Front of Dargan Centre at SETU Carlow

The Design+ Technology Gateway, based at SETU Carlow campus, is a multi-disciplinary team with expertise in design, engineering, ICT and bioscience. The centre champions the application of the design thinking process within the Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway Network, with a focus on the engineering, ICT and bioscience sectors.

What is Design+ Technology Gateway?

The Design+ Technology Gateway was established in 2016 to support innovation for industry utilising a design approach. The technology offerings to industry include:

  • Design: design strategy, visual communication and product design capabilities
  • Prototyping: 3D printing, machining and modelling
  • Engineering: smart energy systems, embedded circuits & systems technologies and surface and coating engineering

Design+ provides businesses with opportunities to increase productivity and create value in products and services in both traditional and emerging sectors. Through R&D, companies are supported in creating intuitive products and sustainable solutions providing differentiation and strengthening competitiveness, new product and service development and business solutions that lead to long-term commercial viability and growth, and maximises return on investment. The Design+ team will enable your company to define and develop new products and concepts in a highly creative manner, drawing on a broad spectrum of technical, business and marketing expertise available within the Gateway at SETU Carlow campus.

Design+ is also a member of two unique Technology Gateway Clusters: Engineering, Materials and Design (EMD Ireland) and Food and Beverage Technologies (Irish Food Tech). Each cluster provides a range of expertise for companies looking to access research and development. Connecting with over 300 industry researchers throughout the network.

What Facilities are available at Design+?

Facilities at Design+ are housed in the state-of-the-art, purpose-built research building, the Dargan Centre.

The Dargan Centre is a 2,500 sq. metre, three storey facility which provides a focused, vibrant, supportive and nurturing environment for enabling and expanding RDI activities. The centre is comprised of the Research & Commercialisation Support Centre, Postgraduate Studies, meeting rooms, specialist science and design laboratories, project rooms and incubation facilities, along with designated areas for each of the Institute’s Centres of Research and Enterprise (CORE) research groups.

There are 6 Centres of Research and Enterprise (COREs): designCORE, engCORE, healthCORE, enviroCORE, socialCORE, and gameCORE with designated CORE Directors. There are currently over 100 postgraduate researchers pursuing advanced research programmes across these COREs.

What technology is available in Design+?

Design Strategy

The design strategy offering facilitates SMEs in scoping and framing the existing capacity and resources of their company. This is done through visual mapping of key activities, user needs and experiences with a focus on seeking new opportunities.

Visual Communication

Visual communication solutions through packaging, Info-graphics, user interface, user experience and visual identity.

Product Design

The product design offering explores and communicates an idea creating a number of product concepts. This is delivered through sketching, 3D CAD modelling and photorealistic rendering. Concepts can be tested through prototyping and 3D printing.


Design+ can support a wide range of prototyping projects. Prototyping enables proof of concept and user testing throughout the design process.

3D Printing

MJP 5600: MultiJet. Large format multi-material. 5 different materials that can be digitally mixed resulting in thousands of combinations. Build size is 518mm x 381mm x 300mm
SLA: Stereolithography. Plastic-like material. Build size is 250mm x 250mm x 125mm Laser cutting: Laser Pro Spirit GLS. For use with Acrylic, Anodized metal, tile, wood, cardboard and leather. Work area is 960mm x 610mm.


5 Axis CNC: HURCO VM30i. CNC vertical milling machine. X, Y, Z Axis 1, 270 x 508 x 508mm. 20 CAT 40 tools.
Metal Fabrication: the cutting, bending and joining of metals for building test rigs etc. Laser cutting: Laser Pro Spirit GLS. For use with Acrylic, Anodized metal, tile, wood, cardboard and leather. Work area is 960mm x 610mm.


Foam modelling: Using hand and machine crafted polystyrene to explore form, scale and ergonomics.

Vacuum casting: This is a casting process for elastomer using a vacuum to draw the liquid material into the mould.

Vacuum Forming: The process involves heating a plastic sheet until soft and then draping it over a mould. A vacuum is applied sucking the sheet into the mould.

Smart Energy Systems

Through integrating smart technologies and techniques into new and existing energy systems we are bringing increased efficiencies in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing, Biomedical and Process engineering.

Embedded Circuits & Systems Technologies

By adopting new transformative technologies and processes we are developing new and novel disruptive solutions that drive advances in the areas of IoT, Smart Factories and Healthcare.

Surface and Coating Engineering

Incorporating the next generation of surface coating advances to drive new innovations in the Water & Waste Water, Biomedical and Aerospace sectors.

What types of companies does Design+ work with?

Design+ can offer support on projects of all sizes to all types of company such as start-ups, HPSUs, SMEs, large indigenous and multinationals.

How can Design+ help your company?

DESIGN+ believes that approaching a product or service with the user in mind is key to successful product development. During the development process, Design+ uses end-user insights to make informed decisions that drive strategic and tactical progress. The greater the meaning of the final experience, the greater the authenticity and level of user engagement – regardless of the product, service or system being designed.

How to work with the team

How to work with the team

To find out more about DESIGN+, check out their page and follow them on Twitter for all the latest news and events!

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