Evaluation of Suitability of Rapid Prototyping Techniques for Use by Children
Technology that facilitates rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing has become increasingly available to the ordinary user in the home, the office, or at school. These rapid prototyping technologies should make it possible to offer school children the opportunity to design and then realise three dimensional (3D) objects. One of the perceived benefits of this is that children can become more involved in the process of producing 3D objects. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the available of the technology, and the issues associated with access to materials, adult help, supervision and assistance are often required, depriving children of the opportunity to create and produce freely, taking ownership of the process. This study evaluates the different techniques and materials available to children, highlighting their benefits and limitations, and reaching a conclusion about which materials and techniques are the most suitable for achieving a child-led approach to production. The study concludes that Cubify Cube is the most appropriate solution in terms of ease of use, not requiring adult assistance or supervision or the realisation of designs.
This is a paper produced by Rafat Madani as part of his PhD research, under the supervision of Dr Adam Moroz and Dr Emily Baines (both at De Montfort University), with some specialist advice from Belal Makled.
Citation : Madani, R. et al. (2015) Evaluation of Suitability of Rapid Prototyping Techniques for Use by Children. Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), 2 (1), pp. 261-266
Research Group : Design and New Product Development
Research Institute : Institute of Art and Design
Peer Reviewed : Yes