The use of additive manufacturing (AM) has increased in many industries, resulting in a commensurate need for a workforce skilled in AM. To meet this need, educational institutions are integrating design for additive manufacturing (DfAM) into the engineering curriculum. However, limited research has explored the impact of these educational interventions in bringing about changes in the technical goodness of students' design outcomes. This study explores this gap through experimentation with 193 participants recruited from a junior-level, mechanical engineering design course. Participants were split into three educational intervention groups: (1) no DfAM, (2) restrictive DfAM, and (3) restrictive and opportunistic (dual) DfAM. The effects of the educational intervention on the participants' use of DfAM were measured through changes in (1) participants' DfAM self-efficacy, (2) technical goodness of their AM design outcomes, and (3) participants' use of DfAM-related concepts when describing and evaluating their AM designs. The results showed that while all three educational interventions result in similar changes in the participants' opportunistic DfAM self-efficacy, participants who receive only restrictive DfAM inputs show the greatest increase in their restrictive DfAM self-efficacy. Further, we see that despite these differences, all three groups show a similar decrease in the technical goodness of their AM designs, after attending the lectures. These results emphasize the need for DfAM education to encourage the use of both opportunistic and restrictive DfAM during student design challenges. Results also highlight the possible influence of the problem statement on the use of DfAM in solving it.
Exploring the Effects of Additive Manufacturing Education on Students' Engineering Design Process and its Outcomes
Contributed by the Design Education Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanical Design. Manuscript received March 1, 2019; final manuscript received July 11, 2019; published online xx xx, xxxx. Assoc. Editor: Gül E. Okudan Kremer.
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Prabhu, R., Miller, S. R., Simpson, T. W., and Meisel, N. A. (July 24, 2019). "Exploring the Effects of Additive Manufacturing Education on Students' Engineering Design Process and its Outcomes." ASME. J. Mech. Des. doi: https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4044324
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