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Title: But Will It Print? Assessing Student Use of Design for Additive Manufacturing and Exploring Its Effect on Design Performance and Manufacturability
Additive manufacturing (AM) enables engineers to improve the functionality and performance of their designs by adding complexity at little to no additional cost. However, AM processes also exhibit certain unique limitations, such as the presence of support material, which must be accounted for to ensure that designs can be manufactured feasibly and cost-effectively. Given these unique process characteristics, it is important for an AM-trained workforce to be able to incorporate both opportunistic and restrictive design for AM (DfAM) considerations into the design process. While AM/DfAM educational interventions have been discussed in the literature, limited research has investigated the effect of these interventions on students’ use of DfAM. Furthermore, limited research has explored how DfAM use affects the performance of students’ AM designs. This research explores this gap through an experimental study with 123 undergraduate students. Specifically, participants were exposed to either restrictive DfAM or dual DfAM (both opportunistic and restrictive) and then asked to participate in an AM design challenge. The students’ final designs were evaluated for (1) performance with respect the design objectives and constraints, and (2) the use of the various aspects of DfAM. The results showed that the use of certain DfAM considerations, such as minimum feature more » size and support material mass, successfully predicted the performance of the AM designs. Further, while the variations in DfAM education did not influence the performance of the AM designs, it did have an effect on the students’ use of certain DfAM concepts in their final designs. These results highlight the influence of DfAM education in bringing about an increase in students’ use of DfAM. Moreover, the results demonstrate the potential influence of DfAM in reducing build time and build material of the students’ AM designs, thus improving design performance and manufacturability. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1712234
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10105900
Journal Name:
ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1-14
ISSN:
1523-6501
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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