Virtual prototyping is saving hotel owners some serious cash

by | 07 May 2021 | Products

Bespoke service table visualised in a 3D prototype simulating its make

Some parts of the hospitality industry still disagree, but using virtual prototyping when making bespoke furniture for hotels does save costs associated to multiple physical iterations that take place during the design stage. Delays here can prevent the opening of hotels on time.

Today, hospitality has a reinvigorated focus on guest experience. Interior designers push boundaries to create hotel environments that elevate this experience through unexpected design, patterns, combination of materials and most often unique pieces of furniture, lighting or décor.

For bespoke furniture, especially, totally new designs come with the complication whereby no one can guarantee its functionality until a tangible sample is built. Fabricating custom items for hotel use comes with a special responsibility not only to be aesthetically pleasing, but to be safe and durable for use by thousands of guests throughout its life: chairs, sofas and beds need to be steady and comfortable; tables must be stable and balanced; and moving parts of joinery need to function as intended.

Prototyping can create problems when those involved in the FF&E process struggle to identify the detailing of a custom piece. Manufacturers will need to produce multiple iterations of an item until the design is feasible and functional. This quickly turns into an expensive exercise with no guarantees that the intended design comes through at the end. What’s more is that a single prototype takes weeks to be made, causing delays to project completion and, eventually, hotel opening.

A great solution is taking the prototyping process into the virtual space. Designer and manufacturer can work together to implement necessary changes to the furniture piece without investing in the fabrication of a sample to weed out any issues. Wood Couture completes this for our client’s furniture designs using our bespoke in-house technology.

Wood Couture creates models of furniture designs in 3D with all parts, materials and finishes identified and analysed with as much or possibly even more detail than if it were made physically. Every element, like the amount of wood, fabric or any other material, can be quantified, even as little as the number and size of nails or screws required!

Simulations such as stress tests and operational situations – children climbing on consoles or heavy banquet centerpieces – can be created for stakeholders to gain confidence that the item is safe and durable. The 3D models are connected to shop drawings, which specify instructions for our factory to follow in the fabrication process. These instructions are automatically updated when adjustments are made to the model. With all this information, costs can reasonably be estimated and checked against budget requirements.

Virtual prototyping is now key in manufacturing custom hospitality furniture. It ensures that when the final physical prototype is built, it is as envisioned by the designer, and issues around stability, safe use and constructability have already been eliminated. On top of it all, it saves owners cost and time in completing hotel projects – it’s a win for all parties involved.

Watch Wood Couture co-founder Paolo Della Casa speak about prototyping in this video.

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Wood Couture is a 21st-century supplier with a mission of manufacturing and delivering quality at the right price. The brand was born in 2017 from the restructuring of a two-generation family business carrying 27 years’ experience in custom-made furniture for the hospitality and high-end residential sector from Italy and Miami to the Middle East.

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