Year: 2015
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Srinivasan Venkataraman
Author: Stephenson, Katherine Jo; Pickham, David; Aquino Shluzas, Lauren
Series: ICED
Institution: Stanford University, United States of America
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Design Processes
Page(s): 329-338
ISBN: 978-1-904670-65-0
ISSN: 2220-4334


This pilot study examines CAD software learning differences between a group of non-technical innovators (clinical nurses) and traditional CAD users (design engineers). This research was motivated by the rapid growth of digital fabrication methods and the proliferation of low cost, semi-professional CAD software, both of which have reduced prototyping barriers for innovators outside of professional design. The study s methodology consisted of (i) a pre-test survey to assess each subject s degree of computer usage and confidence in 3D modeling, (ii) the completion of a CAD tutorial on a laptop, and (iii) an interview to record each participant s impressions of the design experience. Based on a mixed-methods analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, the study showed that the nursing cohort had both the strong motivation and technical ability to learn CAD software. However, their profession enforces a low tolerance for ambiguity or time inefficiency, making the traditional engineering methods of  explore and learn inappropriate. The output of this study will be used to assemble an extensive experimental curriculum for nurse innovators interested in medical device design.

Keywords: Computer Aided Design (CAD), Biomedical Design, Collaborative Design

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