Reminder: one week to submit to R&D Management Conference

Next year the R&D Management Conference will be hosted in Cambridge by the Centre for Technology Management at the University of Cambridge. R&D Management Conference 2016: From science to society will run from 2-6th July 2016.

The call for submissions is open until 1st February 2016.

Four types of submissions are invited: academic papers, academic papers from advanced-stage PhD students, industrial papers, and workshops/tutorials/seminars.

Of particular interest to this community are two conference sessions:

We hope that this community will contribute to these sessions and others.

3DP-RDM Scoping Workshop 2016 – Discussion Activity 1 Outputs

In the same vein as the first scoping 3DP-RDM workshop in 2015, the 2016 scoping workshop featured two distinct discussion activities. These activities were aimed at identifying research topics for investigation during the feasibility studies that will be conducted later in the year.

The process used was the same as in 2015. For the first discussion activity this process is described in this earlier blog post.

Outputs of the prioritisation process

The following table summarises the list of 30 research topics that groups identified and the number of votes that each received during the prioritisation. Some of the topics were very similar and loosely clustered prior to voting. This similarity explains why several topics at the bottom of the list received few votes in comparison to those higher up the list.

Group Topic Votes

2

Education: 3D design skill as a new form of “literacy”

11

6

What does the ecosystem and business model look like for different sectors/products?

10

5

New design tools for AM and RDM

9

2

Design: customer-driven, design principles and guidelines for non engineers

9

6

How does cost effectiveness differ in centralised vs RDM for AM? Urgency

9

2

Product liability: standards and regulations around quality and performance. Allocate responsibility

8

1

Quality metrics: what, how, when?

7

6

Integrated CAD system, geometry/material composition/quality control/integrity/rights management

7

2

Does 3DP enhance production operation responsiveness?

6

5

Collaboration and linking with different prducers, end-users and suppliers

6

1

DRM versus legal contracts for 3DP-RDM applications

5

1

MIS for 3DP-RDM

5

3

Regulations: impact of existing regulations and those made for conventional manufacturing

5

3

Design and development framework

5

3

How does 3DP-RDM make business opportunities?

5

1

Challenge of ‘prodsumption’: co-locating making and buying/consuming

5

4

Scenarios of 3DP factories/ factory networks of the future

5

3

Distribution and control of data: how do you disseminate product model information, control it, who is responsible and holds the IP?

4

5

Resilience and risk reduction compared to conventional manufacturing: how can we redistribute manufacturing to increase residuals?

4

1

New design systems and exchange protocols

3

4

How can we engage people (customers) to use 3DP technology?

3

3

Skills and infrastructure: in an RDM scenario, what skills will be required? What does the respective CAD and software look like?

3

2

Supporting production planning systems / build configuration and scheduling

2

6

How are customised products by AM (for healthcare) regulated/controlled?

2

5

Reproducibility and reliablity: control of AM quality and reducing risk of failure

2

4

Through-life of 3D printed items and their monetisation

2

4

What is the best 3DP policy: proactive or reactive?

1

4

Tracking/tracing of IP in 3DP including counterfeiting, revenues and liability

0

6

How is quality control organised in RDM for AM?

0

5

Skills, education, standards

0

Participants and groups
Name Organisation Group
Ahmad Beltagui University of Wolverhampton, Business School

4

Alexander Pasko Bournemouth University, National Centre for Computer Animation

1

Andrew Triantaphyllou MTC

3

Bo Chen Coventry University, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering Research Centre

5

Chander Velu University of Cambridge, Institute for Manufacturing

6

Chaozong Liu University College London, Institute of Orthopaedic & Musculoskeletal Science

6

Christopher Noyce ESRC

3

Deepak Kalaskar University College London, UCL Centre for Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine

3

Dominik Deradjat University of Cambridge, Centre for Technology Management

5

Hans Veldhuis University of Oxford

5

Jag Srai University of Cambridge, Centre for International Manufacturing

4

Josef Hazi University of Oxford, Oxford 3D Printing Society

4

Konstantinos Salonitis Cranfield University

2

Letizia Mortara University of Cambridge, Centre for Technology Management

4

Malte Ressin Brunel University

3

Martin Baumers University of Nottingham

2

Mélanie Despeisse University of Cambridge, Centre for Technology Management

2

Meurig Beynon University of Warwick, Department of Computer Science

3

Mudassar Ahmed University of Cambridge, Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory

2

Oleg Fryazinov Bournemouth University, National Centre for Computer Animation

4

Patrick Hennelly Sology Charters & University of Cambridge, Centre for International Manufacturing

5

Phill Dickens University of Nottingham

6

Serena Flammini University of Cambridge, Centre for Technology Management

6

Susan Reiblein HP Enterprise

1

Tim Minshall University of Cambridge, Centre for Technology Management

1

Valery Adzhiev Bournemouth University, National Centre for Computer Animation

6

Xiao Li University of Cambridge, Centre for Industrial Sustainability

1

Presentations from 3DP-RDM Dissemination workshop

On the 13th January 2016, presentations from the first four 3DP-RDM feasibility studies were made at the 3DP-RDM Dissemination workshop in Cambridge. PDFs of the slides used by each presenter are linked below.

Three of the four presentations were final summaries of the work conducted in 2015. The exception is the CAD Data Transfer Standards study, which continues to the end of March 2016. If you have questions regarding the work conducted in the feasibility studies please follow up with the lead researchers of each project.

[Image source]

The economics of 3D Printing report

The final project report from the feasibility study led by Dr Martin Baumers at the University of Nottingham is now online. “The economics of 3D Printing: A total cost perspective” describes results of the work undertaken between the University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford, and Digits2Widgets.

Executive summary

Martin Baumers, Matthias Holweg and Jonathan Rowley

AM processes are generally associated with two advantages over conventional manufacturing techniques. Firstly, they avoid many of the tooling-related constraints on the geometries that can be achieved through conventional manufacturing processes. Secondly, AM allows the efficient creation of products in very low volumes, down to a single unit, enabling the manufacture of customised or highly differentiated products.

The technological opportunities that AM presents are not in question. We do however still lack a fundamental understanding of the economics that underpin the application of this technology, which is a fundamental precursor to developing a business case for its application. In this report we present the findings of a project aiming to develop our understanding of the underlying economics
of AM.

It is frequently claimed that the generic advantages associated with AM will lead to flourishing supply chain innovation challenging the existing paradigm of centralised mass manufacturing. However, the successful and meaningful adoption of AM will depend on a favourable business case of which, at present, key aspects are not
fully measured and understood. This underlying research addresses the identified gap.

As a central element for making the business case towards AM adoption, existing costing approaches have largely focused on capital investments and consumables, with an emphasis on build materials. Analyses of such “well-structured costs” have observed that utilising the available machine capacity forms a prerequisite for efficient operations. This is also a core principle of traditional manufacturing, which is directed at achieving economies of scale and, as a result, has led to the formation of global supply chains in many industries.

This stands in contrast to AM, where the underlying reason for the different requirements towards full utilisation is that the technology is inherently parallel, allowing the contemporaneous deposition of multiple geometries. Moreover, existing analyses of AM resource consumption have largely ignored hidden or so-called “ill-structured” costs relating to build failure, part rejection and ancillary manual processes, such as support removal and surface finishing. This omission has come at the expense of industrial applicability, also leading to a lack of realistic decision tools for the support of AM technology adoption which are an essential prerequisite for successful diffusion.

Over the duration of this project, we set out to develop new methodologies and conducted a series of experiments to build up a body of data supporting a realistic and comprehensive costing model. Overall, 20 build experiments were carried out on state-of-the-art polymeric Laser Sintering (LS) and metallic Selective Laser Melting (SLM) platforms.

As polymeric LS constitutes one of the most commonly adopted technologies for the additive manufacture of end-use components and is capable of delivering useful material properties, the project has concentrated on LS in its experimental work. The key methodologies employed in the analysis of LS, together with reached results, are presented in this report.

We have identified three aspects that have proven to be of special significance for the formulation of the total cost perspective for AM:

  • it is known that the unit cost achievable with LS is dependent on the degree of build volume utilisation. This relationship underlies the approach taken in this project;
  • AM processes do not operate in isolation. They are embedded in a sequence of ancillary process steps that can, as the project has identified, be adequately captured through process mapping;
  • at the current state of technology, AM processes are prone to build failure events of various sorts, which all have a detrimental effect on cost and thus need to be incorporated in any costing model.

We further demonstrate that there is a relationship between the quantity of parts included within a build volume and the resulting unit cost. We show that sub-normal machine utilisation leads to higher unit cost, as one would expect. We also show that once the process operates at technical efficiency (optimal build space utilisation) there are no cost benefits from repeating the build process.

Based on the experimental results we develop a total cost model that accommodates both manual process inputs and interventions as well as the risk of build failure. The methodology developed within this project thus provides the basis upon which any economic case for AM, associated network effects, and potentially redistributed manufacturing can be built.

3DP-RDM Feasibility Studies – Call for Proposals 2016

Background
“Defining the research agenda for 3D printing-enabled re-distributed manufacturing” (3DP-RDM) is a 2-year network that contributes to the EPSRC’s Manufacturing the Future theme, and which is being funded through the EPSRC/ESRC’s recent “Re-distributed Manufacturing Call for Networks“. The project is led by Dr Tim Minshall (PI) at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, and by Prof. Phill Dickens (Co-I) at the University of Nottingham. Dr Simon Ford, also based at the Institute for Manufacturing, is the Network Coordinator.

The objective of 3DP-RDM is to convene a multi-disciplinary research and multi-industry user network that provides the required breadth and depth of research capabilities to define and disseminate the research agenda for 3D printing-enabled re-distributed manufacturing.

In 2015, the network kicked off with a scoping workshop at the Institute for Manufacturing in Cambridge on 30th January 2015. The results from that workshop can be found here and here. The first call for feasibility studies then led to four studies being funded in 2015:

  1. The enabling role of 3DP in redistributed manufacturing: A total cost model Dr Martin Baumers, University of Nottingham, and University of Oxford
  2. OPTIMOS PRIME: Organising Production Technology Into MOst Responsive States – 3D PRInt Machine Enabled Networks Prof. Duncan McFarlane, University of Cambridge, and Edinburgh University
  3. Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM Dr Eujin Pei, Brunel University
  4. Redistributing Material Supply Chains for 3D printing Prof. Matthias Holweg, University of Oxford

The presentation slides from the 3DP-RDM Dissemination workshop on 13th January 2016 and reports from this first wave of feasibility studies will soon be available on this blog.

Feasibility study competition – 2016
In the second year of the network, another 2-3 feasibility studies will be funded. These feasibility studies should explore:

  • The features of 3D printing (3DP) technologies that help enable re-distributed manufacturing (RDM)
  • How re-distributed manufacturing may accelerate the diffusion of 3DP technologies, and vice-versa
  • Sector specific and generic aspects of 3DP-enabled re-distributed manufacturing

The full results of the 3DP-RDM Scoping  workshop of 14th January 2016 will soon be online to support proposal development. During the workshop a number of priority areas for investigation were identified by participants. These provide a starting point for thinking about feasibility study proposals but potential applicants are not limited to these topics.

  1. What does the ecosystem and business model look like for different sectors/products
  2. Education: 3D design skill as a new form of “literacy”
  3. New design tools for AM and RDM
  4. Design: customer-driven, design principles and guidelines for non engineers
  5. Product liability: standards and regulations around quality and performance. Allocate responsibility
  6. Quality metrics: what, how, when?
  7. Production operation responsiveness
  8. Collaboration and linking with different prducers, end-users and suppliers
  9. Integrated CAD system, geometry/material composition/quality control/integrity/rights management
  10. How does cost effectiveness differ in centralised vs RDM for AM?

Budgets for feasibility studies should be £35k-65k at 100% full economic costing. The feasibility studies should be completed by 31st December 2016.

These budgets can include investigator/researcher time, travel and subsistence appropriate to delivery of the project, and small scale consumables. Equipment is eligible following EPSRC standard conditions: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/facilities/equipment/

As the grant holder, the University of Cambridge is responsible for allocating funding to successful proposals and will reimburse subcontracting organisations at 80% full economic costing.

Eligibility
Guidelines on eligibility can be found here. Eligible organisations include all UK Higher Education Institutions that receive grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies, along with research institutes for which the Research Councils have established a long-term involvement as a major funder. Other independent research organisations (IROs) may also be eligible and a list of such organisations is available here.

Submitting proposals
Proposals should be submitted using the structure of the template provided here. They should not exceed 1000 words and can contain a maximum of 5 figures. This proposal should be accompanied by a completed budget template provided here.

Proposals should be submitted to the 3DP-RDM Network Coordinator, Dr Simon Ford (sjf39@cam.ac.uk) by 12:00pm on 22nd February.

Selection criteria
Proposals will be assessed by a review panel of academics, with funding decisions based on the decision of this panel. The following criteria will be considered by the review panel when assessing the proposal:

  • Opportunity criteria
    1. Strategic importance: how well does the proposed study link to issues identified by policymakers?
    2. Future potential and impact: what is the potential impact of conducting this study?
    3. Synergy opportunities: how well does the proposed study complement other projects and engagements?
    4. Learning potential: how novel is the anticipated learning from the study?
    5. Timing and relevance: how important is it that this study be conducted now?
  • Feasibility criteria
    1. Quality: how well is the complete plan articulated?
    2. Applicant’s domain expertise: how capable is the applicant in the proposed area of study?
    3. Alignment with applicant’s existing research: how well aligned is the proposal with the applicant’s existing research?
    4. Resources: does the applicant have the necessary researcher(s) available to complete the project within the first year of the network and submit deliverables by 31st December 2016?
    5. Management: are clear management processes and responsibilities articulated in the proposal?

Key dates
14 January: Announcement of feasibility study competition at 3DP-RDM Scoping Workshop
22 February: Deadline for feasibility study proposal submissions at 12pm
11 March: Review of submissions completed, with winners announced shortly thereafter
1 April – 1 July: Feasibility studies begin
31 December: Deadline for deliverables from feasibility studies
19 January 2017: Provisional date for final dissemination workshop

Further information
Contact the 3DP-RDM Network Coordinator Dr Simon Ford (sjf39@cam.ac.uk).

[Image source]

Exploring how 3D printing is changing the world around us

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