Study of the Effectiveness in Design Communication: Comparing 3D Printing Pen vs. Sketching

Year: 2016
Editor: Julie Linsey, Maria Yang, and Yukari Nagai
Author: Noe Vargas Hernandez, Sophia Acevedo and Raisa Chowdhury
ISBN: 978-1-904670-82-7


This paper explores the 3Doodler’s, a 3D printing pen, application in the engineering design process and how it could bridge the gap between sketching and physical prototyping. We ask the research question: is the 3Doodler a better medium to communicate ideas than conventional sketching? An experiment with Engineering students aims to observe the effectiveness of the 3Doodler as a means of communicating ideas in comparison to conventional sketching. The sketch and 3Doodler groups worked on a design problem selecting modules to include on a mars rover platform. The prototypes and sketches were reviewed by interpreters to identify the intended modules. The designer’s description was compared to the final interpretation. Results indicate that 3Doodler has the potential to bridge the gap between sketching and physical prototyping, but its implementation is not trivial since it requires a proper understanding of its applicability and proper training on construction techniques.

Keywords: sketching, 3D pen, prototyping, design communication

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