Title: Investigation of professional design practice: a framework for designing plastic consumer products for additive manufacturing

Authors: Wei Liu; Zicheng Zhu; Songhe Ye; Xiaoneng Jin; Guanghe Yan

Addresses: College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, No. 281 Fuxin Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, 200092, China ' EPSRC Future Manufacturing Hub in Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes, University of Sheffield, 64 Garden Street, Sheffield, S1 4BJ, UK ' Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK ' College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University No.281 Fuxin Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, China ' College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, No. 281 Fuxin Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai, 200092, China

Abstract: Revolutionary advances in plastic additive manufacturing (AM) have enabled it to evolve to be an economic viable production method for manufacturing consumer products in our daily lives. The capability of creating complex structures opens up vast design freedoms, which consequently requires new design mind-sets and methods to be developed to take advantage of this emerging technology whilst minimising inherent process drawbacks. This study investigates professional design practice in design for plastic AM. A framework that shows an effective way to design products is developed, enabling efficient low to medium volume production using plastic AM processes. The major factors and design considerations including AM process characteristics, materials, product appearance, functionality and production economic viability that affect the design of a consumer product are described. A case study of a night lamp manufactured by selective laser sintering is conducted, demonstrating that plastic AM is a feasible and reliable production route for consumer goods.

Keywords: design for additive manufacturing; 3D printing; plastic consumer goods; design method; design process.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMPT.2019.097663

International Journal of Materials and Product Technology, 2019 Vol.58 No.2/3, pp.104 - 128

Received: 07 Dec 2017
Accepted: 12 Jun 2018

Published online: 04 Feb 2019 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article