Post-doc: 3D Printing for Repair (3DP4R)

Post-doc: 3D Printing for Repair (3DP4R)

Published Deadline Location
9 Jan 15 Feb Delft

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Job description

We are looking for a 3 year Postdoc on the topic of 3D printing (3DP) of spare parts used to repair consumer products. 3DP is seen as an interesting process for repairing physically broken products, i.e. in replacing broken parts such as cogwheels or even complete housings. This digital technology also provides options for decentralized manufacturing where spare parts are designed in one place and printed wherever needed. 3DP can thus potentially provide a quick, effective and efficient way to fix physically broken parts using crowd-sourced or industry-provided CAD designs.

Besides the feasibility of using this technology in a DIY context there are issues with quality and performance, liability during or after the repair process, and the knowledge gap of the users about this technology in the DIY context. In this research you will investigate the feasibility of 3DP of functional spare parts in a DIY context executed by diffuse users.

The project will be aimed at:

  • Mapping the opportunities and barriers which experienced repair-volunteers face when using 3D printing and adjacent technologies for repairing consumer products;
  • Producing a spare-parts database of 3DP files, using existing CAD databases systems (like Thingiverse), 3DP generators for general parts (like cogwheels), and develop product-specific parts for the most common repairs;
  • Exploring strategies which will result in a comparable functional performance of the spare parts based on printer type, print settings, material properties and effectuation;
  • Exploring and evaluating methods which validate the quality of a 3DP part and its performance in post-repair use;
  • Translating the results of this research into educational materials and methods for secondary schools and higher education;
  • Developing a training for professional repairers to produce performance-critical 3D spare parts with professional CAD modelling, simulation and 3D printing.

You will be working in the context of the European Sharepair project, where we aim to develop digital tools which help home repairers and RepairCafé volunteers to fix consumer products. Sharepair is a EU funded project with different partners consisting of universities (Manchester Metropolitan & KU Leuven), social venues with volunteers (several European cities, Repair Cafées & FabLabs), consumer organisations (Test Aankoop), and many others.      


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • A PhD in a relevant field, i.e. mechanical engineering, industrial design, industrial ecology.
  • You need a demonstrable affinity and strong interest in the field of 3DP technology and sustainability, and want to work with people to co-create self-sustaining and future-proof solutions.
  • Excellent English skills in written and oral form, your Dutch skills are very much welcomed because you are going to work with native-Dutch speaking participants.
  • A curiosity-driven mind-set and a passion for (doing) research.    

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year with the possibility of extension.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. 


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

The faculty of Industrial Design Engineering is the largest and broadest scientific design institute in the world, with over 2,000 students, more than 6,000 alumni and 300 staff (researchers and lecturers, including designers from industrial practice). The faculty aims to contribute to a better living environment and respond to social challenges by combining human values and desires with technological feasibility and economic viability. We are excellently placed to do so, as we ground design methods and skills in scientific knowledge from a wide range of disciplines, leading to concrete solutions.

The faculty of Industrial Design Engineering consists of three departments: Industrial Design Engineering (ID), Design Engineering (DE) and Product Innovation Management (PIM). The Design Engineering Department is a centre for sustainable system-oriented product-service development, innovation, and manufacturing. The aim of our work is to empower designers through breakthrough technology innovations and to contribute to the innovative capability and competitiveness of the creative industry sector. The Design Engineering Department comprises more than twenty faculty members with research interests in cyber physical systems, intelligent products, internet of things, digital fabrication & 3D printing, data-intensive systems, augmented reality, human-robot collaboration, and sustainable design.

The candidate will be part of the Design for Sustainability group (DFS). DFS pursues ground breaking research in circular and sustainable products, services and systems. We are a rapidly expanding group and have an excellent track record in obtaining internationally funded projects. We have a ‘circular design lab’ where graduate students collaborate with partners from our industry network, and a well-equipped applied lab where we analyse products on their repairability and circularity, build prototypes and setups.



  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 36 hours per week
  • €3389—€4274 per month
  • Doctorate
  • ATIO 0802


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE, Delft

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