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Conference proceedings

Designing through additive manufacturing: present and future discussion

isbn 9788838694059
language Inglese; Inglese
type Contributi in atti di convegno
volume The virtuous circle Cumulus Conference June 3-7, Milan
convegno The Virtuous Circle
authors Bolzan, Patrizia; Mortati, Marzia
Year 2015
editor McGraw-Hill Education Italy
pages 15


The paper focuses on investigating additive manufacturing technologies, and how these can be meaningfully linked to design experimentation. The underlying hypothesis is that much of the emphasis put on these technologies is often mistakenly considered innovative or new, while forgetting the real constraints and history of additive manufacturing. This is not a new field per se neither for industry nor for design. Furthermore, additive manufacturing is considered – in some arenas of discussion – the panacea for the regeneration of industrial production at large, sometimes envisioning the overall substitution of traditional industrial practices and markets. Design is strongly influenced by this debate, as it is looking at the idea of an industrial renaissance to re-invest in making and experimentation as the core areas of its practice. This is also confronting it with a revolution by shifting part of its concerns away from serial production of standardized goods to small scale and personalized manufacturing. However, not everything that is connected to this topic does fall under the umbrella of design, while many interesting evidences are rather coming from passionate non-professionals, like in the case of makers. In this framework, the paper aims at proposing a critical discussion around this topic by reporting mainly on how new manufacturing practices and digital technologies are influencing design, and in particular experimentation in the phase of concept and prototyping. The main intent is to argument critically the main features of these tools and why they are relevant to design, in order to contribute to developing an informed debate around this emergent field that is provoking much practical experimentation, although still looking for focused and critical discussion in design research.

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