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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R032696/1
Title: Improving the product development process through integrated revision control and twinning of digital-physical models during prototyping
Principal Investigator: Hicks, Professor BJ
Other Investigators:
Snider, Dr C Nassehi, Dr A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Altuity Solutions Ltd Amalgam Autodesk
Designability Renishaw The Moulton Bicycle Company
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2018 Ends: 31 July 2022 Value (£): 1,653,338
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Design Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Feb 2018 Manufacturing Prioritisation Panel - Feb 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
An orchestration of physical and digital models of varying fidelities, and in differing sequences, is required for the product development process. The choice of these models depends upon the: skills of the design team; resources and tools available; purpose of the model; and nature of the design task. In all engineering disciplines a combination of digital and physical models is necessary to support the progression of the design process, with each model and iteration thereof generating new understanding and knowledge to inform decision-making. While extensive modelling - both physical and digital - is imperative to develop right-first-time products, the parallel use of digital and physical models gives rise to two interrelated issues. These are: the lack of revision control for physical prototypes; and the need for designers to manually inspect, measure, and interpret modifications to either digital or physical models, for subsequent update of the other. This manual process of revision control for physical models and what is referred to herein as 'twinning of digital-physical models' impacts on the cost, quality and time of the design and development process. In particular, the lack of revision control leads to multiple near-identical model instances, which contribute to issues of process management, traceability, decision-making, design duplication and inefficiency, and design rationale capture. It also makes optimisation of the product development process in terms of the digital-physical tool-chain all but impossible. In this project we will fundamentally redefine the revision control and twinning processes for digital and physical models from a manual, cumbersome, error-prone and expensive procedure to one that is seamlessly integrated (digital-to-physical and physical-to-digital), rapid, reliable and knowledge rich.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk