As makerspaces and learning factories begin to shift towards digitally enabled environments, it is critical that we understand the effect of this shift on designers and designs. Prototyping is an important design activity that influences designers' mental models of the design concept and the characteristics of the design itself. Since the tools available to designers affect the prototypes they make, the selection and presentation of these tools to should be done judiciously. Considerable effort has been made to study the pedagogy of learning factories, but the tools with which they are equipped can also have a strong formative effect on the students that use them. This work presents preliminary findings that suggest that digital prototyping tools may significantly influence the trajectory of designs. In contrast, traditional tools (such as lathes, mills, drill press) had no such influence. We hypothesize that this may be due to inherent differences in the way designers generate and form knowledge when using traditional (i.e. non-digital) prototyping tools versus digital prototyping tools.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Artificial Intelligence