Designing for manufacturing encourages designers to tailor products for manufacturing constraints, assembly requirements, and limited resources. The additive manufacturing (AM) process challenges traditional manufacturing constraints by building material layer-by-layer, providing opportunities for increased complexity, mass customization, multifunctional embedding, and multi-material production, which were previously difficult with traditional manufacturing (TM) processes. With its application as an effective prototyping and manufacturing tool, AM is prevailing in the educational and industrial engineering design process. For proper utilization of the potential it offers, AM has created a need for an effective Designing for AM (DfAM) curriculum. This exploratory study examines how current formal education on DfAM considerations influence creative concept generation as compared to designing for TM (DfTM). A design study was conducted in two different classrooms, one with and one without formal training in DfAM. It was found that the ideas generated for AM on average were significantly more elegant than the ideas generated for TM. On the other hand, ideas generated for TM scored higher than AM in feasibility. These results indicate that AM significantly aids in generating aesthetically appealing ideas, but not necessarily in the generation of feasible ideas, compared to TM. We use these findings to provide recommendations for design education.

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