Shapemode’s SIKKA Project wins Expo Dubai 2020 Design Competition by combining textiles and 3D printing


Shapemode, a leading 360° 3D printing solution provider based in Northern Italy, has won the Expo Dubai Design Competition with SIKKA, a unique project based on the innovative combination of textiles and 3D printing technology.

Created by a team of architects and designers from the Polytechnic and the NUMEN Institute, SIKKA breaks new ground in digital textile technology and will have the honor of representing Italian innovation during next year’s Expo event to be held in the UAE.

The SIKKA project was presented at the HOMI 2019 fair in Milan, as part of the Design Competition 2019. This “call for ideas” is dedicated to teams formed by a collaboration between designers and enterprises. It was promoted by the Lombardia Regional administration and the Chamber of Commerce, coordinated by Milan’s Polytechnic University.

After being selected by a highly qualified jury, the SIKKA project along with other winning entries will be exhibited at Expo Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021 and, even before that, at other national events focusing on design.

Shapemode CEO Salvatore Saldano, third from the left, with the team behind the SIKKA project at the award ceremony

“It has been a long and exciting journey. I would like to thank everyone that supported the SIKKA project,” commented Shapemode CTO Salvatore Saldano after receiving the award. “In particular I’d like to thank all those persons who have contributed to Shapemode’s growth throughout the past few years. Without them, we would not be here today.”

The Design Competition initiative, now in its seventh edition, focuses on the realization of innovative projects and relative prototypes, which are the result of very close collaborations between local firms and young designers, under 35 years of age. In 2019 the design competition was linked to Expo 2020; Shapemode won the competition as the best among the 20 projects selected to be exhibited in Dubai.

Shapemode worked with an international group of young designers and architects from the Polytechnic and the NUMEN Institute to create the first prototype of SIKKA. The unique idea behind this project is to digitally alter the natural shape of an elastic fabric by applying layers of plastics through an innovative 3D printing process. The elastic fabric was supplied by the technical sponsor of the project “Piave Maitex s.r.l.” from Feltre (BL).

The project was approved and financed by the Lombardia regional administration in April 2019. Using an out-of-collection fabric, the team composed of Timothy Liddell, Mahsa Bohlooli Zamani, Beatrice Cappuccilli and the Numen student Leonardo Di Martino gave the fabric new life using colors and 3D printing. The combination of elastic fabric and plastic had already been tested in small size elements but the SIKKA project took this experience to a large size object for the first time.

The large-format DeltaWASP 3mt industrial system, supplied by leading Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP, the other technical sponsor of this project, was instrumental in achieving the final results and enable the team to move beyond experimentation, into final production.

Davide Sher

Since 2002, I have built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, I spent 12 years in the United States, where I received my Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree. As a journalist covering the tech industry - especially the videogame industry - for over 10 years, I began covering the AM industry specifically in 2013, as blogger. In 2016 I co-founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial, and market analysis & consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, and leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. I am also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

Recent Posts

Siemens and Göteborg Energi testing renewable fuels with 3D printed burners

In a big effort to increase reliance on renewable energy sources in the Swedish city of Göteborg, Göteborg Energi and…

17 hours ago

Lancôme reimagines classic design with 3D printed, limited edition fragrance

The packaging industry has been a keen adopter of 3D printing technologies. Especially in the luxury market, additive manufacturing has…

19 hours ago

First 3D printed safety-relevant part approved in the railway sector

Mobility goes Additive (MGA), a network dedicated to exploring the adoption of AM in the mobility sector and pushing industrialization,…

20 hours ago

Yoav Stern is the new President and CEO of Nano Dimension

Nano Dimension appointed veteran turnaround executive, Yoav Stern as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2, 2020. He will be…

24 hours ago

Thyssenkrupp and Impact Labs open Metal Point to provide metal AM services

Metal Point is a new center inside the IMPACT LABS 3D Printing Center, completing the many capabilities of the polymer/plastic center by…

1 day ago

GE Healthcare and Formlabs to streamline anatomical model 3D printing

GE Healthcare and Formlabs have entered into a partnership to increase the accessibility of 3D printed, patient-specific anatomical models. In…

2 days ago