Challenges of 3D printing for home users
Editors: Berg, A., Bohemia, E., Buck, L., Gulden, T., Kovacevic, A. and Pavel, N.
Start date: 7 September 2017
Journal: Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future
Publisher: Design Society and IED
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Journal: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education: Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, E and PDE 2017
3D printing is described as the next industrial revolution bringing manufacturing to the home. However, it’s attraction to the home or non-technical user is frustrated by the difficulty in deploying the software and the technology which both need professional understanding and training. Research and innovation in this area has concentrated on technology, not users and usability. Home users can access simple design software tools, best described as good for one task only. Software such as Microsoft word and Excel have been the subject of development for enabling most people to use computers without the need for training or the ability to program. However research in the home users of 3-D printing is very limited. This literature review is concerned is an investigation into home/non-technical use of 3-D printers, their needs and limitations, in order to facilitate the development of effective tools and manuals. An investigation of literature and a survey supported by a focus group of 42 university students aims to understand the way home/non-technical users currently use designs, and how they can to adapt/change their designs for effective use of 3-D printing. This will identify the tools/’apps’ needed for accessible understanding and deployment of the technology.