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Jorge Cartes Sanhueza

MA work

Moldable: Human centred manufacturing for mass curtomization

Moldable is a flexible forming manufacturing system for mass customisation. It is a mould with the ability to modify its surface shape according to the variation of human measurement as inputs for a specific product.

It is a human-centred manufacturing system which has as a key value: the capability to vary the shape of the product directly on the production line. These variations are based on data coming from individual users measurements, allowing the mass production of bespoke products, like a helmet, without losing the speed, low-cost focus and efficiency of any other mass production technique.

In order to apply the proposed system, the case study chosen to illustrate the impact of this technology is the development of a helmet liner. The aim of this experimental design project (EXP) is to improve the fitting of products closely related to the human body. However, the impact of this technology is intended to go further, and the final goal is to provide the level of viability implemented by the system in other functional products intimately related with human bodies. 

As a manufacturing system, Moldable intends to improve the  efficiency at the moment to provide customised products, keeping all the attributes of a mass manufacturing technique, in order to be competitive with the emerging additive manufacturing technologies. I personally believe that we can not put all our efforts in only one technology, and for this reason, this project pays attention to the moulding systems.

Equally important for the system is the goal to provide comfortability, best fitting, good performance and a better user experience for the end user. Always keeping the focus on human factors as key elements to be modified during the production, without affecting the costs, which are generally assumed by the customer.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Innovation Design Engineering, 2016

  • I am a Chilean Industrial Designer. My work is focused on the research and development of products under the umbrella of human-centred design, human factors and mass customisation. I am interested in the exploration of emerging technologies and their impact on developing products that pay attention to basic needs. I want to achieve this by experimenting with traditional and digital fabrication techniques centred on the user.

    Since 2010 I have worked as a research collaborator in the Department of Art and Design Technology at the University of Bío-Bío, with Dr Juan Carlos Briede Westermeyer, in the field of user-centred design (UCD) applied to emergency situations (after the 8.8 earthquake in Chile 2010), social innovation design, collaborative design and collaborative ideation. In addition, I have worked in other research projects, with Dr Rodrigo Garcia Alvarado in the field of parametric design, as an assistant, developing furniture experiment through these methods using digital fabrication techniques. In parallel I have worked  as a consultant for different companies and individual clients, developing products and solutions, always working in collaborations with users, clients and in multidisciplinary teams.

    I wish to contribute to the industrial development by generating new technologies to be transferred in SMEs and ventures. 

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Industrial Design, Universidad del Bio Bio, Chile. 2009
  • Experience

  • Design consultant, Cubica Ltda, Concepción, Chile, 2011–12; Autral Plastics Chile S.A., Puerto Varas, Chile, 2009; Research collaborator, Universidad del Bio Bio, Concepción, Chile, 2010–14; Undergraduate teacher, Universidad del Bio Bio, Concepción, Chile, 2010–14
  • Publications

  • Briede J., A. Bustamante, J. Cartes, M. Perez (2010) “The need of living beyond space: objectual implementation design for emergency housing”. [AS] South Architectures, No. 37, pp.70-83. ; Briede J., Cartes J., Bustamante A., Pérez M.,(2011) “Shaping the individual designer: participatory design in emergency context”. Programme & Abstract book 18th international conference on engineering design,15-18 August 2011