AHO Logo


Meeting learning challenges in Product Design education with and through Additive Manufacturing


Digital fabrication tools have been available to design students for the past 20 years. Tools such as 3D printers have been used to Rapid Prototype design concepts and representations, within product development and to imitate conventional manufacturing techniques. In the last decade, there has been an increase in interest surrounding Additive Manufacturing and a shift from 3D printing as prototyping to making end-use artefacts.With much core research still located in engineering frameworks, this article addresses perspectives from practice-based, qualitative inquiry into Product Design pedagogy. It does so through attention to specialist skills training, critical study and interpretation of the computational, material and socio-economic contexts and conditions surrounding digital fabrication. The pedagogical view on Additive Manufacturing we present incorporates both technical and socially oriented conceptualisations of design. We have attempted this through what we term an Additive Experiential Learning Model in the context of Product Design education. In the model we elaborate on a set of related mindsets: Designing through the technology and designing with the technology. While the former focuses on AM as a tool for realizing product ideas, the latter seeks to exploit and develop knowledge on the premise of the technology. The approaches offer pedagogical avenues and inspirations for industry in quests to use Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing in novel, experiential and practice-based ways.


Kempton, W., & Killi, S., & Morrison, A. 2017. 'Meeting learning challenges in Product Design education with and through Additive Manufacturing'. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics . 15 (6). 119–129.