From Fab Lab Yachay: Digital technologies are making a dramatic impact on manufacturing, enabling a greater variety of products at lower volumes and lower costs. Examples include additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing), reconfigurable production lines, integrated design and manufacturing, and collaborative design. Not only will these technologies usher in a new wave of mass customization and personalization, but we will also see significant shifts in how products are developed, made, and delivered to retailers and consumers.
A whole new ecosystem is arising, which will include social design, social funding, flexible and distributed supply chains, and more. This shift will ripple through the industry and likely threaten today’s vertically integrated, large-scale manufacturing industry—much as the PC revolution threatened the mainframe computer industry.
PARC is uniquely qualified to advance a broad, unified vision of digital design and manufacturing across hardware, software, and process technologies, and build public-private partnerships in open innovation to execute that vision.
PARC has a long and rich history in developing cutting-edge technologies in intelligent systems ranging from model-based planning and scheduling, preventive and predictive analytics, automated reasoning, and controls and optimization to printed and flexible electronics to new fabrication methods using co-extrusion and Xerographic assembly. PARC is also leading multiple projects within DARPA’s Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) program aiming to create a next-generation, end-to-end design and manufacturing system.
PARC’s key enablers
Virtual simulation technologies increasingly enable the creation of designs that satisfy the customer’s functional and performance requirements and provide detailed models and analytic data such that designs can be verified to be “correct” before they are ever built physically. PARC specializes in developing simulation based design tools that can be used to verify and validate the technical performance, reliability, and safety of complex cyber-electromechanical systems.