Data driven advanced manufacturing research is dependent on access to large datasets made available from across the product lifecycle — from the concept design phase all the way down to end use and disposal. Despite such data being generated at a rapid pace, most product design data is archived in inaccessible silos. This is particularly acute in academic research laboratories and with data generated during product design and manufacturing courses. This project seeks to create an infrastructure that allow users (academia and the general public) to easily upload project data and related meta-data. Current manufacturing research must shift from siloed repositories of product manufacturing data to a federated, decentralized, open and inter-operable approach. In this regard, we build ‘FabWave’ a cyber-infrastructure tool designed to capture manufacturing data. In its first pilot implementation, we focused our attention to gathering information rich 3D Mechanical CAD data and related meta-data associated with them, with the intent to make it easier for users to upload and access product design data. We describe workflows that we have initially tested out within the two academic universities and under two different course structures. We have also developed automated workflows to gather license appropriate CAD assemblies from commercial repositories. Our intent is to create the only known largest available CAD model set within academia for enabling research in data-driven computational research in digital design, fabrication and quality control.

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