INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF DESIGN FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING EDUCATION ON STUDENT DESIGN PROCESSES AND CREATIVITY

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Author:
Prabhu, Rohan
Graduate Program:
Engineering Design
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 13, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Nicholas Alexander Meisel, Thesis Advisor
  • Scarlett Rae Miller, Committee Member
  • Sven G Bilen, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Design for Additive Manufacturing
  • Creativity
  • Engineering Education
  • Engineering design
Abstract:
Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes exhibit a unique set of capabilities and limitations. The growing implementation of AM processes has provided designers with a newfound design freedom, previously limited by traditional manufacturing. Despite the increase in their use for industrial manufacturing, limited research has investigated how knowledge of the properties of AM processes could affect engineering design outcomes. Therefore, the goal of this thesis was to investigate how variations in design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) education content affect engineering students’ design processes and the creativity of their design outcomes. In particular, the effects of restrictive and opportunistic DfAM education were compared to the control group of no DfAM training for their impact on student: (1) motivation and interest in AM, (2) DfAM self-efficacy, (3) self-reported use of DfAM in the design process, (4) expert assessment of the creativity and technical goodness of the design outcomes, and (5) perceived utility of the intervention. The results of the research suggest that variations in the content of DfAM education presented through the studied intervention fails to influence students’ use of DfAM in the design process. The creativity of the students’ design outcomes were similar across all three educational intervention groups. Further, we see that the technical goodness of the students’ design outcomes decreases from before to after the intervention, and a similar result is seen among all three educational groups. This suggests there exists an influence of the design task on the students’ use of DfAM in the design process, which needs further research. Finally, we see that students’ previous AM experience influences their learning attitude towards DfAM and thus influences the effectiveness of the educational intervention. In summary, these results emphasize the need for more in-depth DfAM education to encourage the use of both opportunistic and restrictive DfAM, so as to spur them to design concepts that are not only manufactured easily, but also better leverage the offerings of AM.