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Title: DTP: Secure Connected Manufacturing – Integrating Design and Cloud based Distributed Manufacturing

This project is part of the Queen’s Doctoral Training Programme in Secure Connected Intelligent Design and Manufacturing. Many of today’s industrial approaches require transformative changes to ensure long term societal, economic and environmental resilience and sustainability. PhD projects in this programme explore the potential of emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things, to transform the way we design, manufacture and operate products and services.

Project description:
The manufacturing industry has already started adopting the Manufacturing as a Service business model. For example, 3D hubs, Shapeways, Materialise and Sculpteo offer 3D printing services on an on-demand basis. Using these services customers can obtain customised 3D printed products at low cost. However, customers continue to become more demanding, they anticipate reduced turnaround time, increased quality innovative design etc. To satisfy such customers a Smart Manufacturing as a Service (SmartMaaS) framework is being explored in an exciting Design the Future project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research
Council (EPSRC) called Building the Blind Watchmaker. This project adopts a Cloud-based design and manufacturing approach, where customers can submit their product request in the form of some specific parameters (design specifications) and receive the manufactured product after going through a process if design review and feedback. The challenge is to create an effective infrastructure where the manufacturing centre (e.g. the 3D printer, or router) communicates with the design system effectively to influence design  decisions as they happen.

Aims and Objectives:
The goal is to develop constructs and algorithms to link design models in a CAD system with a suite of manufacturing facilities (3D printer, CNC etc) and to explore how both design model and process are mutually affected by changes.

The Objectives are:

  1. Develop a suite of interfaces to enable interoperability between CAD system and manufacturing suite.
  2. Carry out a range of experiments to explore and understand the propagation of variations throughout the system, and how feedback to engender design modifications may be effected and controlled.
  3. Build a cloud based system to link the services together.
  4. Create an intelligent interface to explore and compare human decision making versus AI decision making in such a system.

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