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Specification of an Additive Manufacturing Consumer Design Toolkit

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Specification of an Additive Manufacturing Consumer Design Toolkit for Consumer Electronics Products





Online toolkits, also known as product configurators, are a well established
means of enabling consumer engagement in the mass customisation of
products. Such toolkits typically require the consumer to select from predetermined
menus of modules in order to create products personalised to
match their requirements, however in recent years a new class of toolkit,
enabled by additive manufacturing, has begun to appear. Providing
consumers the opportunity to change a product's appearance presents
designers and brand managers with difficult decisions, yet to date little
research has been conducted to understand how a brand might restrict
consumer choice in order to protect its corporate design language. This paper
reports on ongoing research which aims to understand the ways in which
brands with mass-customisation offerings manage their identities across
product portfolios, and the impact which AM might have on these
management strategies. It begins by introducing the current state of AM
technologies and how these are being used in MC systems. Drawing on a
survey with senior design and brand managers, a specification of an AMenabled
toolkit aimed at consumer electronics products is presented, and
future steps for the implementation of such a toolkit are discussed.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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