Tag Archives: feasibility study

New report: Driving Innovation in redistributed manufacturing

The final project report from the feasibility study led by Dr Paolo Aversa at Cass Business School and Dr Sebastiano Massaro at Warwick Business School is now online. “Driving Innovation in redistributed manufacturing: A feasibility study in the motorsport industry” describes results of their work undertaken during 2016. The results of this project were presented at the 3DP-RDM event 3D Printing Where and How on 31st January 2017 at the IfM in Cambridge. More information about their project can be found on their project website.

Executive summary

Paolo Aversa and Sebastiano Massaro

This feasibility study investigates the level of adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) technology in the British motorsport industry and to what extent this is being employed for competitive advantage. The themes of redistributive manufacturing and technological innovation are explored to understand how, and to what extent, the British motorsport industry has aligned itself to AM technology. AM has been described in recent media as a panacea, a solution for all manufacturing problems, disrupting conventional manufacturing techniques with its potential to create geometrically complex products in any location.

Investigating these themes involved collecting primary data through (1) a quantitative survey of manufacturing companies involved in British motorsport, and (2) a series of qualitative interviews with experts in the field.

Where the main benefits of AM revolved around the production of structurally complex parts and reduction in production lead time, findings from the survey reveal that AM does not fully satisfy production needs. In combination with the need to recruit additional skilled labour, results suggest that the benefits of employing AM do not currently outweigh the overall costs. On the behavioural side we found that those managers and executives who are more keen in adapting AM are overall higher in risk-taking.

Our interviewees perceive that AM technology will continue to proliferate through the British (and Italian) motorsport supply chain, supplanting conventional techniques for the manufacture of low-volume and complex parts. The close proximity of specialist manufacturers to race-teams in the British motorsport valley® cluster is perceived to prohibit any notable redistributive manufacturing but has demanded agility from those suppliers in response to the reduced development cycles that AM facilitates. As innovations in materials, processes and hardware continue to overcome challenges with reliability, integrity and cost of AM products, a new generation of university graduates are expected to be educated in the true value of AM, designing for use and championing the technology as a viable and crucial augmentation to existing conventional manufacturing techniques.

In summary, the benefits of AM processes are ingrained throughout the motorsport supply chain which has adapted, rather than re-configured, to accept these advanced techniques. The future of AM will be secured by innovations that remove physical limitations, giving way to an industry that will benefit from a hybridisation between conventional and AM technologies.

[Image source]

Advertisements

The Future of Data Transfer Standards for Additive Manufacturing: Insights from an ISO Meeting in Berlin

Eujin Pei, lead on the 3DP-RDM feasibility study “Investigating the Impact of CAD Data Transfer Standards for 3DP-RDM” is a guest contributor for this post. The delay in publishing is mine – apologies.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee for Additive Manufacture (ISO TC261) held its 6th Plenary Meeting in Berlin on 14th July 2015 and I chaired the Working Group 4 session.

It was a productive session where we invited members of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM F42) to participate in discussions related to Design and Data Transfer guidelines. This is in line with earlier agreements for ISO and ASTM to form joint plans for Additive Manufacturing standards development to ensure that we have aligned standard roadmaps common to ISO TC261 and ASTM F42.

During the WG4 meeting, I presented the 3DP-RDM project. It was well received by the committee members and we discussed the changing manufacturing landscape with the advent of Cloud Manufacturing, De-centralised Production and the plethora of CAD data standards. We discussed the purpose of the 3DP-RDM work, which is to investigate the interfaces between machine systems and to understand the digital chain of information.

We reviewed the AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation) document that outlined existing data exchange standards for Additive Manufacturing consisting of ISO/DIS 17296-4 “Additive Manufacturing – Rapid Technologies Part 4: Data Processing” that covers principal considerations for data exchange and AM data workflow. The ISO/ASTM 52915:2013 document on “Additive Manufacturing File Format (AMF)” describes a framework for this file format for Additive Manufacturing; and ISO/DIS 10303-242 on “Industrial automation systems and integration – Product data representation and exchange – Part 242” is a STEP standard that will replace AP203 (mechanical parts and assemblies) and AP214 (automotive mechanical design processes). Finally, ISO 14649-17 and 171 on “Industrial automation systems and integration – Physical device control – Data model for computerized numerical controllers – Part 17: Additive Manufacturing” defines a new STEP-NC data model being adapted for Additive Manufacturing requirements.

We also discussed existing and new file formats from leading vendors such as Adobe that offers 3D Printing support in the form of a 3D PDF file or SVX format, or as 3D printer profile files (3PP files). The committee also recognised that Microsoft and Autodesk have been strongly advocating a new .3MF format with their 3MF Consortium.

Alain Bernard, reported on the adhoc group activities that include investigating existing formats such as AMF, STEP, STEP-NC and 3MF, with key questions such as what is the aim of the standard? What problem is being solved? At what stage of the manufacturing process does it apply and what is the status of the standard being adopted in the industry? The committee agreed that the findings would contribute to the 3DP-RDM work and we were informed that there would be an ISO/TC 184/SC 4 Meeting in October 18-23 2015 taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

There would be a Digital Manufacturing Day on 21st October that would include a workshop on digital manufacturing to investigate standards for “wiring up” the digital manufacturing world. Questions such as how are we going to communicate design requirements? What will be expected of the supply chain and how will we make 3D data for the new advanced machines will be discussed during the symposium. We have seen a greater interest in the future of data transfer standards for Additive Manufacturing and we welcome your input through informal discussions.

For more information please contact Dr Eujin Pei, Convenor ISO TC261/WG4

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.