As additive manufacturing (AM) processes become more ubiquitous in engineering, design, and manufacturing, the need for a workforce skilled in designing for additive manufacturing (DfAM) has grown. Despite this need for an AM-skilled workforce, little research has systematically investigated the formulation of educational interventions for training engineers in DfAM. In this article, we synthesize findings from our experiments with 596 engineering design students to inform the development of educational interventions - comprising content presentations and design tasks - that encourage student learning and creativity. Specifically, we investigated the effects of four variations of DfAM educational interventions by manipulating the following: (1) the content of DfAM information presented, (2) the order of presenting the DfAM content, (3) the definition of the AM design task, and (4) the competitive structure of the AM design task. The effects of these variations were experimentally tested by comparing changes in students' DfAM self-efficacy and the creativity of students' design outcomes. Validated measures were also developed as part of our studies to help mature the nascent field of DfAM education. Based on the findings of our experiments, we discuss how task-based educational interventions can be formulated to (1) increase students' DfAM self-efficacy, (2) encourage students to generate ideas of high AM technical goodness, and (3) encourage students to generate more creative ideas when using AM. The novel synthesis of our findings in this article will help educators formulate effective DfAM educational interventions and tasks to foster a workforce skilled in DfAM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering