"Fragment" a Side Chair – Connecting Design and Technology with Simulation

“Fragment” is a chair that was manufactured as a one piece aluminum sand casting. It was designed and developed by Dipl.-Des. David Geckeler in 2011-12 in the context of his diploma thesis at the University of Arts ("Universität der Künste") in Berlin. David realized the innovative idea of integrating casting technology into the part design of a chair he created.

Specific challenges were connected not only with the layout of the gating and feeding system but also with the engineering design. The chair had to be designed in such a way that the gating system would support the mechanical load that would be placed on the object when somebody was using it, while the methoding had to ensure a high casting quality because it was an integral part of the cast component. MAGMA supported the chair’s design optimization through casting process simulations with MAGMA  5 and through performance analysis. The simulation results helped to guarantee a high quality production of the chair, despite its unusual combination of both form and function. David Geckeler was able to test his design ideas virtually and to optimize the geometry of the aluminum chair. As the industry designer explored the creative scope, he made use of what Geckeler describes as the “synergy effect” between foundry engineering, mechanical engineering and design.

In addition to MAGMA, the project was supported by the foundry H. & PH. Behr in Berlin, who produced the casting. As a result of the integration of design, analysis and layout of the casting, the chair was cast right the first time. The idea and its realization led to good marks of the diploma thesis at the university, while the work and the real result were presented in design exhibitions and events in Berlin, Milan und New York.

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