Breaking the Mould: Responding to the Growing Impact of Additive Manufacturing on Product Design Education

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Jennifer Loy
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Griffith University, Australia
Section: Design/Make interface
Page(s): 625-630
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Twentieth century manufacturing was dominated by the demand for faster, cheaper, more efficient production. Standardisation, common components, design for broad markets, design obsolescence: these ideas were fundamental to manufacturing in the last century. Plastics were predominantly injection moulded, and the integration of draft angles into a design, the design of tooling that did not require undercuts and the consideration of the parting line were fundamental to the tool box of the industrial designer. A decade into the twenty first century and manufacturing is experiencing what has been described in conferences and major exhibitions as the second industrial revolution, as advances in additive manufacturing change the production rules. In parallel global consumerism is changing, with collaborative consumption, co-design and the rise of the Maker Society.
Additive Manufacturing is no longer contained within rapid prototyping, it is providing a direct manufacturing alternative for all levels of production, particularly in relation to the individual. This opens the way for the re-localisation of production and the possibility of distributed manufacturing. Fused deposition modellers have become so inexpensive, compact and straight-forward to operate they are desk top and this revolutionises the way they are used by design studios and individuals.
This paper highlights changes in understanding, practice and approach that would benefit the educator in helping design students’ positive evolution during the second industrial revolution. It summarises the practical considerations of using Additive Manufacturing faced by the Product Design educator, and introduces the economic and sociological impacts of changes in design, production and consumption.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing, digital fabrication, co-design, second industrial revolution


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