Swinburne University of Technology Factory of the Future
The future is now and Swinburne University is shaping this future at their new Factory of the Future.
This Factory owes its success to the creative use of contemporary and emerging technologies. The Factory is a showcase for education and research in the next generation of manufacturing processes. Its focus is a two storey timber dome like ball constructed in the centre of the Factory space, manufactured from a curved timber substructure, covered with an intelligent panelised curved timber skin.
These timber components were modelled, curved and cut using leading edge computer aided design and computer guided cutters, related to the processes showcased in the Factory, before being skilfully fitted into place by hand, then coated. The dome ball is skinned with one hundred and eighty curved timber ply panels, fitted seamlessly in nine diminishing annuluses. The timber skin mimics the construction technologies used for high-tech machines, like submarines and space shuttles.
The timber dome ball functions as a space divider, an accommodator for interactive collaborative learning and meetings, plus a signifier of the future. It is deliberately ambiguous and quixotic, to create intrigue about its use and purpose.
The upper internal level has been left raw and expressive of its construction, to reveal the true characteristics of its fabrication and structure, in a cosy space for meetings.
The outer timber shell is slick and machined while being warm and natural. This timber shell conceals the and structurally stabilises the engineered timber structure from curved timber LVL beams, cut by computer guided cutters, both allowing the upper level to have an impressive four metre cantilever for half its upper floor plan. The outside timber shell is also tinted in a pinkish tone and then sealed to resemble an egg, creating a tension of whether it is made by man, or by machine or by nature, resulting from the bringing together of man and machine, using a product of nature.
The tinting was applied in an innovative alternating ‘orange’ slice sectored approach, to ensure the colour application was even from panel to panel. The references to timber continue in the areas adjacent to the dome, with service feeds for the Factory being totems in clusters, like a special wooded treescape populating and servicing the Factory space. Timber is also used in the ceilings, internal walls and doors inside the timber dome ball. The Factory occupies seven hundred square metres in an eight metre high factory space, housed within the newly completed Swinburne AMDC building.
The Factory is designed to be versatile and agile, with all the equipment and fixtures easily adapted to changing priorities.
Suppliers provide manufacturing equipment able to be showcased, within a space that is easily reconfigured. Displays around the perimeter of the space, showcase the creations of the students and researchers, adjacent to inspirational iconic products of manufacturing for the future and the past, while engaging and enthusing industry, the community and students. The Factory is significant by: • being an open and versatile space, where advanced visualisation tools, computer design, rapid prototyping and fabricating equipment, linked across a series of studios. • aiming to promote interaction between academic staff and industry, as a portal to the outside world and a showcase of emerging capabilities. • fulfilling a vision to establish Swinburne as a world leader in innovation in manufacturing, through linking state of the art design tools with advanced manufacturing technologies. • bridging the gap between imagination and reality, allowing imaginative designers to work with leading engineers to develop new products and methods of manufacturing, using the latest visualisation and design tools in a factory space designed for the future. • facilitating the commercial exploitation of emerging research and technology through the provision of infrastructure, business and technical expertise and to develop technologies and demonstrators in partnership with industry and researchers. • allowing use by industry researchers, post-graduates, undergraduates, high school students, university alumni, professional societies, community based groups and the general community. • becoming an open access and research facility that seeks to improve the productivity, agility and competitiveness of manufacturing through access to a range of the latest emergent manufacturing technologies, advice and training to update skills and connection to the broader innovation system. • skilling users in the soft adoption of new and emerging technologies, de-risking their eventual implementation in the manufacturing community. • containing the ‘nose to tail’ aspects for the next generation of manufacturing, from design, to fabrication, to assembly, to operation, to dis-assembly, in an environment that is linked to related and like-minded professionals at RMIT, CSIRO and Monash University.
Project Name: Swinburne University of Technology Factory of the Future
Client / Principal: Swinburne University of Technology of Technology, Facilities and Services Group, Swinburne University of Technology of Technology, PO Box 218, Hawthorn 3122, +61 (0)3 9214 8760, Contact: Vince Persi, +61 (0)410 569 341, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team: Vince Persi, Mark Di Nardo, Ray Chan Architect / Interior Designer /
Subcontractors • Paint Supplier: Morgans Paints, 2 Levanswell Rd, Moorabbin, VIC 3189, 03) 9555 0555 • Painting from one coat of clear sealer from Cabot CFP floor water base, with pink colored tint glaze coat mixed from pink Wattyl stains, topped with two coats of Cabots clear Matt water base interior Cabothane. • Surveying: SOS Surveying, 5/83-87 Dover Street, Cremorne Victoria, 1300 887 319 • Electrical: Prime Electrical & Data, 10 Beatrice Avenue, Heidelberg West Victoria 3081, 9457 5122 • Security: Modes Facilities Management • Fire Detection & Sprinkler: Fire Service Specialists • Mechanical: Allstaff Airconditioning, 379 Lower Dandenong Rd, Dingley Victoria, 3172, 9551 3066 • Hydraulic & Drainage: JWC Plumbing, 9/345 Plummer St, Port Melbourne Victoria 3207, 9646 6776 • Audio Visual: B&H, 6 Industrial Avenue, Notting Hill Victoria 3168, 9594 9100 • Carpentry, Partitions, Ceilings: Direct Force, 678 South Road, Moorabbin Victoria 3189, 9078 1223 • Window Film & Graphics: Corporate Window Film Co, 9 Seismic Crt, Rowville Victoria 3178, 9764 2787 • Plastering: Exclusive Master Plastering • Painting: Magic Coatings • Floor Coverings: Macdonald Flooring • Metalwork: Bendtech The Factory of the Future features the following technologies: • Immersive 3-D Visualisation and Design Studio, allowing intuitive, real-time interaction with four front or back projected screens, with realistic 3D imagery that is responsive to the user's actions and design intentions, while displaying multiple objects or a full working environment. This facility will allow new products and processes to be taken from the concept to generation as a commercial product. This virtual prototyping is a more commonly used alternative to the physical creation of design outcomes, including by rapid prototyping production, also as a means of validating products and processes with reduced investment of time and cost. Virtual prototyping can be used to assist manufacturing for medical, automotive, building, and assistive technology. • Rapid Manufacturing Studio providing state of the art technology and advanced additive manufacturing capability to realise rapid conversion of ideas into physical products in a variety of metals and polymers directly from digital models. Facilities include portable polymer based 3D Printers to advanced laser based powder melting 3D Printers using super-alloys and metals. This facilitates research and teaching in a range of multi-disciplinary fields of design realisation, new materials development, rapid tooling, tissue engineering and biomedical devices, and aerospace and automotive components to fulfil industry needs and innovations. • Advanced Inspection and Machining Studio covering the two aspects of an advanced machining centre and part quality inspection. The major part of this studio is for machining wrought and cast dental, medical and aerospace components of titanium and other exotic materials.