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Marmomacc 2015 (2): Driving marble to the limit

Digital Lithic Design: „Acus“. This is a kind of armour sprinkled with pointed, slanted elements. Processing this item was made possible thanks to diamond disc cuts on a five‐axis milling machine following precise 3D machining paths. The particular delicacy of the tips is preserved by the precision of the device that cuts and polishes the surfaces simultaneously to avoid the need for subsequent finishing operations. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Gmm.

From time to time, material used by mankind for eons, finds new implementation thanks to advanced technology. After centuries of subjecting stone to hammer and chisel, the material is now facing a whole new world of uses thanks to computer controlled (CNC) machinery, diamond saws and water-jet cutting tools. The main players are Italian product designers and architects bold enough to demand the impossible of stone.

One of the driving forces in this respect is industrial designer Raffaello Galiotto of Italy’s Chiampo Valley, a natural stone ElDorarado on the southern rim of the Alps. In Marmomacc’s Hall 1, within the frame of the so-called „Stone Theatre“, he presents his most recent objects, realized with the help of leading Italian producers of value-added stone products. The title of the project is „Digital Lithic Design”.

In alphabetical order these are: Antolini, Breton, Decormarmi, Denver, Donatoni, Gmm, Helios, Intermac, Lithos Design, Odone Angelo-Gruppo Tosco Marmi, Omag, Pellegrini-Margraf, T&D Robotics.

Galliotto’s works can be categorized in two main groups: some are large, almost monumental, often incorporating the designer’s thought that marble is far too valuable to allow for waste around the raw block. The other group comprises tiny filigree pieces which demonstrate most effectively the possibilities which natural stone gains by combining design and technology.

Marmomacc, September 30 – October 03, 2015

Raffaello Galiotto Industrial Design

Photos/Renderings: Raffaello Galiotto

Digital Lithic Design: „Bicephalus“. The pretext of animal morphology becomes a chance to investigate and play with the numerical rules behind natural forms, interpreted and translated here with numerical control milling passes with a spherical tool. The automatic „graphics“ of the machine, which is usually eliminated by manual polishing, now becomes the characteristic aspect of the work. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Intermac.Digital Lithic Design: „Bicephalus“. The pretext of animal morphology becomes a chance to investigate and play with the numerical rules behind natural forms, interpreted and translated here with numerical control milling passes with a spherical tool. The automatic „graphics“ of the machine, which is usually eliminated by manual polishing, now becomes the characteristic aspect of the work. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Intermac. Foto: Peter BeckerDigital Lithic Design: „Cactus“. Marble polishing following the three‐dimensional milling‐cutting operations is usually performed by hand. This work experiments the possibility of polishing the surface directly on the machine by using dedicated tools and processing paths without any manual input. The complex and sinuous shape is closely related to the shape of the processing disc. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Omag.Digital Lithic Design: „Glomus“. The challenge faced by this project is the three‐dimensional milling of a complex surface with a continuous tool pass also managed from an aesthetic point of view. As in a ball of wool, comprising a single, continuous thread, in this work the tool rests on the rough surface and takes a long, winding uninterrupted path to process the surface through to finishing without ever losing contact. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by HeliosDigital Lithic Design: „Leucon“. The singular character of this double spaced permeable wall lies in the difficulties of implementing the „undercut“ area, i.e. the portions not normally accessible to processing tools. After developing the contoured double‐sided surface, undercutting operations were performed using a special tool with a broader head which entered every single opening in a diagonal direction with a rotating movement that made it possible to process apparently inaccessible gaps. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Odone Angelo – Gruppo Tosco Marmi.Digital Lithic Design: „Lisca“. The conventional diamond cutting disc is re‐interpreted with curved cutting paths distributed over an undulating surface. The disc makes two cuts over each path with opposite slants to produce V‐shaped grooves that intersect with the rear surface to create a grooved network allowing light to pass through it with a strong three‐dimensional character. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Lithos Design.Digital Lithic Design: „Litocorno“. In addition to its formal virtuosity, the work is a compelling challenge in terms of saving material and energy. Thanks to careful design and use of 5‐axis Waterjet cutting technology, it was possible‐starting from a workpiece of only 60 cm in height-to develop a grooved, sinuous, twisted and hollow cone impressively 6 m high comprising 100 superimposed monolithic rings. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Antolini.Digital Lithic Design: „Micete“. This project can only be achieved with the specific technology used: a diamond wire mounted like a bow on an articulated robotic arm. The device's extraordinary rotation and tilting features made it possible to achieve the undulating, deformed‐spiral cutting of the item. The surface finish is achieved directly during the cut without requiring subsequent manual finishing. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by T&D Robotics.Digital Lithic Design: „Pavo“. The huge stone fan inspired by the bird feathers was created by managing the repetition of elements using 3D software. The special features of the work lies in the achievement of surface texture directly derived from the tool's machining path controlled individually for each single item to become an integral and distinguishing aspect of the project. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Donatoni.Digital Lithic Design: „Pinea“. This work project experimented with the possibility of managing cutting with a slack diamond wire. Slackening the wire introduces a series of path variables that cannot be foreseen by software, the combination of digital paths and physical results push the cutting technique towards a new dimension where it is also possible to achieve concave and convex surfaces while minimising waste. The petals obtained by repeated cuts were then arranged using phyllotaxis criteria, i.e. with fixed rotation in relation to the axis of rotation. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Pellegrini - Margraf.Digital Lithic Design: „Quadrilobo“. The complex volume in this work is exclusively generated by means of diamond wire cutting repeated four times on a monolithic block. The design and cutting paths were developed using 3D software allowing control and optimisation of paths by anticipating the results and avoiding the testing waste. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Decormarmi. Foto: Peter BeckerDigital Lithic Design: „Trama“. The long, perforated double‐trumpet element was exclusively developed by means of diamond wire cutting on a ten‐axis device. The binary path of the cutting wire automatically generated the curved, cross‐slotted surface and the perforation arising from internal cuts. The interior was created by inserting the wire into a previously drilled hole. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Breton.Digital Lithic Design: „Vortex“. The wrap‐around, triangular cross‐section coils were developed on the block by cuts using a diamond disc mounted on a five‐axis milling machine. Each V‐shaped path was obtained by means of dual disc pass at opposite angles over the same path and the smooth and uniform cutting surface did not require any type of subsequent honing. Rhythmic variation of the angles of the spirals and their arrangement on the top part achieves a slight asymmetry with a particularly dynamic impact. Design: Raffaello Galiotto, produced by Denver.Raffaello Galiotto.

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(06.09.2015, USA: 09.06.2015)