Sigma Xi Postdoctoral Poster Presentation

Poster Abstract


Standards for Rapid and Distributed Manufacturing

Mahesh Mani, Sudarsan Rachuri


This presentation consists of two research issues related to rapid prototyping and distributed manufacturing systems.


The first part of this Poster will address standards for Rapid prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M). RP&M prototypes are increasingly used in the development of new products, spanning conceptual design, functional prototypes, medical models and tooling. Due to the variety of RP&M technologies and processes resulting in prototypes with quite different properties, planning decisions to select the appropriate RP&M process/material for specific application requirements have become rather involved. Appropriate benchmark parts (fabricated using RP&M) can be designed for performance evaluation of RP&M systems and processes, and provide helpful decision support data. In RP&M benchmarking, it is necessary not only to standardize the design of the benchmark part, but also the fabrication and measurement/test processes. This research presented issues on RP&M benchmarking and attempts to identify factors affecting the definition, fabrication, measurements and analysis of benchmark parts. The aim was to develop benchmark parts and benchmarking procedures aimed at performance evaluation of RP&M processes/materials in terms of achievable geometric features and specific functional requirements. The RP&M benchmarking will contribute to the development of the planning and decision support software for RP&M processes. This research further develops a methodology using an identified set of six-sigma/ statistical process control tools for benchmarking of RP&M processes to reduce the variability in the fabricated parts.


The second part outlines the development of an extended RP&M, distributed and collaborative manufacturing at an enterprise level, where different elements like manufacturability evaluation, resource coordination, process planning, scheduling, fabrication, and logistics, have to be seamlessly integrated for product and process development. This integration of various elements necessitates a need to formalize, encode and share manufacturing related knowledge. The collaborative manufacturing provides a mechanism for information sharing for decision making between the various elements and with the introduction of software agents, individual manufacturing elements are able to cooperate to promote distributed and collaborative manufacturing.


Future works based on this research could help standardize benchmarks, information exchange standards, agent language, FIPA standards and test-beds for industrial implementation besides investigating the portability of the system. Possible extension of the framework to other areas like smart assemblies, integrated virtual manufacturing and rapid prototyping can also be explored.



Name: Dr. Mahesh Mani

Division: 826, MSID

Laboratory: MEL
Room and Building Address: A 367 Bldg. 220
Mail Stop: 8263
Telephone: (301) 975-5219

Fax: (301) 975-4635
Sigma Xi member: No 

Category: Engineering