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Infrastructure ■ mdl

Mechanical Design Lab

Mechanical Design Lab is the RBCS department "interface" between researcher's ideas and realization (focused on mechanics).

Researchers, or technicians from other RBCS technical office units, interact with MDL people that analize from a mechanical point of view the task. MDL propose a solution that, once accepted is developed until a prototype or even a product stage is achieved.

The activity varies according to the project needing, and could be roughly divided in different activity areas as detailed below.

MDL unit collects about 100 activity requests per year: of course most of these are simple tasks, but there were also several requests that required complex mechanical design and development activity, often with interdisciplinary approach (typical collaboration is with Electronical Design Lab unit) that led to scientific publications and patents.


People involved:

Diego Torazza

alt Conceptual design and feasibility study
People involved:

Diego Torazza

First of all the designer tries to understand needing and constrains: sometimes requirements are clearly defined, but often researchers and scientist need help to translate their ideas in technical specifications. Probably this is the most important phase: only if the idea is well understood and framed in a feasible solution the project can go on respecting time schedule and reach expected goals.


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alt Detailed design
People involved:

Diego Torazza

When ideas, needing, constraints are translated in technical specification the detailed design can be developed with sketches; 3D CAD models; mechanical, thermal and kinematics calculations. In a innovative approach as the one we use in RBCS MDL unit, from a mechanical point of view the 3D CAD detailed model is the center of the information: detailed means it contains as much information as possible.

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alt Structural & thermal FEM analysis
People involved:

Diego Torazza

Depending on project complexity, time contraints, level of performance required, designer experience and traditional engineering methods could not be enough. When this happens detailed FEM analyses are performed using PTC Creo Simulate.

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alt 3D CAD modeling
People involved:

Diego Torazza

The build of a 3D CAD model starts as soon as possible in the time frame of the project, because it is useful even in conceptual phase. The use of PTC Creo Parametric CAD software, an advanced 2D-3D CAD/FEM parametric platform allow this approach because it helps to minimize time needed to implement even heavy impact modifications.


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alt Detailed technical drawings and docs

Once the 3D CAD model is ready for production all needed output data are prepared. If parts are produced by 3D rapid prototyping machines the conversion of 3D CAD geometry in the correct format is enough. When conventional processes (i.e. chip removal, sheetmetal, ...) are used MDL unit creates 2D detailed technical drawings, part lists, technical specifications for external suppliers, ...

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alt Production and suppliers follow-up

IIT has an internal advanced mechanical workshop, with several conventional machines (manual and CNC) and 3D rapid prototyping machines. The most of custom parts are manufactured inside; sometimes, due to technology or time constraits external suppliers are used. Mechanical assemblies need also many commercial parts. MDL unit follow up all the process of supplying and manufacturing of what is needed to build the designed devices.

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alt Devices assembly, test, debugging, and help in use

Last but not least: once custom and commercial parts are ready MDL unit perform all needed checks and assembly in order to delivery to researchers (or other RBCS units) the device ready to be used. When the use is not intuitive and/or particular care in use is needed, MDL people help final users to get the best from the device and of course does its best to debug and improve the proposed solution.

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Last Updated on Monday, 03 November 2014 17:01

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