In December I visited current and potential research partners in Colombia. The main purpose of the visit was to explore research overlap between the DMF lab and La Universidad de los Andes in Bogota in areas related to the democratisation of design (the theme of my doctoral research) and also wider research areas for future collaboration. These included:
- The identification of applications for distributed manufacturing technologies
- Exploring generative design methods for 3D printing
- Recycled waste 3D printing
- Precision agriculture and smart farming
Whilst away I also had the opportunity to meet with two NGOs using FDM to manufacture prostheses. Colombia is the second most mine-affected country in the world and as such a huge number of victims of these mines are in need of prosthetic arms and legs. FDM provides the manufacturing capacity that can supply these in an affordable manner. Part of my research involves the development of capability profiles that enable an improved understanding of the mechanical behaviour of FDM parts. The application of these capability profiles will allow a better understanding of the functional capabilities of FDM prostheses and consequent improvement in their design by permitting the minimisation of weight for user specific strength requirements.
I look forward to seeing how these partnerships will evolve going forwards. If any of the above research areas are of interest please get in touch!
Picture above is myself with Dr. Andres Mancera and Dr. Giacomo Barbieri, lecturers from La Universidad de los Andes.