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Beyond Surfaces #7 - Aerospace

From brush to pen: Professor Sampath on the (r)evolution of thermal spraying. High up: Airbus launches the future of Big Data in aviation. Let’s flex our muscles: Optimal strength training with 3D printing.

Beyond Surfaces #7 - Aerospace

The aerospace industry is one of the most fascinating industries. Not just because it has been man’s dream to fly for many centuries. It is also due to the harshness of the conditions faced by aircraft components. These present special challenges to engineers and have inspired us to dedicate this issue of our magazine BEYOND SURFACES to aerospace.

Once again we had the opportunity to portray renowned researchers and scientists within Oerlikon, from academia and from other companies. We met Prof. Sanjay Sampath from New York’s Stony Brook University and discussed latest developments in the field of thermal spray technology. Our customer Airbus gave us an interview on how the future of urban air mobility might look like and how they use Big Data. And our R&D expert Mirjam Arndt from Oerlikon Balzers explains why close partnerships are crucial today in making further technological developments possible.

Flip through the magazine

How designer Sven Götti redefines rimless glasses

Eyeglasses consist of two temples, a bridge, the rims and a few more small parts. You might think that provides limited options. Far from it: This drives designer Sven Götti to new heights of creativity. And with his “Götti Perspective” collection, he has gone one step further by redefining rimless eyewear. The new concept also employs BALINIT C from Oerlikon Balzers.

Even after 25 years as a designer, optician Sven Götti is still fascinated by eyewear: “Yes, it’s true – we’re still dealing with the same product. But it’s even more exciting now, and the combination of fashion accessory and precision mechanics embodied by glasses is totally unique and challenges me every day.”

Perhaps that is the essence of the fascination Götti eyeglasses engender. They are not merely about an attractive design, top fashion or a certain “look”. Sven Götti’s team consists of 30-odd opticians, industrial designers and design engineers. And at headquarters in the town of Wädenswil on Lake Zurich, there is a separate development department.

Small and clever

Small and clever

Why does an eyewear brand need design engineers and its own development department? “We started this about three years ago when we wanted to design a pair of glasses that didn’t require any soldering, screws or glue,” explains Götti. The result is the “Perspective” collection – minimalist, rimless, aesthetic. Not a single screw is anywhere to be found.

On a tour through the small production facility, the designer’s passion – and that of his staff – is palpable: “We make the individual parts out of Sandvik stainless steel, which makes the glasses ultralight and flexible. The decisive connecting piece for the eyeglass lenses is manufactured with 3D printing. All of the parts are fabricated here in Wädenswil as well as in three foundations in Switzerland where people with disabilities carry out repetitive production tasks for us. The tools that local opticians require to connect the components with the lenses are also the result of our own development work.”

It all comes down to the coating

The rimless “Perspective” models are available in eight colors. For black, Götti brought a partner on board who is also known for Swiss precision, because only the BALINIT C coating from Oerlikon Balzers, normally used for hightech tooling, was able to satisfy the designer’s demanding requirements. “I was looking for a partner that stands for ‘made in Switzerland’, as we do as well,” he explains. But it wasn’t just the color that convinced him: The coating also makes the eyeglass components scratch- and abrasion-resistant as well as impervious to environmental influences.

Using AM makes us enormously flexible, so we can not only offer
a widely diversified model range in our ‹Dimension› collection,
but can also produce ‹on demand›

Sven Götti, CEO and founder, Götti Switzerland

Printed glasses

And what about 3D printing – did we hear that correctly? Yes, in Götti’s production department there is also a printer that uses white polyamide powder and a finely tuned color mixture that prints not only tiny connecting parts, but also entire glasses. Götti has employed his own CAD designers for this purpose. “This makes us enormously flexible, so we can not only offer a widely diversified model range in our ‘Dimension’ collection, but can also produce ‘on demand’. Peak periods are buffered by an external partner.”

And what’s coming next? The designer smiles: “My vision is the question: How far can we take this? Innovation is the lifeblood with which we seek new solutions – and create an endless array of shapes from the same parts.”

Eyeglasses consist of two temples, a bridge, the rims and a few more small parts. After a visit to the Götti Switzerland facility with Sven Götti, however, it is clear that there is more. Much more.

Or, perhaps, less.


BALINIT C is a WC/C based coating, meaning it is a mixture of metal (WC stands for tungsten carbide in German) and diamond-like carbon (C). The coating reduces surface fatigue and tribo-oxidation. BALINIT C is typically employed for gear wheels and ball bearings subject to high surface pressure and heavily loaded precision components in internal combustion engines. Further applications include punching and forming tools, but also the pharmaceutical and food-processing industries.

Color design and functionality

Highly decorative and wear resistant at the same time – the coatings in the Oerlikon Balzers “Design Line” deliver high-quality, colorful surface coatings that provide even more creative flexibility in product design. The coatings are extremely thin, which enables the existing structures to be replicated with precision. Matte or gloss effects are applied prior to coating by blasting, brushing or polishing. Application areas include the plumbing sector, automotive interiors, parts for clocks and watches, writing implements, eyewear or electronics components.


Petra Ammann

Petra Ammann

Head of Communications Oerlikon Balzers

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