Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Dr Paul O' Dowd


Research Fellow - Creative Electronics and Engineering

Paul joined the Centre for Fine Print Research as a Research Fellow in September 2013, bringing expertise in the creative application of electro-mechanics, artificially intelligent software and robotic technologies. His research is led by investigating alternative uses of established technologies, and is highly dependent on collaboration and cross-disciplinary influences. Paul is also a lecturer on the MA in Design.

Paul’s research is into a craft-based approach to 3D printing and novel applications of inkjet technologies for 2.5D vector driven printing. These projects overlap by escaping the orthodox approaches to printing to instead gain a creative, craft-based control of structure, texture and materials. Paul’s intention is to establish a new aesthetic that transcends the typical automated workflow (CAD modelling followed by ‘slicing’) to find an elegant and artistic mode of fabrication entirely unique to the 3D Printer. In 2.5D printing, the intention is to exploit multi-layering of inks to gain the idiosyncratic properties of relief apparent in more traditional mediums such as paintings. For an idea of Paul's research in this area Plese watch the process where Paul Produced his 2015 Miniprint

Film: Paul O'Dowds Miniprint 2015

Paul is currently working on the Re-Distributed Manufacturing and the Resilient, Sustainable City network which is funded by the EPSRC and is led by the University of Bristol. This project will explore the impact of RDM at the scale of the city and its hinterland, using Bristol as an example in its European Green Capital year, and concentrating on the issues of resilience and sustainability. The researchers will study the issues from a number of disciplinary perspectives, bringing together experts in manufacturing, design, logistics, operations management, infrastructure, resilience, sustainability, engineering systems, geographical sciences, mathematical modelling and beyond. In addition, the network will, through the way in which it carries out embedded focused studies, explore mechanisms by which interdisciplinary teams may come together to address societal grand challenges and develop research agendas for their solution. These will be based on working together using a combination of a Collaboratory - a centre without walls - and a Living Lab - a gathering of public-private partnerships in which businesses, researchers, authorities, and citizens work together for the creation of new services, business ideas, markets and technologies.

Paul’s cross-disciplinary approach is reflected in his prior endeavours. He completed a PhD in 2013 in Swarm Robotics, which drew influence from self-organising biology, evolutionary computer science and theory of mind. He co-founded RustySquid Ltd in 2012, an award winning Bristol based start-up that merges robotic technologies with the visual and performing arts – recently exhibiting the Book Hive at Bristol Library (2014). As a co-author he jointly received the Best Paper Award for ‘Haptic Reassurance in the Pitch Black for an Immersive Theatre Experience’ at UbiComp 2011, where an intelligent handheld device was designed to raise awareness and question perceptions of ‘blindness’ via a theatrical production at the Battersea Arts Centre London.
For a brief snapshot of Pauls Research at the CFPR please watch this short film on Vimeo
Research Grants awarded

2014-15 The development of novel inkjet inks, AHRC Follow-on grant with Pulse Roll Label Products Ltd, £99993, Co-Investigator

2014-15 A Creative Approach to 3D print for Novel Methods of Fabrication, Grants for early career researchers at UWE £15,468, Principal Investigator