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Realisation of self-replicating production resources through tight coupling of manufacturing technologies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
Pages31-40
Number of pages10
Volume5
EditionDS87-5
DatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED
ISSN (Print)2220-4334

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of the tight coupling of manufacturing technologies and the extent to which it can facilitate the realisation of self-replicating production resources. This was explored through a three year programme of development projects where multiple 3D printing and milling machines were designed, built and evaluated with respect to their manufacturing capabilities and self-replicability. It was found that this tight coupling of processes increased functionality, self-replicability and consequentially utility of these machines. The project specifications were used to identify conflicting requirements and qualitatively assess their interrelationships. Further work will see this expanded into a quantitative model to identify where design effort should be focused and also theoretical limits of self-replicability. The principal social implication of this work is that nonautotrophic self-replication, upon which the RepRap philosophy is based, is largely dependent upon locally available technology and resources. Self-replication therefore becomes an affordance of not solely machine but also of environment.

    Research areas

  • 3D printing, Case study, Open source design

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