The Institut fuer Holztechnologie Dresden is a research and testing institute of long-standing expertise in timber, materials, furniture and structural elements. With decades of experience in the fields of furniture design and testing it deals with the application of new material composites and technologies. Within the scope of research projects and services, it pursues basic research regarding living environments. The knowledge gained jointly with practice partners materialises in the development of new products.

Ronny Lang


Ronny Lang

Head of Departement · Design · FEM

+49 351 4662 365

+49 162 4140 488

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User-optimised products

The application of various methods helps to determine those demands that users have because of their capabilities of the newly developed product.

  • The core topic is the development of products for independent use by people with disabilities
  • Development of user-friendly products
  • Research and development of methods to acquire knowledge of users and their conscious or unconscious activities in order to achieve a goal
  • Conducting and assessing surveys
  • Concept design and performance of interactive experiments with test persons
  • Deriving structural, functional and design requirements concerning the product

Development and fabrication

The Furniture Development and Technology unit comprises methods and technical solutions for the process-oriented and product-oriented development of furniture.

  • Development of technologies for manufacturing furniture and furniture components
  • Development and testing of fittings
  • Light-weight design by light-weight constructions
  • Virtualisation in product development
  • 3D printing – development of printable furniture components in batch size 1
  • Upscaling of printing processes for large-size structures

Furniture Testing and Evaluation

Each design detail up to the complete piece of furniture moves within the field of tension between the economically feasible, users’ expectations and minimal regulatory requirements. We adapt methods of evaluating innovative products and elaborate approaches that allow to judge products against newly raised issues.

  • Development-related testing, from design details to prototyping
  • Development of methods for material and product assessment
  • evaluation of aspects of safety and fitness for use meeting the minimum regulatory level and customer’s requirements
  • Strength, long-term performance and durability testing

Upholstery and Mattresses

Upholstery is the direct interface between the furniture and its user. It requires special care and technical design regarding its microclimate and comfort.

  • Investigation of mechanical durability and of microclimatic properties of entire seating upholstery and bedding
  • Technical simulation of use (also under special climatic ambient conditions)
  • Development of methods to determine heating-up and cooling-down processes
  • Investigation of sensing initial heat
  • Determination and evaluation of contact pressure on seating upholstery and bedding

Modelling and Simulation

Based on CAD models, most varied load situations on components of wood, wood-based materials, plastics or metal are simulated using state-of-the-art FEM software (NX NASTRAN, ABAQUS).

  • Deformation and tension due to external loads
  • Heat distribution and resulting tension/deformation in structures made of a mix of materials
  • Assembly and retention forces of fittings
  • Studies on the impact of several parameters, material pairing and tolerances on target characteristics
  • Development of material models for swelling/shrinking processes due to moisture
  • Research and development in the field of non-linear material models and calculation methods

Services Furniture

Within the scope of research projects, we offer development-related services in the fields of requirement research, concept and design as well as technology development and testing.

User-oriented Product Development

  • User analysis and requirement research
  • Concept design, conducting and evaluation of interactive experiments
  • Target-group-oriented product design
  • Determination and implementation of design requirements

Furniture Development and Technology

  • Development of technologies
  • Development of modular product architectures
  • Parameter determination of components and assemblies
  • Support in design and dimensioning
  • By means of CAD and FEM
  • FEM simulation of various load situations

Furniture Testing and Evaluation

  • Development-related testing
  • Strength, long-term performance and durability testing
  • (microclimatic) Upholstery testing
  • Simulation of use

Technical equipment

Reproducible measuring and test results are a prerequisite for reliable assessment.

  • Programmable logic controller (PLC) for strength and long-term performance testing (FESTO, SIEMENS, IHD)
  • Test robots (incl. simulations of use, universal robots)
  • Test stand for mattress ageing (Zacher Components)
  • Test stand for foam ageing (IHD)
  • Pressure-measuring mat (ABW)
  • Material-testing devices (Hegewald & Peschke)
  • Microclimate-testing facilities (IHD)
  • Extreme-climate simulation chamber
  • Universal furniture test stands (Hegewald & Peschke)