B&B was set up in 1966 near Milan, becoming soon one of the global leaders in design furnishings. From the very beginning, the company stood out for its industrial vocation, in contrast with the general trend based on craftsmanship.
Side by side with internationally renowned designers, our engineering team worked on practical solutions according to different needs.
The collaboration between Studio Volpi and B&B began long ago, carrying through many different projects.
For each of the following projects we had to face specific issues related to the products manufacturing and engineering, while preserving their functionalities and the original design.
Designed by Antonio Citterio, Beverly chair can fit multiple contexts and settings, thanks to its sober and refined style. Our engineers studied different technologies for moulding the aluminium part of the chair, making sure it complied with its design and lightness. It was necessary to find a moulding technology which allowed the legs to cool without buckling, preserving their shape and structural sturdiness. Our team tested different aluminium alloys to find the most suitable one for the product, using the sand casting method to realize the frame.
We also worked on a solution for Beverly’s arms: they had problem that, by closing the chair, its arms remained downwards, blocking the mechanism for the closure of the legs.
Our engineering team put an elastic band inside of the arms, which was tense when the chair was open and contracted when closed, pushing the arms’ leather bands upwards.
The designer explicitly required no screws or fasteners on sight, so we tightened the coupling joints in hidden areas.
Two other different products that required mechanical interventions, are Andy sofa and Athos table, both designed by Paolo Piva, architect and designer.
For Andy, the main issue was about the mechanism for its back inclination: by holding on it, people overloaded the ratchet, which broke.
Our team took care of its redesign, so that it could carry heavier weights. The mechanism was tested in B&B’s laboratory, for its performance appraisal.
Athos’ initial problem was the table leaf system, instead: the mechanism was too complicated and the user wasn’t able to immediately understand how to use it.
Our engineering team developed a new one, which was more user-friendly, comprehensible and easy-to-use.
We collaborated with B&B also on the configurations of Tufty bed and Fat sofa full range of products, designed by Patricia Urquiola. In Tufty, the leather or fabric has been divided into large squares, joint by pleats.
Because it is closed at the bottom, this bed may have different springs to choose from. We started from the 3D scans of B&B models, polystyrene 1:1 replicas of designer’s sketches, then sandpapered, scanned and processed with CAD, which was also used for modelling moulds and mock-ups.
Speaking of the Fat Sofa project, we applied the same structure to all the products of its range, such as chaise longue, armchair, sofa and pouf.
Each one of them is floor-standing without a metal base, recreating a sort of island, that can be upholstered in leather or fabric.
Our team realised the frames, and the moulds for the polyurethane pouring.