The Local Nexus Network: Launch Event and Scoping Workshop

The 3DP-RDM network is one of six networks being funded in 2015-16 on the theme of re-distributed manufacturing. We previously advertised the launch event of the Re-distributed Manufacturing in Healthcare Network (RiHN) on 26th March. Another of the RDM networks, the Local Nexus Network will be also be holding its launch event this month.

The theme of this network launch event and scoping workshop is “Building sustainable local nexuses of food, energy and water: from smart engineering to shared prosperity”. It will be held on Monday 23rd March 2015 from 10am – 4.30 pm at the Oxford University Centre for the Environment, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QY.

The event will introduce the Local Nexus Network project to key stakeholders, gather common interests in local nexuses, initiate discussions on the key issues, and start building the community of nexus researchers and practitioners.

This network is for everyone from academia, business, governance or community groups, who is interested in rational integration between food, energy and water, by leveraging geographical proximity between physical, technical, economic, political, and societal resources.

Those wishing to participate should RSVP by Friday 13th March to: Jo Hamilton (Co-ordinator): jo.hamilton@ouce.ox.ac.uk Tel: 01865 275 856.

 
The Local Nexus Network
‘Local nexus’ refers to decentralised food, energy and water systems which interact with each other within the context of local livelihood and environment. The sustainable development of local nexuses has the potential to contribute to the shared prosperity between business and community and between human society and natural ecosystems. This calls for a combination of “smart” engineering (smaller scale technologies, integrated processes) and driving forces from businesses, communities and policy makers.

As one of the six 24-month research networks on re-distributed manufacturing (RDM) funded by the EPSRC and the ESRC, the Local Nexus Network aims to: 1) establish the state of the art of local productions of food, energy and water; 2) generate initial insights to guide researchers, businesses, policy makers and communities who are enthusiastic about exploring the potential of local nexuses, and 3) develop an evidence-based agenda for future research. A key mission of this network is to form an inclusive research and stakeholder community around the theme of local nexuses.

This network was proposed by a multidisciplinary academic team involving six UK universities. The members include Dr Aidong Yang (PI, systems integration), Dr John Ingram (Co-I, food systems) and Jo Hamilton (network co-ordinator) of University of Oxford, and theme leaders including Prof Matthew Leach (Surrey, energy), Prof David Butler and Dr Raziyeh Farmani (Exeter, water), Dr Lisa De Propris (Birmingham, business clusters and models), Dr Laura Purvis (Cardiff, supply chains) and Prof Andy Pike (Newcastle, policy and society). This academic team is supported by representative stakeholders, currently including Nestlé, Innocent, CHPA, Thames Water, Oxford City Council, Good Food Oxford, and FLAG.

Contacts
Dr Aidong Yang (Principal Investigator): aidong.yang@eng.ox.ac.uk
Dr John Ingram (Co-Investigator): john.ingram@eci.ox.ac.uk
Jo Hamilton (Co-ordinator): jo.hamilton@ouce.ox.ac.uk

Call for Proposals Closes

The deadline for 3DP-RDM feasibility study proposals closed today at 12pm. The response to our call was very positive and we have received 33 submissions. The fantastic response to our call shows that there is significant interest in this area. There is also a great deal of variety in the disciplines and approaches represented among the proposals and a future blog post will detail this variety.

It’s unfortunately the case that we’re only going to be able to fund up to three of these proposals. In the next fortnight our review panel will be examining the proposals very carefully and we’ll be able to announce the results of this review process shortly thereafter.

[Image source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8173/7992199145_48eab2f21e_b.jpg%5D

Targeted Healthcare Production: Where is it needed most?

3DP-RDM is one of six re-distributed manufacturing networks that are running for the next two years, with each of these networks organising workshops and competitions for feasibility studies.

The Re-distributed Manufacturing in Healthcare Network (RiHN) is one of the other five networks. It is led by Dr Wendy Phillips at the University of the West of England, with Dr Dharm Kapletia acting as Network Coordinator.

Their first workshop, “Targeted Healthcare Production: Where is it needed most?”, is being run on 26th March in Bristol. The event features a keynote address by Professor Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, along with two sandpit sessions. Registration for the event is available here.

 

3DP-RDM Scoping Workshop – Discussion Activity 2 Outputs

The 3DP-RDM Scoping Workshop of 30th January 2015 featured two distinct discussion activities. The entire process is described in the presentation slides from the day and the output of the first discussion activity is provided here. This post summarises the process and outputs of the second discussion activity, which involved structured discussions around the selected priority research topics, and identification and development of concepts for potential feasibility studies.

A process for identifying and developing feasibility study ideas

Following the outputs of the prioritisation process, participants were invited to join in groups of 4-5 people to explore one of the prioritised topics. This resulted in the creation of the eight groups listed below. As one of the topics “How will value be created and captured in 3DP-RDM economy?” was so popular, it was determined that two groups would explore this in parallel.

Group Topic
1 Material supply chain
2 Standards + Compatibility + Regulation + Certification
3 Reconfiguring supply chain: will consumers become prosumers?
4 Software and conceptual infrastructure
5 How will value be created and captured in 3DP-RDM economy?
6 Who owns/shares designs in 3DP-RDM hubs?
7 How will value be created and captured in 3DP-RDM economy?
8 Business models

Once the groups were determined, each began to complete the template shown below. Through following the steps in this template, members of the group first got to know each other better and to understand each others’ research experience and interest, before beginning to explore what research could be conducted within the chosen topic. Having generated some ideas about possible research needs or research questions, each group then chose three to explore in greater depth, considering how these could be addressed though feasibility studies. A final step in the process was to decide which of these three feasibility studies was most important, with them being ranked 1, 2 and 3 in decreasing order of importance.

Activity 2

The template used in the second discussion activity, with Post-it notes to illustrate its use

Outputs of the second discussion activity

The raw data generated from each of these discussions is presented below. Using the template is a stimulus for discussion and only some of this discussion is captured on the Post-it notes. As such this data should not be considered as a complete picture of each group’s discussions but gives a flavour of what was discussed.

Group 1: Material supply chain
Participants Background and research interest
Ian Hutchings Materials science
Adrian Addison Manufacturing
Large metallic 3D printing
Alireza Tavakoli Manufacturing + logistics
Adam Ellis Polymers, high speed sintering
Material development

Areas of possible research

  • Dual sourcing of materials essential for robust process/business model
  • Security of supply
  • Effect of significant increase in demand on existing raw material supply chain
  • Exploration of new, cheaper sources of feedstock (currently very restricted)
  • Localised, small-scale production of feedstock
  • Local recycling of materials ‘in-process’ as feedstock for 3DP

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
Analyse existing feedstock supply chain: who, where, how, why?
Why should it be investigated? To inform: policy, investment; To identify: weaknesses, security issues, opportunity
How should it be investigated? Create example situations and interview stakeholders: 3DP user, material suppliers, end product OEM, regulators, manufacturing process experts
Priority rank 1

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated? Analyse techs for producing feedstock in small scale
Why should it be investigated? To enable distributed manufacture of feedstock and local recycling and reclamation of materials
How should it be investigated? Exploration of existing and potential processes to convert known waste/local material into desired quantity feedstock
Priority rank 2

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated? Development of materials specifically for use in 3DP e.g. Alloys, composites, polymers
Why should it be investigated? Existing feedstock is not proven to be optimised for 3DP
How should it be investigated? In depth study of the material properties and microstructural models with practical validation
Priority rank 3

Group 2: Standards + Compatibility + Regulation + Certification
Participants Background and research interest
Jane Ho Standards innovation
Alex Price British standards in AM standards
Eujin Pei ISO technical committee, WG4
Peter Jarritt NIHR-HTC brain injury, medical devices, BSI Comm Chair

Areas of possible research

  • Not just standard, Good practice, Guides, Frameworks
  • Traceability
  • Product testing and validation for application
  • Risk + Health + Safety management
  • Ethics + liability
  • Materials compatibility (human)
  • Interoperability, Compatibility, Interface
  • International compatibility – FDA/MHRA etc

Feasibility study idea #1
Title
Design a testing chain to proof product verification
What should be investigated?
Agreed methodology
Why should it be investigated?
Support safety + risk management
How should it be investigated?
Industry led, best practice review
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #2
Title
Risk + liability management model
What should be investigated?
Adequacy of existing frameworks
Why should it be investigated?
Enables adoption in ‘safe’ manner. Clarifies ethics
How should it be investigated?
Regulations, insurance
Priority rank
3

Feasibility study idea #3
Title
Interoperability of manufacturing + software
What should be investigated?
Can we write/agree a standard
Why should it be investigated?
Support digital manufacturing
How should it be investigated?
Tech committee
Priority rank
1

Group 3: Reconfiguring supply chain: will consumers become prosumers?
Participants Background and research interest
Rachel Andrews Healthcare
Personalised products
Tim Minshall Open innovation
3DP diffusion
Andrew Triantaphyllou MTC
Design for AM
Sophie Jones New supply chains
Economics

Areas of possible research

  • Differences between materials e.g. Polymers, metals
  • Define prosumer in e.g. Medical (prosthetics, splints), orthotics
  • What are the characteristics of SC for: consumer, prosumer, professional?
  • Business models; Do consumers monetise designs? Why would you do it?
  • Liability of consumer creation
  • Data ownership if consumer creates?
  • Economic effects of consumer involvement on materials, machine and software
  • Understanding impact of releasing data to consumers
  • Is QA needed in prosumer medical?
  • Skills

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
What are the drivers of prosumer activity in medical devices? Social, economic and psychological
Why should it be investigated?
No one has done this!
How should it be investigated?
Devise specific case studies (e.g. Prosthetics)
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated?
What are barriers in SC that prevent consumer involvement in 3DP-RDM (Pick sector e.g. Spare parts), SC = raw material extraction, materials processing, supply to prosumer, data to machine, manufacturing, distribution, use, end of life
Why should it be investigated?
To enable / what needs addressing
How should it be investigated?
Survey of manufacturers and users – before/now/future
Priority rank
1

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated?
In prosumer market, “What is value of releasing data?”
How should it be investigated?
Jewelry case, movies/CGI
Priority rank
3

Group 4: Software and conceptual infrastructure
Participants Background and research interest
Oleg Fryazinov Geometric modelling
Software /tools/animation
Dominik Deradjat Production engineering
Technology management
Valery Adzhiev AM-adequate conceptual and software
Meurig Beynon Software and conceptual infrastructure
Phill Dickens AM processes

Areas of possible research

  • Research for AM-friendly modelling and manufacturing (methods, tools, software)
  • Need for a novel intermediate level format instead of the inadequate STL
  • Research the way we design things conceptually suitable for AM rather than subtractive technologies supported by conventional CAD
  • Customisation requires highly parameterised model to tune them for particular needs
  • Custom design: why, how?
  • Redistribution of “template design” parameterised model is available at home, shops, etc. To customise it
  • This is redistribution of design abilities, manufacturing capabilities etc –> Re-distributed infrastructure

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
How do people interact with new CAD tools allowing volume modelling? How do these tools interact with the design world?
Why should it be investigated?
Gap between design world and manufacturing world
How should it be investigated?
Feasibility study for prospects of CAD based on volume modelling (internal structure with different properties)
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated?
Is it possible to address the gap between manufacturing and design processes?
Why should it be investigated?
The gap between manufacturing and design on user side
How should it be investigated?
Comparative studies of various existing/new technologies. Case study: different situation in maker design, what effects will come given new technologies.
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated?
What is the whole design infrastructure and how does it change given the users? Adaptive design infrastructure
Why should it be investigated?
Feedback between customers on the design side and on the manufacturing side
How should it be investigated?
Case study-based
Priority rank
1

Group 5: How will value be created and captured in 3DP-RDM economy?
Participants Background and research interest
Jonathan Edelman BG: Design, Design + manufacturing, Design theory + methodology; RI: Design driven entrepreneurship
James Tooze Design, Manufacturing (SME), Digital fabrication, Makespace, Circular economy
Adam Kowalski Improved functionality, Mass customisation, Low-cost high volume
Véronique Sauret-Jackson Medical applications (imaging, diagnostic, implants, surgical guides), Risk with changes on manufacturing methods, Economies or hype, Marketing value “it is 3D printed”, How do you differentiate your products (apart from design)

Areas of possible research

  • CYCLE: Process → Material or component → Product → Material of component → etc.
  • Models for creating value
  • Other? Production on High Street

Feasibility study idea #1
Title
Driver for RDM
What should be investigated?
What makes sense? Price / functionality, Urgency
Why should it be investigated?
Proximity, context, time. Durable or consumable product?

Feasibility study idea #2
Title
Supply & recovery chain
What should be investigated?
Manufacturer: Added value of production, Recapture material, Low/no stock
Why should it be investigated?
Less out-sourcing

Feasibility study idea #3
Title
Franchise production
What should be investigated?
The concept of franchise production
Why should it be investigated?
(1) End-user co-create: their choice/design, on demand. (2) More knowledge of material sourcing: warranty & authenticity. (3) Brand: direct relationship engagement with customers, parts/products. (4) Proprietary materials/parts: marketing value.

Group 6: Who owns/shares designs in 3DP-RDM hubs?
Participants Background and research interest
Margaret Haig IPO
Ludmila Striukova Innovation management, IP
Dinusha Mendis Intellectual property

Areas of possible research

  • Open source or free-sharing of design as business strategy
  • Line between inspiration and copying, 3D scanning (copyright AND design rights)
  • Does there need to be a new IP right?
  • Hubs + mass-customisation/modification/alteration
  • Different value chain & co-creation → co-ownership
  • Business model choice e.g. my little pony operating through shapeways →  IP management
  • Crowd-sourcing + co-creation
  • Hubs as part of new RDM
  • Business models working with IP
  • What business models complement IP? It should be an opportunity, not a barrier.

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
IP implementations of mass-customisation enabling freedom: ownership + management
Why should it be investigated?
Liability – ownership/authorship, Revenues, IP management: protection/exploitation
How should it be investigated?
Analysing online platforms
Priority rank
3

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated?
B2B co-creation
Why should it be investigated?
Ownership, impact on supply chain, quality and traceability
How should it be investigated?
Small-scale case study with legal & business/economic implications
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated?
Crowd-sourcing as complement to IP
Why should it be investigated?
New business models (use crowds to create value, risks/costs, Facebook prob/losing control
How should it be investigated?
Analysing online platform for crowdsourced data for legal & economic evidence + business models
Priority rank
1

Group 7: How will value be created and captured in 3DP-RDM economy?
Participants Background and research interest
Pieter Knook Entrepreneurship opportunities
Jonathan Rowley Running an industrial 3D printing bureau
Letizia Mortara Understanding who will need/how they will need to change RM
Roger Maull Economic models in digital

Areas of possible research

  • Value of objects unique – is repeatable – possible counterfeit
  • Protection, verification and localised manufacturing
  • How could a multi-purpose machine lead to a variety of business models?
  • Useless, valueless trinkets
  • What types of “value”?
  • Personalised object
  • Skills: re-education to understand the variety of outcomes → items of value

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
Parts manufactured locally. How would we configure a supply chain which makes the business model work? How can local economies/geographies take advantage of the 3DP tech?
Why should it be investigated?
Verification and trust of retail providers
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated?
Quality value vs personal value
Why should it be investigated?
Understanding the limits of the value by quality vs personalised
How should it be investigated?
Case studies and archetypes
Priority rank
3

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated?
Analysis of the economics of 3DP vs subtractive. Where is the threshold now? Where was it 10 years ago? How did it move? Why? What will 3D printing be worth?
Priority rank
1

Group 8: Business models
Participants Background and research interest
Paolo Aversa Business models, Network of firms, Innovation
Chander Velu Business model innovation research
Mark Wilson Potential business models in the pharmaceuticals sector
Thierry Rayna Digital economy, Business models, Ecosystems
Ben Earley Science & Public policy

Areas of possible research

  • How do the 3 uses of 3D printing affect BM design (rapid tooling, rapid prototyping, direct manufacturing)
  • How public policy could influence BM?
  • How setting targets influence BM development?
  • What new products & business skills will AM enable?
  • What BM will these require?
  • Near-term / Long-term
  • Other technology changes enabling new products (e.g. big data, genomics)

Feasibility study idea #1
What should be investigated?
Historical analysis of digitization and foresight on 3D & RDM
How should it be investigated?
Historical literature review → Theoretical framework
Priority rank
1

Feasibility study idea #2
What should be investigated?
The interplay between BM (firm) & economic policy on 3DP & RDM
How should it be investigated?
Analysis of scenarios using BM frameworks
Priority rank
2

Feasibility study idea #3
What should be investigated?
How do new 3D-tech enables new BM that are based on a reconfiguration of the supply chain?
How should it be investigated?
Theory + case studies (interviews) → Typology of possible scenarios
Priority rank
3

Acknowledgements

This workshop and its reporting could not have been possible without the work of many others. Special thanks go to Jo Griffiths for supporting the organisation of the event, to Samantha Selvini and Dominik Deradjat for photo and video documenting the workshop, and to Dr Mélanie Despeisse for assisting in the production of this report.

Exploring how 3D printing is changing the world around us

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