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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R13517/01
Title: Design For Rapid Manufacturing
Principal Investigator: Dickens, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Pancholi, Mr H Hague, Professor RJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
3D Systems Inc Bafbox Ltd Delphi Automotive Systems U K Ltd
Microlise Group Rim-Cast Vantico Ltd
Department: School of Engineering & Technology
Organisation: De Montfort University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 July 2001 Ends: 31 December 2001 Value (£): 394,665
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Processes
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Transport Systems and Vehicles Manufacturing
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of this project is to investigate how the advent of Rapid Manufacturing will affect the design and manufacturing of complex plastic components. The general framework will incorporate the following five main areas: 1.Standard test parts will be manufactured by Stereolithography to determine the materials data for a range of environmental conditions. This will give designers the ability to contribute to the rest of the project. 2. Parts will undergo functional testing to determine the possibility of using existing materials, determine design allowances for them and propose properties for new materials. 3. Investigate freedom for designers, to determine how they are limited by geometry limitations in traditional manufacturing processes. They will design new products with geometries that are more functional but cannot be made by conventional processes. This will highlight any changes to design practice. 4. Analyse the process for new product introduction to determine any changes required. Examples will be the elimination of prototype and pre-production stages as end part manufacture will occur as soon as the CAD is finished. This will affect project management practices and sign-off procedures. 5. De Montfort University has one of the UK's largest Stereolithography machines, this will be used to determine the economic aspects of Rapid Manufacturing. The machine (SLA-7000) will manufacture thousands of parts to compare the cost versus conventional techniques such as injection moulding.
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk