Apr 25, 2017 | By Benedict

PARC, a Xerox company, has been chosen by DARPA to develop and deliver FIELDS, a “new computational paradigm” for advanced manufacturing processes such as combined metal additive manufacturing and machining.

PARC, a Xerox company, will develop a new computational paradigm for DARPA

In an effort to remove the limitations associated with current design platforms, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has commissioned Xerox company PARC to develop a new computational paradigm for design. The project will involve creating tools for analyzing material structures, geometric design complexity, and advanced manufacturing processes such as 3D printing. PARC says the project will have big implications for computer-aided engineering and complex engineered systems.

“With this work, we aim to disrupt part, assembly, and system design for both conventional and modern manufacturing processes,” said Saigopal Nelaturi, PARC research area manager. “The computational innovations in modeling, planning, synthesis, and performance analysis will be developed to support the increasing freedom of manufacturing with unprecedented geometric and material complexity.”

In a press release put out today, PARC CEO Tolga Kurtoglu explained that FIELDS, which stands for “Fabricating with Interoperable Engineering, pLanning, Design, and analysiS,” will “transform product design” by creating a system that automatically generates designs based on chosen parameters, resulting in improved product performance and a shortened time-to-market. PARC is planning to overcome the limitations of existing CAD software while enabling easy creation and evaluation of designs “whose performance is tightly coupled to the manufacturing processes used to fabricate them.”

One of those manufacturing processes will be additive manufacturing, particularly combined metal 3D printing and machining. According to Ersin Uzun, vice president and director of PARC’s System Sciences Lab, FIELDS “will alleviate the burden on the designer to integrate computational and practical expertise from diverse disciplines, which is a significant bottleneck in today’s product lifecycle management systems.” The vice president added that the “framework will be adapted to specific manufacturing processes such as combined metal additive manufacturing and machining, and manufacturing with graded materials.”

“PARC’s digital manufacturing portfolio of technologies provides the missing engineering capabilities by bringing real-world manufacturing constraints into the product design cycle and identifying manufacturing constraints of a supply chain early in the design phase, ultimately minimizing time-to-market and improving overall product quality,” the company says.

DARPA recently worked with Boston Dynamics to develop AlphaDog, a four-legged military robot

PARC will work in collaboration with Oregon State University (OSU) and Wisconsin-based automation software company Intact Solutions to develop FIELDS.

DARPA, created in February 1958, is the area of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for developing new technologies to be used by the military.

What’s contained in PARC’s new FIELDS solution for advanced manufacturing?

  1. New mathematical models, representations, and computations for physical artifacts with heterogeneous, anisotropic material structure.
  2. Interoperable integration of synthesis, manufacturing planning, and analysis.
  3. Enormous design complexity by automatically searching very-high-dimensional spaces of shape, material, and process alternatives to help human designers discover physically realizable designs.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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