Trentino technology sets sail for the most prestigious international regattas together with Ruggero Tita, who now has on his boat, a Nacra 17 catamaran, some of its components designed and printed by ProM Facility. The collaboration between the champion of Cognola and the mechatronics prototyping and 3D printing laboratory of Polo Meccatronica, is a clear example of the effectiveness of the "Trentino System", in which research centers, universities, companies and technological hubs work in synergy in the name of excellence and innovation.
The call for solution
The collaboration between Ruggero Tita and the Polo Meccatronica laboratory, the high-tech hub of Trentino Sviluppo, began at the end of 2019 with a specific need: to lighten the boat as much as possible, to present itself in the water in the best possible conditions to be able to get on the top step of the podium. The boat on which the Cognola champion, born as a sailor in Caldonazzo and raised on the waters of Lake Garda, races is one-design, therefore the same for everyone, and there are few free areas on which you can act to make it more competitive. Working well on those areas, although small, is therefore essential to make a difference and allow those hundredths of a second to be shaved off that can guarantee victory. Faced with Tita's request, the response of the Trentino technicians was not long in coming and focused on a very specific material and technology: titanium, one of the most resistant materials in the world and at the same time with a very low specific weight, and 3D printing, perfect for the design of one-off pieces or with a short run.
Thanks to ProM Facility Ruggero Tita was able to do a great job of optimizing some components. The greatest efforts have been made on the hoist which, due to its complex technical and structural characteristics, has been entirely redesigned and 3D printed in titanium with ceramic pulleys and bearings. Together with the weight reduction, the aerodynamics and the sliding of the rope inside have been improved, allowing the athlete to experience less effort during maneuvers. In addition to the hoist, the lab technicians also optimized a shackle-like ring, a fork and a plate. All using cutting-edge skills, materials and machinery, such as latest generation scanners and 3D printers.
«We got some fantastic products. Having had the great opportunity to work with ProM's engineers to create a product that was better than those on the market and that reflected the characteristics I needed to give my best, significantly improved the boat's performance ».
A win-win partnership
This collaboration was also very important for ProM Facility. First of all because it is perfectly in line with the laboratory's goal, which is to put its technology and skills at the service of highly innovative projects. It then fits into a new application area, that of sport-tech, in which the laboratory is working successfully, thanks to its ability to provide "reverse engineering" services, rapid prototyping, optimization and 3D printing of components, to improve the performance of the equipment used by athletes in the competition.
«We are proud that on the Nacra 17 of this great champion there is also our contribution, because at these levels of competition even the smallest detail can make the difference».
Paolo Gregori - Director of the ProM Facility Area of Trentino Sviluppo
Ruggero Tita and ProM Facility: the video story
Enter the world of nautical technology with the video story of the collaboration between Ruggero Tita and Prom Facility: