 13-19 $$\%$$ % smaller than the first one, depending on the flow rate and coolant temperature. The suggested reason is that this decrease is caused by a reduction in pressure drops due to concentrated losses associated with fluid flow separation.

Luca Donetti, Alessandro Sitta, Michele Calabretta, Marco Torrisi, Stefano Mauro, Gaetano Sequenzia
Experimental Reliability Assessment of ACEPACK SMIT Power Module

This paper presents a method to study the reliability behavior of the ACEPACK $$^{TM}$$ TM SMIT, which is a top side-cooled power module employing high-voltage silicon MOSFETs in a half bridge topology.The experimental test involves power cycling: this is an accelerated stress test, which allows monitoring a temperature-sensitive electric parameter to study the thermal behavior of the package. The efficiency of heat exchange between the module and the cooling plate surfaces is strongly influenced by the thermal interface material (TIM) used between them. TIM is designed to fill gaps and voids between two surfaces, in order to to increase the effective contact area and improve thermal conductivity at the interface. In this work, the thermal performance of two different TIMs, a thermal grease and a phase change material, will be analyzed.The aim of the paper is to provide an experimental approach for characterizing the reliability behavior of power modules, considering the thermal behavior when different TIMs are considered.

Davide Maria Amoroso, Biagio Schifano, Michele Calabretta, Giuseppe Mauromicale, Gaetano Sequenzia
Design and Development of a Liquid Crystal Elastomers Infiltration Prototype

Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are deformable materials that can be programmed to respond to physical stimuli such as light, heat, and electricity. In order to achieve controllable macroscopic deformation in LCEs, it is important to design the orientation of the liquid crystal molecules. Capillary infiltration of LCEs between two coated laboratory glasses with microscopic grooves along one direction created by rubbing with a velvet-like cloth is a commonly used fabrication method. During infiltration, the desired orientation is influenced by the intermolecular shear force between the liquid crystal monomers and the material of the coated glasses, as well as the glasses surface rubbing direction. It is also important to ensure a constant thickness in the LCE. To address these issues, the authors propose a 3D printed prototype for LCE fabrication that can provide a repeatable procedure and uniform layer thickness. The paper describes the steps involved in the fabrication process, including rubbing, LCE infiltration, and photopolymerization. The results demonstrate that the implemented system can improve the reliability of LCE fabrication by ensuring consistent film thickness and alignment.

Andrea Profili, Francesco Di Iorio, Søren Aasmul, Lapo Governi

Geometrical Product Specification, Geometric and Functional Characterization of Products

A Tool for ISO GPS Diffusion and Knowledge Assessment in Industry and Academia

This paper proposes a tool to analyze the diffusion and knowledge of the ISO GPS language in both industry and academia. A survey has been designed based on the maturity model concept to achieve this goal. Six Key Performance Indicators (KPI) arguments have been defined: general concept, datum systems, geometric tolerances, dimensional tolerances, modifiers and indications, and tolerance stack-up. Per each of these, three assessments are proposed, and a rating is given based both on self-assessment and unbiased check questions. The result is a survey that takes between 10 to 15 min to be filled out. The assessment is based on both knowledge and usage. The defined survey, through testing, proved to be a simple and usable tool to test the actual diffusion and knowledge of the ISO GPS language thanks to its shortness and the different levels of analysis it allows.

Mattia Maltauro, Roberto Meneghello, Gianmaria Concheri
Geometric Functional Specification for a Lifting Airfoil

This paper presents a possible functional geometric specification for a lifting airfoil including the definition of functional tolerance limits (tolerance synthesis) and an associated inspection procedure. The proposed specification scheme is derived from the analogy between the mating of the airfoil with a fluid field and the consolidated example of the mating of a prismatic element in its site. The airfoil thickness is defined as a non-constant size with non-constant tolerances and the airfoil shape is prescribed with a non-constant profile of a line tolerance applied to the median airfoil line. The tolerance synthesis is based on XFLR5 software and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The inspection procedure uses the data acquired with a laser probe elaborated in Geomagic Wrap, GOM inspect and MATLAB. The overall process has been applied to a case study allowing to define limits and proposing a set of possible improvements regarding, particularly, the geometric specification of the leading and trailing edges of the airfoil.

Mattia Maltauro, Marco Carraro, Roberto Meneghello, Gianmaria Concheri

Integrated Methods for Product and Process Design, Simulation, Analysis and Optimization

Modelling and Simulation of Conformal Biomimetic Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering

In this work, a procedure for modelling and simulating conformal biomimetic scaffolds for bone tissue engineering is presented. Starting from a three-dimensional biomedical model of a real human mandible presenting a severe damage, a conformal shape was modelled and filled with an irregular beam network mimicking human trabecular bone. The material considered for the realization of the scaffold was hydroxyapatite derived from fish industry by-products, a material that is highly biocompatible to human bone. Several simulations were conducted on a beam-based wireframe model by varying the radius of the trabeculae, until reaching a stiffness of the scaffold equal to that of human bone. This represents a good design practice to avoid the stress shielding effect on growing bone tissue and functionality losses during bone regeneration. The resulting porosity and the average pore size, which are fundamental properties to ensure a proper vascularization of the growing tissue, were measured and compared to literature data, showing an acceptable agreement. The proposed beam-based approach for modelling and simulating conformal irregular scaffolds appeared as an interactive, fast, and versatile procedure that can be applied in the design stage of conformal biomimetic scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration.

Lorenzo Vaiani, Antonio Emmanuele Uva, Michele Fiorentino, Antonio Boccaccio
Leonardo da Vinci’s Pendular Mill: Towards a Physical Model for Museum’s Exhibits

Physical or virtual models of ancient machines often play a key role in museum’s exhibits, as well as in cinematographic works somehow focused in technological heritage. To obtain such models, complex design activities are required, characterized by strict co-operations among different stakeholders (i.e. designers, historians, artisans, museum staff, etc.). In recent publications, the systematic design methods originally conceived for industrial purposes, have been considered as valid supports also for the reconstruction of ancient machines. In this paper, a specific systematic design procedure is applied to support the fuzzy front-end of the process, concerning the reconstruction of a machine devised by Leonardo da Vinci. The machine is the Pendular Mill, which is characterized by important criticalities such as the enormous size, the complexity of the mechanism, and the missing information about key details. The result obtained in this paper points out a set of different possibilities for the design of physical models for a museum’s exhibit, highlighting the issues to be faced for each hypothesized direction. The obtained information constitutes the underpinning for the next planning and design activities of a brand new model of the machine.

Lorenzo Fiorineschi, Federico Rotini, Roberta Barsanti
CFD-Driven Shape Optimization of a Racing Motorcycle

In motorsport applications the adoption of a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation is a well-established practice. This analysis is very useful to understand and optimize the aerodynamics performance of the prototypes.By means of specific algorithms it’s possible to define one or more control parameters and so changing the geometry of the fairing to optimize an engineering value.These algorithms are largely used in other fields such as the hydrodynamics one but they are not largely used in motorsport, especially in motorcycles.The motorcycle considered in this study is a prototype participating in the Moto2 World Championship, the middle class of the MotoGP World Championship.Starting from tests, carried out in the wind tunnel, a baseline model was firstly created to get a correlation between experimental and numerical results and so used for a subsequent process of shape optimization. With the main objective of reducing the overall drag, a set of control points was defined on the existing geometry to deform the surface of the front fairing. These points have been used by the optimization algorithm to find the shape that reduces the overall drag.The optimized geometry made it possible to obtain the desired drag reduction.

Massimiliano Chillemi, Filippo Cucinotta, Domenico Passeri, Lorenzo Scappaticci, Felice Sfravara
Application of Physics-Based Modeling Techniques as a Tool to Help the Development of More Electrified Off-Highway Machinery

Environmental sustainability, greenhouse emissions, and air pollution reduction are among the major drivers for the electrification of the transport and mobility sector. In this regard, industry and academia have started developing electrified solutions for the off-highway industry, but it comes with high development costs. Modeling and simulation can greatly help system-level design but building the mathematical model of an entire machinery is not trivial. In this regard, using physics-based industrial-oriented modeling software like Simscape can simplify it, especially for small niche manufacturers, which usually have lower resources. In this paper, an electrified material handler is modeled using Simscape. The main movements of the machinery are compared with experimental data, and a good match is found for hydraulic pressure and flow. Even if the modeling of other subsystems is needed for more in-depth and accurate analysis, the paper already shows how modern industrial-oriented modeling software can be used to model complex subsystems and to get sensible results. Taking advantage of transient-state system design is indeed key to better assessing energy consumption and getting at a better overall system design, even for small and niche manufacturers.

Daniele Beltrami, Marco Ferrari, Paolo Giulio Iora, Stefano Uberti
A Methodology for Payload Design and Optimization of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

The development of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is driven by careful design choices in order to obtain the best trade-off between mission performance and cost. Currently, several companies provide off-the-shelf solutions for a wide variety of operational scenarios offering highly modular systems. This allows users to customize the AUV integrating custom payloads tailored for specific applications. The factory customization has a strong impact on time and resources due to significant precautions to be taken. In particular, some design constraints must be respected for the mechanical integration ensuring, at the same time, the overall neutral buoyancy of the module to preserve the final trim of the AUV. Therefore, without a careful approach during the design phase, the risk of impairing the integrity and operation of the AUV could be high. This paper describes a design methodology for the proper development of custom payloads aimed to be integrated in AUVs. The proposed methodology has been applied in the manufacturing of a custom payload that has been integrated in the AUV X-300 of Graal Tech s.r.l. The methodology results as a useful tool for AUVs customization by providing detailed guidelines for the development of specific payloads for a wide range of applications.

Luigi Scarfone, Antonio Lagudi, Umberto Severino, Andrea Caffaz, Fabio Bruno
Numerical Modelling of Cryomodule Transportation with Nonlinear Wire Rope Isolators

Cryomodules for high-energy physics experiments are complex assemblies based on superconductive cavities aimed at particle beam acceleration. The assemblies are composed of many fragile and weak components, which are assembled in clean room environments and under a vacuum. Thus, a high risk of damage during transportation occurs, leading to huge costs in repairing and re-assembly both from an economical and timing point of view. For this reason, specific fixtures are designed to guarantee the safe transportation of cryomodules, named transportation tooling. These devices act as a mechanical filter, mitigating the vibration coming from road asperities. The key components of the transportation tooling are the wire rope isolators, which are compact and reliable nonlinear springs that provide stiffness and damping to the structure. This paper focuses on the numerical simulation of a cryomodule during transportation by exploiting a finite element and multi-body mixed approach. Two different models for the wire rope isolators are compared: the conventional linear spring-damper model, based on data provided by the manufacturer, and a purposely developed nonlinear model (enhanced Bouc-Wen), based on experimental characterization of the springs.

Tommaso Aiazzi, Paolo Neri, Francesco Bucchi, Donato Passarelli
MBSE for Performance Analysis and Tracing in Preliminary Design Through SysML Diagrams

Nowadays, the high competitiveness in the global market pushes companies to pursue innovation with the aim of reaching profitable results. Even if the adoption of Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) as an innovative approach for robust design is rapidly spreading in companies, there is still a lack of collaboration between system engineers involved in the requirements management and architectures modelling, and designers of specific systems. For this reason, the present work aims to better connect the system description process with the solving process through the adoption of specific SysML diagrams during preliminary design steps. A direct connection between requirements and design parameters is proposed by means of a well-defined process that fits into the wider V-Model for system development. The whole process enables (i) the rapid development of new models focusing on the connection between requirements and parameters, (ii) tracking of the designing process as well as (iii) the evaluation of performance requirements. This approach is applied to a case study of the Thermal Management System for a hybrid-electric aircraft, focusing on enabling the connection between system description and system development.

Castrese Di Marino, Agnese Pasquariello, Flavio Di Fede, Stanislao Patalano
Toward a Framework for Virtual Testing of Complex Machine Tools

Virtual prototyping is a strategic practice in the research and development of innovative products and machine tools. Virtual prototyping allows the integration of multidomain simulations into the designing process to replicate and analyze the impact of design choices on the overall system performance, reducing time-to-market while simultaneously improving quality. The current paper provided a methodological approach to model complex machine tools and perform virtual testing. As a use case for this study, a parallel kinematic machine (Pentapod P800, METROM Mechatronische Maschinen GmbH, Germany) is investigated. The adoption of these complex machine tools within the industrial context and the design of parallel kinematic machines can be eased by the implementation of methodologies capable of reducing efforts and risks during the analysis and the testing phases, prior to actual commissioning. In this scenario, virtual testing guarantees generality, completeness, and quick response. Therefore, the multibody model of the Pentapod P800 was developed following the proposed framework. Then, the simulation of a test trajectory was successfully carried out. The results show that this approach might lead to the design and implementation of a parallel kinematics machine reducing risks, time, and costs.

Andrea Rega, Alessandro Genua, Ferdinando Vitolo, Stanislao Patalano, Giuseppe Sanseverino, Lars Penter, Frank Arnold, Steffen Ihlenfeldt, Antonio Lanzotti
A Structured Methodology for New Product Development Combining QFD and MCDM: Case Study on Router Bits

An integrated approach to product development methods is necessary to connect and rationalize in a single framework the different design phases. Moreover, it allows to map and facilitate the decision-making process, especially when many stakeholders are involved. This paper presents a methodology for the design and development of a new product or component that integrates Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) methods, from the definition of the user requirements to the generation and simulation of the concept models. The evaluation of the results is carried out at different stages of the process with a customer-driven approach. Initially QFD, combined with the Analytic Hierarchic Process (AHP), is applied to define the product requirements from the customer needs. Thereby, the focus of the subsequent development is identified. The concept generation phase is therefore implemented throughout a series of brainstorming sessions. A first selection among the generated solutions is conducted using a summarizing function, according to the level of requirement satisfaction. Several refinements of the chosen concepts are then derived from manufacturability considerations and Finite Element Analyses. Finally, according to the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) a ranking of the developed products is obtained following the performance specifications. The presented methodology was applied to the development of a new router bit with insert knives, allowing to report the decision-making reasoning and to consider the user needs throughout the product design.

Giulia Polensig, Domenico Marzullo, Iacopo Bodini, Elio Padoano, Massimo Tolazzi
Computer-based Design and Manufacturing for the Reproduction of Classic Car Spare Parts

The supply of automotive spare parts, especially for historic vehicles, is not guaranteed by car manufacturers. Usually, car restorers look for original components at flea markets and fairs, but often they have to produce replicas from broken parts or, worse, without information about the original parts. A possible support in mechanical craftsmanship comes from digital tools commonly used in industry today. With the goal of replicating a component that no longer exists, this paper provides a workflow that integrates traditional manufacturing technologies with computer-based tools. The core is the digital model, which is used to prototype and test the replica for functionality as well as simulate its manufacturing process.An engine valve cover of a historic racing car was chosen as a case study, for which information sources were practically unobtainable. Firstly, a 3D model and a 3D printed prototype were developed. Sand casting was chosen based on the original process and computer simulations allowed to reconstruct the casting equipment and define the best part design. A faithful and functional replica is then manufactured and assembled with the original engine, respecting the original part in terms of form, materials and production. The proposed design approach can be further adopted in different contexts requiring on-demand, one-off or small-batch production.

Paolo Bertoncelli, Francesco Gherardini, Enrico Dalpadulo, Amaury Lorient, Alberto Vergnano, Francesco Leali

Knowledge and Product Data Management

Interoperability Between AR and CAD Systems for Industrial Applications

Augmented Reality (AR) has been widespread over the years in different areas, especially in the manufacturing field, to facilitate the digitization of production processes, and increase productivity and product quality. While AR has grown in popularity, significant barriers exist to its adoption in industry, including high development costs and ineffective interoperability, which limit high flexibility and rapid adaptability required for competitive production systems. Therefore, handling interoperability properly is a key issue in this scenario, especially between AR technology and existing IT systems, widely adopted throughout the product lifecycle. Many of those challenges are related to the compatibility of data representation across these different systems, resulting in data loss or sharing of unusable information. Based on these considerations, this paper first analyzes the main issues related to the interoperability between AR and CAD systems, including data exchange, AR content authoring, and virtual data specifications. To bridge the gap between AR and CAD interoperability, a CAD automation tool is then presented that can support unskilled operators in preparing AR content for industrial applications. Preliminary experimentation is carried out to evaluate the main potentialities due to its adoption, which provides the basis for further implementation and investigation in a real industrial setting.

Emanuele Marino, Loris Barbieri, Fabio Bruno, Marino Mangeruga, Maurizio Muzzupappa
VQR Scores Estimation Based on PCA Analysis

The “Research Quality Assessment” is a procedure promoted by ANVUR in the academic field, aimed at evaluating the paper quality in academics. Even if the main evaluation criteria are public, the final score of each paper is not directly obtained through an algorithm based on quantitative data, but can be affected by the peer review process and qualitative considerations. Thus, it is not possible to a priori know the outcome of each specific publication. In the present research activity, the VQR results of an Italian Department in the industrial engineering field were analyzed through a PCA approach. Additionally, a score estimation algorithm was developed, based on numerical evaluation parameters, which can quantitatively describe the paper’s quality. Even if the actual final score is not deterministic because of the peer review process, a strong correlation between the predicted and the actual scores was found in the analyzed data. The estimation for the specific paper can be faulty, nevertheless, the developed algorithm demonstrated consistency in terms of overall Department performance, especially for the higher scores.

Paolo Neri
Data Handling of 3D Geometric Model with Augmented Information for Cultural Heritage

In a digital world where technological development allows the implementation of computer-based methods that can objectively support human activities, it is no more conceivable that activities such as the analysis, classification, and reconstruction of archaeological ceramics are made manually. This determines that expert operators are involved in time-consuming, tedious, poorly repeatable, and reproducible activities whose results depend on his/her experience. This problem concerns the need for robust and reliable automatic methods supporting the operator in these activities. To address these problems, in the last years, the University of L'Aquila research group published robust and reliable methods based on the codification of archaeologists’ knowledge in recognizing the most significant geometric and morphological features of sherds. With such tools now available, producing more objective knowledge referring to a huge amount of sherds, the need arises to develop computer-based systems capable of sharing this knowledge.For this purpose, in this paper, a dedicated database is proposed. Particular efforts were made to implement an intuitive and interactive web interface with commands that co-determine the essential interaction of the archaeologist with the fragments in the traditional method.

Luca Di Angelo, Paolo Di Stefano, Emanuele Guardiani, Antonio Mancuso, Giuseppe Marannano

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

Development of an Assembly Procedure to Reduce the Uncertainty Propagation by Geometric Tolerance Stackup Analysis of a Complex Ion Source for Nuclear Physics Applications

At Legnaro National Laboratories of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Design for Assembly principles were applied to ease and improve the assembly procedure of the Forced Electron Beam Induced Arc Discharge ion source for the SPES Isotope Separation On-Line facility. Such device is a key component for the whole system, as its correct functioning is fundamental to provide the radioactive ion beam to the experimental users; furthermore, its reliability and performance stability are directly affected by the construction and placement accuracy of the parts that compose the assembly.A deep critical analysis of the current assembly procedure was performed to identify the main issues that affect the mounting accuracy of the ion source components. Consequently, a new assembly procedure was developed to fix the identified issues without applying relevant modification to the ion source parts; specifically, a custom assembly tool was designed not only for an easier coupling of the components, but also to improve the accuracy of the functional surfaces positioning to increase the device performance stability during operation. To achieve this, a custom assembly tool was designed to reduce the number of the elements of the tolerance stackup and, therefore, the uncertainty propagation. The proposed assembly procedure results significatively less time consuming than the current one, moreover it improves the accuracy of the FEBIAD ion source components position once assembled, as confirmed by Coordinate Measuring Machine measures.

Alberto Girotto, F. Leccia, L. Sibilia, Ileana Bodini, Diego Paderno, M. Ballan, P. Rebesan, Stefano Uberti, Gabriele Baronio, M. Manzolaro, Valerio Villa
Design Tools and Methods in Industrial Engineering III
Monica Carfagni
Rocco Furferi
Paolo Di Stefano
Lapo Governi
Francesco Gherardini
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