Research Papers: Design for Manufacture and the Life Cycle

Understanding the Role of Additive Manufacturing Knowledge in Stimulating Design Innovation for Novice Designers

[+] Author and Article Information
Sheng Yang

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: sheng.yang@mail.mcgill.ca

Thomas Page

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: thomas.page@mail.mcgill.ca

Yaoyao Fiona Zhao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
McGill University,
Montreal, QC H3A 0C3, Canada
e-mail: yaoyao.zhao@mcgill.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design for Manufacturing Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received June 29, 2018; final manuscript received October 30, 2018; published online December 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 141(2), 021703 (Dec 20, 2018) (12 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1506; doi: 10.1115/1.4041928 History: Received June 29, 2018; Revised October 30, 2018

Additive manufacturing (AM) is recognized as a disruptive technology that offers significant potentials for innovative design. Prior experimental studies have revealed that novice designers provided with AM knowledge (AMK) resources can generate a higher quantity and quality of solutions in contrast with control groups. However, these studies have adopted coarse-grain evaluation metrics that fall short in correlating AMK with radical or architectural innovation. This deficiency directly affects the capturing, modeling, and delivering AMK so that novel opportunities may be more efficiently utilized in ideation stage. To refine the understanding of AMK's role in stimulating design innovation, an experimental study is conducted with two design projects: (a) a mixer design project, and (b) a hairdryer redesign project. The former of which aims to discover whether AMK inspiration increases the quantity and novelty of working principles (WP) (i.e., radical innovation), while the latter examines the influence of AMK on layout and feature novelty (i.e., architectural innovation). The experimental study indicates that AMK does have a positive influence on architectural innovation while the effects on radical innovation are very limited if the example illustrating the AMK is functionally irrelevant to the design problem. Two strategies are proposed to aid the ideation process in maximizing the possibility of identifying AM potentials to facilitate radical innovation. The limitations of this study and future research plans are discussed.

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Fig. 1

AMK-specific cards

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Fig. 2

A typical device to dry hair

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Fig. 3

Concept list worksheet and feedback questionnaire design

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Fig. 4

Exemplified sketches of working principles from both groups

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Fig. 5

Average number of concepts generated and novelty score of solutions for the mixer design project

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Fig. 6

Exemplified sketches of redesigned hairdryers

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Fig. 7

Average performance of both groups and corresponding standard errors

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Fig. 8

project difficulty evaluation by G1 and G2 in the mixer and hairdryer projects

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Fig. 9

AMK helpfulness analysis within G2

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Fig. 10

Various gripper design concepts

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Fig. 11

Proposed FBS modeling of AMK



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