Complex solutions for complex problems? exploring the role of design task choice on learning, design for additive manufacturing use, and creativity

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Abstract

The integration of additive manufacturing (AM) processes in many industries has led to the need for AM education and training, particularly on design for AM (DfAM). To meet this growing need, several academic institutions have implemented educational interventions, especially project-and problem-based, for AM education; however, limited research has explored how the choice of the problem statement influences the design outcomes of a task-based AM/DfAM intervention. This research explores this gap in the literature through an experimental study with 175 undergraduate engineering students. Specifically, the study compared the effects of restrictive and dual (restrictive and opportunistic) DfAM education, when introduced through design tasks that differed in the explicit use of design objectives and functional and manufacturing constraints in defining them. The effects of the intervention were measured through (1) changes in participant DfAM self-efficacy, (2) participants' self-reported emphasis on DfAM, and (3) the creativity of participants' design outcomes. The results show that the choice of the design task has a significant effect on the participants' self-efficacy with, and their self-reported emphasis on, certain DfAM concepts. The results also show that the design task containing explicit constraints and objectives results in participants generating ideas with greater uniqueness compared with the design task with fewer explicit constraints and objectives. These findings highlight the importance of the chosen problem statement on the outcomes of a DfAM educational intervention, and future work is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031121
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Volume142
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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