A traditional approach to 3D printing

Julian Lindley, Richard Adams, John Beaufoy, Stephen McGonigal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Since the 1980’s Industrial Design has developed beyond the remit of the traditional realisation of the object or product. Design is seen as a user-centred problem identification and solution methodology which can be applied to several contexts or issues. However, there is still a need to be able to realise a manufactured artefact; skills increasingly demanded by industrial design employers. The knowledge of materials and how they are processed into components is paramount in this process. Also, in the last few years the possibilities for rapid prototyping and manufacture through 3D printing machines has become financially possible and creatively opens up new possibilities. Shapes which can now be manufactured were impossible a few years ago. The authors took a pragmatic approach which utilised the possibilities of 3D Printing to help understand the complexity of traditional manufacture through a design and build project. Whereas most student projects conclude with propositions, few are carried through to validation. Although the more engineering based programmes do build and test prototypes, complexities of design for manufacture are usually left unresolved. Students were challenged to design, manufacture and assemble a working model of an alarm clock. Each component has to be designed against an understanding of a material and production process and then prototyped on a 3D Printer. The final product was then assembled from these prototype components. Finally paper concludes that making is an essential part of the design process and that new technologies can enhance this empirical approach.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2014
Event16th International Conference on Engineering Design and Product Education - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 4 Sept 20145 Sept 2014


Conference16th International Conference on Engineering Design and Product Education


  • design method
  • construction
  • manufacture
  • rapid prototyping


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