Collaborative Design Education Using 3D Printing

Collaborative Design Education Using 3D Printing

Kazuhiro Muramatsu (Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan) and Sonam Wangmo (Royal University of Bhutan, Bhutan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7018-9.ch014
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Design education is important at technical universities and colleges. In general, real product design requires collaborative work. In this chapter, the authors discuss collaborative design education. An A360 cloud platform on Autodesk's 3D computer-aided design “AutoCAD” is adopted to illustrate a collaborative design activity implemented in the Engineering Graphics class offered at the College of Science and Technology, Royal University of Bhutan. By using A360 cloud, students can share a 3D model with group members. Based on feedback received, students can modify the initial model, share it, print, and discuss the modified object with members. This collaborative work allows students to create enhanced 3D design objects while engaged in discussions and interactions. The authors also discuss some difficulties encountered during the collaborative process and offer recommendations and future research ideas.
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Design education is important at universities and colleges for engineering and technology (Sheppard & Jeniso, 1997; Dym, Agogino, Eris, Frey, & Leifer, 2005). For example, all first-year students learn 2D and 3D modeling using AutoCAD as 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software at the College of Science and Technology (CST), Royal University of Bhutan (RUB). Also, at the same institution, civil engineering students learn design and construction of facilities such as buildings and bridges in the second year of the four-year course. Similarly, electrical engineering students learn the basic concept of design of electrical installation for residential and commercial buildings (Muramatsu & Wangmo, 2017).

Usually, at the CST, each student learns 2D and 3D design using CAD software individually in these classes. However, real product design requires collaborative work. For example, automobile design involves teamwork; each designer contributes from his or her experienced knowledge base. Also, concurrent engineering (CE) is popular in manufacturing companies. CE is a method of integration for designing and developing products (Andersen, 2004; Sapuan & Mansor, 2014). Automobile design is not only shared with designers but also with engineers under CE. Therefore, collaborative design education is necessary for students’ future careers. In addition, in the automobile design, modelers model a real-size prototype out of clay, which is called clay modeling (Yamada, 1993). If clay modeling is replaced with 3D printing, the design process time will be shortened.

In this chapter, the authors illustrate a collaborative work and 3D printing in design education. The following section provide background on collaborative design education, software and hardware to support collaborative design. This is followed by an illustration of collaborative design work using a A360 cloud platform. This chapter focuses on presenting the collaborative work with the purpose of generating further discussion and ideas for future work and research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling): A 3D printing technology that extrudes filaments of thermal plastics according to a specific pattern.

Cloud Computing: A computer paradigm for sharing computer resources through a computer network.

SLA (Stereolithography): A 3D printing technology that converts liquid photopolymers into solid polymers, layer by layer, by selectively curing them using an ultraviolet (UV) laser in a process called photopolymerization.

Autodesk A360: A cloud-based collaboration tool built on SaaS developed by Autodesk.

Collaborative Education: A teaching method in which plural students learn something or solve problems together.

Autodesk AutoCAD: One of major CAD software packages developed by Autodesk. It is especially strong in architecture and engineering.

CAD Software: A computer program to aid in the creation, or modification of a 2D and 3D design.

SLS (Selective Laser Sintering): A 3D printing technology that uses a laser to sinter powdered plastic material into a solid plastic.

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