“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:
- The enabling role of 3DP in redistributed manufacturing: A total cost model Dr Martin Baumers, University of Nottingham, and University of Oxford
- OPTIMOS PRIME: Organising Production Technology Into MOst Responsive States – 3D PRInt Machine Enabled Networks Prof. Duncan McFarlane, University of Cambridge, and Edinburgh University
- Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM Dr Eujin Pei, Brunel University
- 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.
- What does the ecosystem and business model look like for different sectors/products
- Education: 3D design skill as a new form of “literacy”
- New design tools for AM and RDM
- Design: customer-driven, design principles and guidelines for non engineers
- Product liability: standards and regulations around quality and performance. Allocate responsibility
- Quality metrics: what, how, when?
- Production operation responsiveness
- Collaboration and linking with different prducers, end-users and suppliers
- Integrated CAD system, geometry/material composition/quality control/integrity/rights management
- 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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12:00pm on 22nd February.
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?
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
Contact the 3DP-RDM Network Coordinator Dr Simon Ford (email@example.com).