Catalysing Smart Engineering and Rapid Prototyping

3DCentral brings together Project Partners who represent technology hubs and expertise across Central Europe.  All of these partners have an extensive network of organisations as companies, clusters, research institutions, who carry knowledge and expertise related to smart engineering and rapid prototyping. 

All the good practices and associated lessons learnt are derived from real-life examples to which the project partners have been exposed. This ultimately means that they have good access to the organisations involved in the good practice and can more easily facilitate cooperation and the competence enhancement that makes up a key output of this project. The methodology behind is composed of two major steps:

  • 1st step – identification of Smart engineering & rapid prototyping solutions offered by SMEs and research institutions in each region 
  • 2nd step – out of identified regional solution providers Good Practices and lessons learnt were selected and described by each partner

A diversity of different practices related to smart engineering & rapid prototyping in different technologies and cross sectors – from development of smart services to the optimization of entire production processes – led to identification of 11 specialized topics which served as a base for a road-map and action plans development. Action plans are representing the solid ground for joint activities as R&D projects which present the basis for capitalization, trainings in the format of Moodle platform and strategic actions in format of workshops with key stakeholders.

Most important achievement of the partnership is that we managed to demonstrate cross-sectoral characteristic. It shows that advanced manufacturing techniques such as smart engineering and rapid prototyping, are relevant and currently in practice across different aspects of Central Europe’s value-chain.  It also shows that techniques can be applied across sectors; something that emerges in the municipal transportation sector, could be viable in the industrial engineering sector; and something that is viable in the textile industry, could be applied in the medical sector. 

Idea behind the concept was to identify possibilities which could be transferred via pilot actions and in later stages as follow up project.

The take-aways from mobility actions, events and pilot actions could be summarised: We can not talk about the digital business optimisation anymore, we should discuss digital business transformation: product and services and new business models. Thus, also financing on the level of SMEs are shifting towards investing more into innovation. 

Following lessons learned, a total of 11 flagship projects and 22 Transfer and Cooperation Actions were initiated during the project duration and realized beyond the end of the project. The flagship projects and transfer and cooperation actions directly serve the overall project goal to connect islands of innovation related to smart engineering and rapid prototyping in Central Europe and are briefly described below.

The infographics on 3DCentral achievements are available in gallery section.

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