Opportunities Offered by Additive Manufacturing in Creative Businesses: Informing Designers
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Anthony, Richard William; Evans, Martyn; Rennie, Allan Edward Watson; Kirkby, Eddie
Section: Design Teaching Environment 1
An understanding of the opportunities offered by new and rapidly developing manufacturing technologies is essential to successful new product development. Designers, be they students or those in the early stages of their career, need to understand the potential that such technologies offer. Depending on the nature of their curriculum and the norms of the sector in which they become employed, the level of knowledge of new manufacturing technologies varies greatly amongst students and graduate designers. Creative businesses, for example, often find themselves at a disadvantage compared to more technically-focused sectors when it comes to knowledge about new manufacturing technologies. This can lead to creative businesses not recognising the potential advantages that such technology offers. This paper identifies the challenges facing designers operating in/for creative businesses, when considering adopting Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, and identifies strategies to assist them. The authors assert that an understanding of AM is of particular relevance to product designers as they often act as the interface between business and the manufacturers. This paper will draw out the key challenges and opportunities of AM for product designers operating within creative businesses, and provide guidance for its use. This guidance will assist in the understanding of AM within creative businesses, support design students in the assessment of the appropriateness of AM for the production of goods suitable for creative businesses, and underpins the integration of AM into their business.