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Automated Mass Customisation - Masters Project

Additive manufacture (AM) is widely cited as a key facilitator for mass customisation (MC) due to minimal tooling costs incurred from manufacturing bespoke products. MC has potential to improve cycling componentry, where large dynamic loads are exerted on riders over long periods, and customising these contact points could greatly reduce discomfort and injury. Research has explored ways of automating the MC process as an attempt to tackle the prohibitive costs of knowledge-intensive, manual design operations, but have been limited to partial successes and simple geometries. This study explores a methodology of developing an automated design pipeline with respect to custom bicycle saddles. Utilising fully parametric designs, a semi-autonomous pipeline was constructed to generate custom Computer Aided Design (CAD) files using data extracted from existing pressure map technologies. The pipeline interprets a pressure map image and generates a custom design in less than 20 minutes, with minimal human interaction. AM can be made more accessible to the cycling market by the drastic reduction in design time, ease of data collection, and removal of CAD modelling processes, replaced by a few clicks. A similar workflow could be applied to other cycling components, from handlebars to framesets, encouraging the adoption of MC by wider industry. 

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