Introducing the 3DP-RDM Feasibility Studies: Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM

Following the recent feasibility study competition, the 3DP-RDM network is funding four projects in 2015. In this series of blog posts we introduce the four studies. Today we begin with the first study, “Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM”, which is being led by Dr Eujin Pei (pictured) at Brunel University.

Additive Manufacturing is set to play a vital role in the Re-Distributed Manufacturing landscape. The paradigm shift towards a decentralised approach of cloud manufacturing and dynamic production requires tighter standardisation and efficient interfaces between CAD data and Additive Manufacturing. In parallel with technology advancements, it is important to consider the digital chain of information. Although a plethora of CAD formats exist, only some are used for data transfer. The problem is that a true CAD data transfer standard for a 3DP-RDM ecosystem does not exist. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of CAD data transfer standards within the 3DP-RDM landscape.

This will be achieved in three phases. In the first phase, a literature review will be conducted to understand the data flow from CAD to the process of Additive Manufacturing. In the second phase, we will examine AMF, STEP and STEP-NC formats that are most widely adopted and to investigate the advantages, disadvantages, similarities and differences of these standards. In the final phase, we will interview industry leaders and experts to obtain feedback. Through this survey, we aim to identify the beneficiaries of 3DP-RDM CAD data transfer standards; and which CAD data transfer standard has the greatest competitive advantage for a future 3DP-RDM landscape. We will also investigate the opportunities and requirements for open architecture data transfer standards.

About Eujin

Eujin works as a full-time academic within the Department of Design at Brunel University in the UK. He is the Convenor for the International Standards Organisation (ISO) Technical Committee for Data and Design Guidelines for Additive Manufacture; and Committee Member for British Standards Institution (BSI) AMT/8 for Additive Manufacturing, and BS8888 and BS8887. He is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Assembly Automation, and a Guest Editor for an upcoming Special Issue of the Rapid Prototyping Journal. For further information about this project or to engage in the feasibility study please contact him.

Results of the 3DP-RDM feasibility study competition

As previously reported, 34 submissions across a wide range of disciplines were received in response to our call for feasibility study proposals. Following a rigorous review process, we are delighted to announce that the following four studies have been selected for funding:

  1. Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM – Dr Eujin Pei, Brunel University
  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. The enabling role of 3DP in redistributed manufacturing: A total cost model – Dr Martin Baumers, University of Nottingham, and University of Oxford
  4. Redistributing Material Supply Chains for 3D printing – Dr Matthias Holweg, University of Oxford

Congratulations go to the teams that submitted these proposals. We’ll provide more information on the blog about each of these projects in due course.

We’re disappointed that we couldn’t fund more than these four projects. However we will be running a second feasibility study competition in 2016 and hope to receive further high quality proposals.

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Re-distributed Manufacturing and the Resilient, Sustainable City (RDM|RSC) Network – Launch Event

Highly adaptable manufacturing processes capable of operating at small scales offer the possibility of a new understanding of where and how design, manufacture and services may be carried out to achieve the most appropriate mix of capability and employment but also to minimise environmental costs and to ensure resilience of provision. The Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter and the West of England and Cardiff University are leading a research network, funded by the EPSRC and ESRC, to study the potential impact of such re-distributed manufacturing (RDM) at the scale of the city and its hinterland, using Bristol as an example in its European Green Capital year, and concentrating on the issues of resilience and sustainability.

This network, the Re-distributed Manufacturing and the Resilient, Sustainable City (RDM|RSC) network, aims to study the impact of RDM from a number of disciplinary perspectives, bringing together experts in manufacturing, design, logistics, operations management, infrastructure, engineering systems, economics, geographical sciences, mathematical modelling and beyond. The network will also explore research mechanisms by which interdisciplinary teams may come together to address societal grand challenges and develop research agendas for their solution.

The network is holding its launch event in Bristol on 22 April. This event will introduce the network, initiate discussion on the key issues for the research agenda and start building a community of those with shared interests.

The Provisional Programme is as follows (full details will be circulated before the event):

10:30-11:00   Arrival and Registration
11:00-11:15   Introduction to the Re-distributed Manufacturing (RDM) network programme and to the RDM|RSC network
11:15-12:30   Perspectives on RDM and on the challenges of achieving resilient, sustainable cities
12:30-13:30   Lunch and networking
13:30-16:00   Presentations and workshop discussions on key issues and on approaches to research collaboration
16:00-16:30   Closing remarks

Numbers are limited so please register attendance here. For further information please contact the network administrator Sophie Causon-Wood.

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Second Redistributed Manufacturing Healthcare Research Network (RiHN) workshop – 28 April 2015

 

Personalised medicine is estimated to grow to two billion euros by 2018. Redistributed Manufacturing (RDM) has the potential to support this growth. This involves a shift towards more localised production, enabling faster response, lower cost or better preservation of sensitive goods. RDM can provide tailored, right-first-time treatments to all patients, allowing for the best therapy for an individual patient to be rapidly determined. However, as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) points out, there are a range of technical and managerial challenges as well as business, regulatory and resource implications which must be understood and solved.

This workshop will be hosted by Redistributed Manufacturing Healthcare Research Network (RiHN). The RiHN aims to deliver a single vision of the research needed to position the UK at the forefront of healthcare manufacturing. Network partners include cross disciplinary researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Brunel, Nottingham, Newcastle, Loughborough and the West of England. The network is sponsored by the EPSRC and is supported by Innovate UK.

This free to attend event gives participants an opportunity to network with healthcare professionals, scope out R&D issues from a multi-disciplinary perspective, establish early stage collaborations and formulate potential areas of investigation that can be tested and scaled up into larger R&D programmes.

Key outputs from the day will help shape a future call in June 2015, which will invite bids to compete for 5-6 feasibility studies, worth £65k each. If you have an interest in pharmaceuticals and advanced therapeutics, we strongly recommend that you attend. This is the second of two workshops; the first was oriented towards medical devices, diagnostics and dentistry.

Date: 28 April 2015

Venue:  Vaughan Parry Williams Pavillion, Highfields Sports Ground, University of Nottingham, University Park Campus

Register here

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Developing a UK Strategy for Additive Manufacturing: Help needed

On March 10th, the first workshop to be run as part of the process to develop a UK Strategy for Additive Manufacturing (AM) was held at the MTC in Coventry. The event brought together representatives from a diverse range of organisations with an interest in AM, including leading manufacturing firms, AM/3DP service providers, sector networks, government agencies and universities.

The workshop was an important step in a year-long process of working with the AM community to help coordinate the development, diffusion and adoption of AM technology to support the UK’s industrial competitiveness. Drawing upon lessons captured by colleagues from the Centre for Science Technology and Innovation Policy on the development of public technology strategies in other countries, the development of the UK national strategy for AM will be developed using a combination of techniques. These will include multi-organisation workshops, calls for written evidence, working groups, white papers, and on-line communities.

The two key aims of the first workshop were to share the plan for developing the strategy with the AM community in order to build awareness and encourage engagement, and to use the substantial and diverse experience of the attendees to help target specific areas where evidence gathering should be targeted. Ideas were captured from 100 attendees using a simple structured ‘landscaping’ exercise.

Although the workshop was heavily over-subscribed, it was felt that several key areas were under-represented (e.g. the healthcare, IP, investment, maker and education communities). To address this, a second event will be run on the 25th March at the University of Nottingham. If you would like to apply to attend this event, please contact Phill Dickens or Donna Cope.

[Image source: Tim Minshall]

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