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BACKGROUND AND AIMS
In this project you will design the next generation of 3D-printers. Almost every object today was designed by humans using Computer Aided Design software, and this process takes time. Can we use a 3D scanner to create an initial draft and then Artificial Intelligence (AI) to refine and design the object to manufacture? In this project you will conduct a research investigation on how to design a truly autonomous manufacturing robots. Your main research aim will be to investigate how Computer Vision and AI can be integrated into 3D-printers with the objective of manufacturing objects without human intervention.
To achieve this, you will work towards the following aims:
1. Conduct a literature review on the use of Computer Vision for 3D object detection, and on how AI can be used to design 3D objects.
2. Study how handheld 3D scanners create digital 3D representations of real physical objects, and investigate how they can be integrated into 3D-printers to monitor the fabrication process. This will be used to quickly detect any manufacturing problem.
3. Design AI strategies to correct the fabrication process if any problem was detected.
4. Implement Generative AI algorithms to design and manufacture 3D objects using only technical and visual information.
5. Integrate the developed technologies into a commercial 3D-printer.
By the end of your PhD you would have created 3D-printers that can design and manufacture any object without human interaction. These results will pave the way towards distributed and bespoke manufacturing, key elements of Industry 4.0, and towards the ultimate objective of creating universal manufacturing robots.
If you find this research interesting, you are welcome to develop it at our Department of Mechanical Engineering, where you will have access to a wide range of 3D-printers, industrial robots and powerful computers.
Depending on your set of skills and your interests, in this project you will learn to:
- Write software code using Python and C.
- Develop Computer Vision algorithms using OpenCV.
- Use advanced Artificial Intelligence techniques to design new data (Generative AI) using Tensorflow.
- Tinker with 3D-printers and robots.
The successful candidate has:
• The candidate needs a Master’s Degree in relevant Engineering and Science subjects.
• Interest in 3D-printers, robotics, computer vision and artificial intelligence.
• Strong mathematical, and programming skills using Python or a similar programming language.
• Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English and teamwork skills.
• Creativity, positive attitude, and perseverance.
A bench fee of £3,000 is required in addition to fees and cost of living for consumables.
Please, do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
How to Apply
This project is available as a 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time PhD study programme.
Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying.
Please note that emails to the supervisory team or enquires submitted via this project advert do not constitute formal applications; applicants should apply using our Application Process page, choosing Mechanical Engineering and their preferred intake date.
Please send any other enquires regarding your application to: [Email Address Removed]