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.
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.