Young eco-designer gives second birth to furniture with 3DEXPERIENCE

By Zoe

Welcome back! :-) This is our third installment in the Leapfrog Project series.  Today, we’ll take a look at a project called “Reborn” and its main lead designer, Hong.

The Reborn Project is a collection of living-room furniture created with up-cycled materials, and produced by Beautiful Company. The Reborn Project has been led by Hoang Thu Hong, one of the Sustainable Product Innovation (SPIN) project designers (you could see her being interviewed as part of the video in the previous post).

The Company

Beautiful Company is a small Vietnamese wood company making products for domestic market. To differentiate themselves, they wanted to make sustainable products out of up-cycled products. The challenge is as big as, culturally in Vietnam using brand new products is better seen than recycling, as it is a sign of wealth and prosperity.

The Reborn Collection

Hoang Thu Hong, Designer of the Reborn Collection

The Reborn collection aims on balancing aesthetic and function, creating beautiful furniture out of upcycled and recycled material.

Firstly, the concept is based on customers’ need to create functional and time-saving products. As Hong explained:

They want products to organize their place in a smart way, with a good atmosphere, relax and easy-clean. Besides, they tend to choose objects with multiple functions.

Secondly, the designs are based on up-cycling principle which is to reuse object or material in a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. Hong used secondhand discarded furniture and collected pallet wood from import/export industry to recreate innovative and modular designs.

Sustainable Design Methodology

Based on Design for Sustainability (D4S) methodology of the SPIN project, Hong, and Beautiful Company worked with 3 sustainable design dimensions:

  • Recycled material
  • Local material
  • Longer Lifetime of the products

Local material

“There are variety local materials which could create better quality products using good skilled Vietnamese craftsman.” Hong said. Furthermore, using local materials reduces the environmental impact of transportation and preserving the local eco-system.

As an example, using pine wood from pallet wood in Vietnam instead of wood imported from South America (which is often the case in Vietnamese furniture production), we estimated a reduction of the environmental footprint from 6 to 12%, depending on the indicator.

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results on localizing material

Recycled material

On the first hand, Hong used pallet wood from the import/export industry in which she chose the most adapted to re-design.

Different types of Palette wood

On the other hand, Hong went hunting for old furniture to recover some useful parts of them, such as these bed heads.

Bed heads before up-cycling

Hong used SOLIDWORKS apps to design the new products based on the second-hand product design, on which she design the new parts, such as making a sofa with storage units.

Redesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKSRedesign of the Bed head in SOLIDWORKS

We estimated that using 100% recycled material, like pallet wood reduce the environmental footprint from 48 to 76%, depending on the indicator!

SOLIDWORKS Sustainability results after choosing recycled material

Longer Lifetime of the products

Finally, by creating products that up-cycled instead of thrown away, their lifetime is extended. With a longer lifetime, we consume fewer products and reduce the environmental impacts.

The reborn sofa during manufacturing phaseThe reborn sofa during manufacturing phase

 

Results

Finally Hong and the Beautiful Company created a collection that has an average of 40 to 90% of carbon footprint cut-off, depending on the products. “Now the collection is displayed in Hang Xanh (Green Street) showroom where awareness and education is provided about how to up-cycle old products to give a longer life-time”, Hong said.

The Reborn SofaReborn sofas in Green Street

Inspired by the Reborn Project, Hong continues to create innovative designs out of pallet wood, hoping to produce them soon.

Palette Wood Collection SOLIDWORKS ModelPalet Wood Modular Chair & Bed SOLIDWORKS Models

If you are interested by other use cases, educational materials, and news about the Leapfrog Project, stay tuned and follow the frog

Leapfrog Project series

Zoe BEZPALKOZoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

Introducing the Leapfrog Project: Building Next-Generation Eco-Imagineers in Emerging Countries

By Zoe

In a previous post, we introduced the concept of Leapfrogging for Sustainability as the ability of emerging countries to skip less-efficient and more-polluting practices to directly jump to the most advanced green technologies. With these concepts in mind, we came up with an innovative initiative in Vietnam named the Leapfrog Project.

Leapfrog Project

Why Vietnam?

Today many emerging countries are among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, and Vietnam has recently being ranked the 13th country as “extreme risk” in a recent study, with dramatic effects on the people and the environment.

Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2013

Furthermore, Vietnam has a big industry of textile and garments (40% of its GDP) which supplies and exports to western countries: from bamboo lamps to soft toys , and as companies and customers are more demanding for better products and cleaner supply chains, it is becoming necessary for Vietnam to lead sustainable innovation.

Sewing Room in Softtoy factory in HCMC

Finally, with a GDP growth at an average of over 7% annually during the past 10 years, and a highly educated and motivated population, Vietnam is part of the “innovation learner” countries ranked by the Global Innovation Index (GII), among the most efficient global innovators, demonstrating rising level of innovation results.

The Leapfrog Project

In 2010, we connected with one of these innovative projects funded by SWITCH-ASIA European program, called SPIN which stands for Sustainable Product INnovation. Their objective is to increase the social and environmental quality of the products made in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia by deploying eco-design methodologies and clean technologies in local businesses. Watch the video below to learn more about SPIN and examples of sustainable products they are working on:

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In 2012, we asked ourselves the question whether the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes could accelerate the leap, for this upcoming generation of designers and engineers, to sustainable innovation practices.  And that is how we build together a partnership with SPIN stakeholders called the Leapfrog Project.

A Jump ahead in Sustainable Innovation

At the beginning of the project, we provided Dassault Systèmes’ solutions to the SPIN designers and engineers, in order to help them taking the right decisions at the right time, and improving their design processes: selecting the right material, simulate while maintaining the mechanical properties and protecting the environment. We supported them with local partners and trainings, as well as specific materials that were adequate to their needs and methodologies, to bring their ideas to life.

YouTube Preview Image
By connecting the SPIN team, to experts, designers, and sustainability passionate worldwide, we created a community in which we can all share ideas and 3D models to collaborate and foster sustainable innovation.

Local support of the Leapfrog Project - SPIN training

Finally, with local companies’ capacities, and the SPIN designers supported by the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we designed and re-designed more than 40 different products, manufactured in Vietnam, and reduced their environmental impacts from 10 to 80% off their initial carbon footprint!

The Cabinet - Leapfrog Design from 3D to real

In the upcoming weeks, we will post more information, use cases and educational materials about the Leapfrog Project and sustainable innovation, so follow the frog

IF WE leap to collaborative eco-design, we can live in a cleaner world… Take the leap with us! :-)

Zoe BEZPALKO

Zoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

Making a Dream Come True for A Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor

By Suzanne

Adrianne Haslet-Davis Dances at TED

Photo credit James Duncan Davidson/TED via Flickr

Creating an unforgettable moment crystallizing how technology can change a person’s life, Adrianne Haslet-Davis last week fulfilled her dream of dancing again less than a year after losing part of her leg in the Boston Marathon Bombing. Haslet-Davis’ moment  took place at TED 2014 and was made possible through hard work and the support of Hugh Herr, MIT’s BioMechatronics Lab Director, who outfitted her with a revolutionary prosthetic limb that allowed her re-learn basic dance moves that once came naturally to her.

Photo of Adrianne Haslet-Davis and Hugh Herr at TED

Photo credit James Duncan Davidson/TED via Flickr

Herr, shown above with Haslet-Davis at TED, is known for his revolutionary work in the emerging field of biomechatronics – creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. Herr was a guest earlier this year at Dassault Systemes’ SOLIDWORKS World event where he told attendees how he designed his own legs after suffering an accident as a child.  Using SOLIDWORKS,  he created the world’s first bionic foot and calf system called the BiOM.

Professor Hugh Herr at SolidWorks World 2014

The BiOM Being Designed in SOLIDWORKS

BiOM prosthetic legs mimic the movement of natural limbs by adapting to a person’s walking speed and the terrain of the land to help the prosthetic propel the person naturally. By simply using a battery source and springs for energy, the prosthetic legs augment a person’s ability to run and walk.  They normalize a person’s pace while enhancing stability and controlling for fatigue.

Professor Hugh Herr at SolidWorks World 2014

The SolidWorks World Audience is Surprised
to Learn that Herr Wears Prosthetics

Herr and his group worked with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium to create the BiOM prosthetic legs. He uses it in his group at MIT as well – as he feels that the minimal learning curve allows for quick, easy use by new incoming students.

The human body is often referred to as “the world’s most advanced machine,” and by improving medical device design and patient experience with our 3D design and simulation technologies, the potential to understand how that machine works is finally here.  As seen at TED, these advancements are enabling people to achieve what they once only dreamed.

Below is a video of Herr speaking to the audience about his work and about how technology has positively changed his life:

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